PULLMAN, Wash. – The Oregon men’s and women’s track and field teams swept the Pac-12 Championships for the sixth-straight year, as the men won their eighth-consecutive title with 163.25 points and the women picked up their sixth in a row with 176 points.
Jenna Prandini was named the women’s Athlete of the Meet after winning three individual events, the first woman to do so since Seilala Sue of UCLA won three in 1999. Prandini entered the second day of competition with the long jump title under her belt. She started the day by winning the 100 in 11.21 and followed up with a blazing 200 win in a school record 22.60, the second-fastest time in the NCAA this season.
Prandini was a part of 38 Oregon points, also running on the women’s 4x100 relay to start the meet. She let the team’s goals heading into the weekend motivate her individual performance.
“We didn’t want to be the team not to get that title,” Prandini said. “We put everything we had out here and walked away with the win.”
The Ducks walked away comfortably at that. The men’s team won by 64.25 points while the women’s team was victorious by 21 points, both ahead of second-place USC.
Phyllis Francis looked smooth in her 400-meter victory, crossing the finish line in 51.87, a Mooberry Track record. The Ducks dominated the event as Francis picked up the 10 points for the third-consecutive year, while Chizoba Okodogbe added another eight while finishing in second with a lifetime best of 52.20.
Francis was the women’s second-highest point scorer and finished second in the 200 behind Prandini, with Marybeth Sant taking eighth. It was one of two individual events for Sant on the day who also took fifth in the 100.
With the Ducks gearing up for the championship season, it’s the time of season for big performances at opportune moments. Jillian Weir took advantage of her training and used a clutch throw to make it to the top of the podium in the women’s hammer throw. The redshirt junior entered her final throw in fourth place, but launched a throw of 221-2 (67.43m). The distance is a Mooberry Track record and improves upon her second-place standing in school history, only five inches off the school record. The mark also ranks third in the NCAA this season.
Laura Roesler added another Pac-12 title to her resume, joining Francis and Sam Crouser as three-time champions after Crouser won another javelin title, Saturday. Roesler ran a controlled race and made her move with 300 meters left, finishing in 2:05.77. Annie Leblanc joined her on the podium by finishing third in 2:07.27.
“It’s pretty special, coming into this conference and winning three years in a row,” Roesler said. “Not an easy thing to do. It gets harder every year.”
Mike Berry dominated the field in the men’s 400, sprinting to a first-place finish with a season-best time of 45.05, which ranks second in the NCAA this season. Marcus Chambers tacked on another point to the Ducks’ total by finishing in eighth.
The ascent of freshman dual-sport athlete Devon Allen continued as he finished runner up in the 110 and 400 hurdles, setting lifetime bests in both. Allen started the day in the 110 hurdles, clocking a time of 13.47 which moves him to third on the Oregon all-time list and seventh in the NCAA this season. In the 400 hurdles, the Phoenix native showed his determination with an astonishing finish to move from fourth to second in the closing meters, crossing the finish line in a time of 51.19.
It was part of a busy day for Allen, who joined Berry, Chambers and Jack Galpin on the 4x400 relay which finished second to end the meet.
Sasha Wallace set a school record in the 100 hurdles while finishing second in 13.24, breaking Brianne Theisen’s mark of 13.30 from 2012. It was one of two scoring events for Wallace, who took third in the triple jump with a distance of 41-6.5 (12.66m).
Edward Cheserek and Sam Prakel both scored in the men’s 1,500. Cheserek battled with defending champion Lawi Lalang of Arizona, as the two were neck-and-neck down the home stretch, but as Cheserek pulled even, the senior from Arizona had just enough to hold off three-time NCAA Champion. Cheserek’s time of 3:36.50 is the third-fastest in Oregon history and ranks second in the NCAA this season. Prakel earned two points after finishing in seventh.
The Ducks had multiple point-scorers in three other events as they picked up 14 points in the men’s 5,000 with Trevor Dunbar and Eric Jenkins finishing within a hundredth of a second to take second and third, respectively. Mac Fleet finished third in the 800 (1:50.67) after narrowly qualifying on Saturday with Boru Guyota behind him in fifth (1:51.42).
The women’s 1,500 also saw multiple Oregon scorers, as Sarah Penney finished fourth and Frida Berge took eighth.
Arthur Delaney made the podium in the 200, finishing strong down the home stretch and setting a personal best of 20.87 into a headwind. The event was Delaney’s second of the day after finishing fourth in the 100.
Ben Thiel contributed in the 400 hurdles as well, setting a lifetime best of 42.70 in fifth place.
Trevor Ferguson and Megan Patrignelli, both of whom scored during Saturday’s competition, earned eighth-place finishes in the triple jump and 5,000, respectively.
Both the men’s and women’s 4x100 teams started the day on the track with second-place finishes.
Laura Bobek set a lifetime best in the discus, finishing sixth and throwing 178-6 (54.41m) to improve her third-best mark in school history.
The top 48 declared athletes per event in the West Region will advance to the NCAA Preliminary Rounds in Fayetteville, Ark., looking to make their way back to Eugene for the NCAA Championships. The preliminary rounds will take place May 29-31, with the competitors to be announced on Thursday.