COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Brianne Theisen used personal bests in the high jump and shot put to break the 30 year-old Canadian national record in the pentathlon Friday night at the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge.
Theisen totaled 4,555 points to eclipse the previous Canadian mark of 4,550 points set by Jill Ross-Giffen in 1982. She also broke her own NCAA record of 4,540 points set at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium at the 2011 NCAA Championships.
Theisen, who was competing in her first track meet of any kind in more than 10 months, opened the competition by winning the 60 meter hurdles in 8.38 seconds. That was just .03 of her personal best and school record time of 8.35 seconds from a season ago.
She followed that with a remarkable performance in the high jump, culminating in a third-attempt clearance at 6-2/1.88m. That was an all-conditions personal best and also broke the UO indoor record by nearly two inches. She cleared all bars on her first attempt leading up to the jump at 6-2, other than needing a second attempt at 5-10.5/1.79m. Theisen and Laurel Roberts previously shared the mark at 6-0/1.83m. The clearance at 6-2 was good for 1,080 points.
Theisen then earned her second PR of the night in the shot put by throwing 42-2.75/12.87m, which scored 719 points.
The senior from Humboldt, Sask., followed that by going 19-8/5.99m in the long jump for 846 points, before a relatively easy 800 meters of 2:16.90 and 866 points just pushed her past Ross-Geffen. The score also easily was an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
"I haven't competed in 10 months since I was hurt during the last outdoor season," said Theisen. "We came to this meet to break up training and to see where I'm at. Apparently it's pretty good.
"I'm happy with my hurdles and really happy with my high jump. Shot put was a PR and I know there's still a little more there," she said. "Long jump was frustrating and I think the 10 months off showed in my 800. But I feel good and it's still pretty exciting to get a record for Canada."
While Theisen was doing her thing, the women's distance relay team was also challenging the record books. The Ducks won in an impressive 10:56.31, easily ahead of Tennessee's 11:02.74. Junior Anne Kesselring led off the 1,200 meter leg in 3:20.69, followed by sophomore Chizoba Okodogbe, who timed 54.53 in the 400. Junior Becca Friday ticked off an impressive 2:05.34 800 meter split, and junior Jordan Hasay brought the Ducks home with a 4:35.75 1,600 meter leg.
That was the second-fastest DMR in school history and less than two seconds off the school record that the same quartet set on this track at the 2011 NCAA Championships. It was also an NCAA automatic qualifying time.
The men claimed the distance medley relay, as well, winning in 9:36.88 to outdistance second-place Florida's 9:38.95. Sophomore Boru Guyota led off in 2:57.69, followed by senior Bryan Harper in 48.09. Freshman Russell Hornsby ran the 800 leg in 1:50.25 and sophomore Trevor Dunbar, in his Oregon debut, finished the 1,600 in 4:00.86.
"It was a fantastic day for the women. Brianne looked like she never missed a step," said Oregon Associate Athletic Director Vin Lananna. "The women had a dominating performance from the gun and the men were led by a great leg from Boru Guyota, followed by a big finish by Trevor Dunbar."
Former Duck Ashton Eaton won the elite section of the long jump with a leap of 26-4.5/8.04m. His winning mark came on his sixth and final attempt and was just short of his PR.
After the first day of the heptathlon, Dakotah Keys stood second with 3,027 points. The sophomore from Sweet Home, Ore., opened the day by running a PR in the 60 meters of 7.23. He also had marks of 22-3.5/6.70m in the long jump, 41-7.75/12.69m in the shot put and matched a PR by clearing 6-7/2.01m in the high jump.
Freshman Alec Fellows was fifth with 2,759 points. The Woodway, Wash., native was second in the 60 meters in 7.14 seconds.
Gray Horn of Florida led the heptathlon with 3,376 points.