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Ducks Poised for Strong Finish at MPSF Championships
Release Date: 02/28/2014
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SEATTLE – The Oregon track and field team is set up nicely for a strong finish at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships after setting six indoor personal-bests, Friday.

Freshman Mitch Modin is second in the men’s heptathlon after four events with 3,016 points, setting personal bests in three of those. Consistency was key for Modin, who did not earn an event win but stayed near the top of the leaderboard by finishing fourth in the 60 (7.18) and third in both the long jump (22-5/6.83m) and shot put (44-4.75/13.53m), each of which were personal bests for the Bend, Ore., native. He closed out the night by clearing 6-3.25 in the high jump, tying for fourth.

In the men’s pole vault, the trio of Matt Hidalgo, Dakotah Keys and Cole Walsh each cleared 16-4.75 (5.00m) before making their exit. The mark is a four-inch personal best for Keys, which bodes well for the multi-event athlete heading into the NCAA Championships. Keys finished ninth in the heptathlon last season and is already in qualifying position this season, sitting at No. 4 in the nation.

“It was a good day for the multi-events,” said head coach Robert Johnson. “Mitch had three PRs to start things off and Dakotah had a big PR at the end of the night.”

The Ducks were well-represented in the men’s 60 hurdles, Friday. Johnathan Cabral and Devon Allen each won their preliminary heats with the second- and third-fastest times of the day, respectively, and will have a chance to better their marks in tomorrow’s final. Cabral crossed the finish line in 7.83 while Allen broke eight seconds as well, with a time of 7.95. Allen also competed in the 60-meter dash, tying his personal-best of 6.87.

In the women’s 60 dash, three Oregon student-athletes won their heats. Jasmine Todd and Jenna Prandini, who already hold the No. 2 and No. 3 marks in the NCAA this season, finished one-hundredth of a second apart at 7.35 and 7.34, respectively.  Marybeth Sant was the third Oregon winner in a time of 7.50, and finished 11th overall.

“It was a solid day overall,” said Johnson. “Usually in these championship meets, the first day is more about qualifying for the finals, and we had a large contingent on the men’s and women’s side that did that. We’re in good shape and we’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”

Redshirt junior Jillian Weir finished second in the weight throw with a season-best toss of 66-8.75 (20.34m) on her final throw of the day.

In the men’s weight throw, Greg Skipper qualified for the finals where he recorded his longest distance during his final attempt. The redshirt sophomore went 67-3.50, good enough for third place.

Chizoba Okodogbe and Ashante Horsley represented UO in the women’s 200. Okodogbe’s time of 24.25 put her in fourth place while Horsley won her heat with a personal-best 24.91.

Freshman Marcus Chambers also took fourth during his 200 debut with a personal indoor-best time of 21.53.

In a race that was congested at the front throughout, Molly Grabill recorded a third-place finish in the 5,000, crossing the finish line in 16:32.18.

Sammie Clark took fourth in the pole vault, clearing 12-11.75 (3.96m).

As a team, the women are in third place with 26.5 points behind Arizona (31) and Arizona State (28). The men sit in ninth with 12.5 points.

The final day of competition will begin, Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

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