EUGENE, Ore. – Both the men’s and women’s 4x400-meter relay teams had strong showings, Saturday, as the Oregon Track and Field team posted a plethora of top-10 NCAA performances at the Husky Classic in Seattle and the Don Kirby Elite in Albuquerque, N.M.
The women’s 4x400-meter relay team of Chizoba Okodogbe, Laura Roesler, Christian Brennan and Phyllis Francis won at the Don Kirby Elite in a school-record time of 3:30.08. Their time leads the NCAA so far this season.
The men’s 4x400 team also won, finishing in 3:06.78. The quartet of Marcus Chambers, Arthur Delaney, Jack Galpin and Mike Berry is seventh in the nation this year and now owns the third-fastest time in Oregon history.
Sasha Wallace made her collegiate debut in the triple jump and set the school record on her first legal attempt of her Oregon career. She saved her best mark for last, however, finishing with a distance of 42-5.5 (12.94m), putting her 11th in the NCAA. Wallace also tied her own school record while winning the top section of the women’s 60 hurdles. The freshman crossed the line in 8.10, a time that is still fifth in the NCAA. It is Wallace’s second school record of the season, after setting the 60-meter hurdles record in her opener at the Washington Preview.
“We had some really good school records with the 4x400 team and with Sasha in the triple jump,” said head coach Robert Johnson. “I’m proud of all the kids for the way they competed and of the coaches who put them in a position to be successful.”
In Seattle, Megan Patrignelli ran with an elite field in the women’s 3,000 and was the second collegian to cross the finish line. Her mark of 9:04.96 is second in Oregon history and ranks fifth in the nation this season.
Trevor Dunbar put up a top time as well during the men’s 3,000. The senior took the reins approximately halfway through the race and finished third with the eighth-fastest time in the NCAA this season (7:53.13).
In the mile at Washington’s Dempsey Indoor Facility, Mac Fleet led nearly wire-to-wire during his 2014 individual indoor debut. Fleet held off a surging field coming down the home stretch and crossed the finish line first at 3:58.25, which is the eighth-fastest time in the NCAA this season. Brett Johnson also broke the four-minute mark in 3:59.39 while freshman Sam Prakel finished in 4:01.52.
“Our distance runners put up outstanding performances in Seattle,” Johnson said. “The four-minute barrier is huge in our sport and to continue to have such great milers is a big part of our program. To see Megan and Trevor do well in the 3,000 is great because they both contribute so much to our team.”
The Ducks had depth in the 60 hurdles at the Don Kirby, led by Johnathan Cabral who competed in Section A and finished fourth with a personal record of 7.68 in the finals. The junior was just .01 seconds off Eric Mitchum’s school record, and is now ranked No. 5 in the NCAA.
Football wide receiver Devon Allen won Section B of the hurdles, setting a personal record in both the prelims and the finals, finishing at 7.83 which ranks fourth in Oregon history. Allen would get another section win while competing in the 60-meter dash. Again the two-sport athlete set personal-bests in both the prelims and the finals to Section C in 6.85.
Dakotah Keys was the third 60-meter hurdler to win his section in 8.25 while setting a personal record.
A young trio of Ducks finished at the top of the leaderboard in the 60. Jasmine Todd finished first with a finals time of 7.24, but it was her prelims time of 7.18 which set a personal best and moved her into second in school history. Jenna Prandini was just behind Todd at 7.24 in the finals while Marybeth Sant took fourth in 7.37. Sant also set a personal-best of 7.36 in the prelims.
Christian Brennan took second in the 400 at the Don Kirby with a personal-best time of 53.83, moving her up to fourth in school history. Meanwhile, in Seattle, Ashante Horsley won her section of the 400 with a PR of 55.89.
Brittany Mann qualified for the finals of the shot put with a personal-best throw of 50-2.75. That would be her longest of the day but it was still good enough for second in the competition and the third-best mark in Oregon history.
Annie Leblanc took 11th in the women’s invitational mile with a time of 4:40.48, the fastest time by a Duck this year.
“Coming into the weekend we were trying to get as many qualifiers into the NCAA championships as we could with it being our last invitational-style meet,” Johnson said. “And I think we did a really good job of getting people to where they need to be.”
Oregon will next compete at the MPSF Championships in Seattle, Feb. 28-March 1.