EUGENE, Ore. -- The Oregon women’s 4x400 meter relay team broke a 25-year-old meet record and Andrew Wheating won the men’s 800 meters Saturday before an Oregon Relays meet record crowd of 6,901 at Historic Hayward Field.
"It was a great event," said Oregon Associate Athletic Director Vin Lananna. "We saw a nice spectrum of perspectives here, the high school athletes, college athletes, and professionals. It was a great open competition for everyone. People piled in here for the past two days. Eugene is great."
The Ducks’ 4x400 team of Keshia Baker, Amber Purvis, Leah Worthen and Jamesha Youngblood ran 3:39.23 to break the record of 3:41.44 set by Athletics West in 1984.
"I didn’t even know we got the record," said Baker, a junior from Sacramento, Calif. "We just wanted to run well. It’s a nice surprise though. Every time we come out here and race, we get a better time. It is great motivation. We definitely still have room to improve."
The mark was an NCAA Regional-qualifying mark, one of 17 the Ducks recorded on Saturday.
Wheating won the 800 in a season-best 1:47.66, using a kick off the final turn to beat Kris Gauson of Butler, who finished in 1:48.66. The junior from Norwich, Vt., recorded the third fastest time in the nation this season.
"I am pleased with my time," said Wheating, who also won the men’s 1,500 meters Friday night. "I am glad that I am getting back to the 1:45-range. It felt good to win, because I was a little nervous before the start.
"Once I was running, I forgot about everything," he said. "I think the fact I ran yesterday worried me more mentally than physically. Also, I found myself quite behind the leaders at some point in the race. The coach told me to go on a full ride and give all I had."
Oregon sophomore Travis Thompson set a personal best in finishing fifth in 1:49.18 to notch an NCAA Regional qualifying time.
Senior Rachel Yurkovich defended her Oregon Relays title in the women’s javelin with a throw of 186-5. Senior Ashley McCrea made it a 1-2 Oregon sweep with her second-place throw of 165-3.
"It was my best series of the season, but it didn’t really feel like it," said Yurkovich. "I want to be consistent and PR at the right time.
"It can get kind of frustrating to see everyone else putting up all these marks, but I know I’ll get there. I have the next couple of weeks off and I’ll be able to focus on my training and get a big throw at the right time."
Oregon missed the meet record in the women’s 4x100 meter relay by .01. The Ducks’ team of Brianne Theisen, Purvis, Baker and Youngblood won in 44.74. The Oregon Relays record, 44.73, was set by Florida State in 1983.
Chad Barlow of Oregon held off Jeff Gudaitis of Washington to win the men’s 400 meters. Barlow crossed the finish line in 47.34 to Gudaitis’ 47.60.
"It was a little cold, so I knew I couldn’t run fast," said the junior from Ft. Collins, Colo., "I just went out there to compete and defend my Hayward Field title. I haven’t lost here this year yet."
Ryan Bailey of Rend Lake defended both of his titles in the men’s 100 and 200 meters. His time in the 100 of 10.31 was just off the 1995 meet record of 10.27, set by Pat Johnson or Oregon. He won the 200 in 20.71. Bailey was also on Rend Lake’s winning 4x100 meter relay team, clocking 39.90 that was just .10 off Washington’s 2008 meet record of 39.80.
Jenny Barringer of Colorado, who won the 1,500 meters Friday night in a nation-leading time, came back to win the 800 meters on Saturday in a personal-best 2:05.43.
"This is only the second time I’ve run this event since high school," said Barringer. "It hurt a lot more than yesterday. I wish I’d run a tad bit faster, but it wasn’t easy conditions and the race unfolded differently than I expected. I didn’t expect to be leading for most of the way."
Oregon’s Zoe Buckman finished second in the 800 in 2:08.66, while Alexandra Kosinski was fourth in a personal collegiate-best time of 2:09.12. Both Buckman and Kosinski notched NCAA regional qualifying marks.
In the men’s mile, Boaz Lalang won in 4:01.56, while Oregon seniors Scott Wall and James Withers each met the NCAA provisional standard, converted, at 1,500 meters. Wall ran fourth in 4:03.90, while Withers was fifth in 4:04.33
Other highlights from the Oregon Relays included:
*Oregon’s Jamesha Youngblood setting a PR in winning the 200 meters in a wind-aided 24.34. Teammate Brianne Theisen was second in a personal-best 24.49.
*Justin Rodhe, competing unattached, winning the men’s shot put with a throw of 62-2.5.
*Grant Lindsey, competing unattached, winning the men’s high jump with a clearance of 7-2.5.
*The Ducks’ 4x400 meter relay team (David Klech, Matt Butcher, Travis Thompson and Barlow) running a season-best 3:10.71.
*Leah Worthen of Oregon running a season-best 1:01.91 to finish second in the 400 meters hurdles behind Washington’s Falesha Ankton (1:01.11).
*Carly Dockendorf, competing unattached, taking the pole vault, clearing a bar of 13-9.75. Oregon’s Melissa Gergel was second at 13-5.75 and Jordan Roskelley was third at 12-8.
*Annie Hess of Concordia winning the women’s discus with a throw of 165-11.
*Oregon’s Sarah Cole setting a personal record in winning the B section of the women’s hammer in 165-8.
*Elliot Jantzer, who won the boy’s 3,000 meters Friday night, picking up a win in the boy’s 1,500 meters in 4:01.99.
*Kellie Schueler of Summit winning the girl’s 100 meters in 11.73, a time that would have won the college 100 and was a tenth of a second off the meet record.
*Southridge winning the high school team title with a combined boy’s and girl’s score of 159.83 points.
*The crowd of 6,901 was the ninth-largest collegiate crowd in school history.
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