EUGENE, Ore. – The sunny skies above Historic Hayward Field provided perfect conditions for competition at the outdoor season-opening Oregon Preview, Saturday, as the Ducks’ track and field team kept the ball rolling after a sweep at the NCAA Indoor Championships a week ago.
That momentum continued for freshman Christian Brennan, who is coming off a part in the Ducks’ thrilling 4x400 win in Albuquerque. Brennan started the day with a win in the 400, and followed it with a second win in the 200, setting a meet record of 23.61, the ninth-fastest time in Oregon history.
"I just went out there and did my best, and that's all I can really do,” Brennan said. “I didn't expect that time. When I looked up at the board I was really surprised."
Brittany Mann also set a meet record of 53-4.50 (16.27m) during her win in the women’s shot put. The redshirt freshman was anxious to make her mark during her first meet at Hayward Field in an Oregon uniform, as that distance is the second best in school history.
Lauren Crockett set a lifetime best in the high jump, clearing a meet record 6-0.50. Crockett set a 6-0 personal record during the 2014 indoor season, but today’s performance was more than an inch above her best from the 2013 outdoor season, as she now ranks tied for third in the Oregon record book.
The first meet record of the day was a team effort, as Marybeth Sant, Phyllis Francis, Jenna Prandini and Jasmine Todd won the 4x100 relay in a time of 44.10, the sixth-fastest team in Oregon history.
Sammie Clark continued the women’s strong showing by winning the pole vault and setting a personal record to move up to fifth all-time for the Ducks. It came down to her final attempt, and Clark used some Hayward Field magic in front of a crowd of 4,611 to clear the bar at 13-7 (4.14m).
Laura Bobek provided the Ducks with their final event win of the day. Her winning throw of 160-0 (48.78m) came on her third throw of the day and outdistanced the field by more than eight feet.
The men’s team also had a balanced effort in the field and on the track, bookended by two strong performances in the distance events.
Tim Costin started the day for the Ducks with a win in the 2,000 steeplechase, finishing in a personal-record time of 5:46.46, surging past Timothy Cummings of Washington in the last lap.
Jeramy Elkaim doubled in the 1,500 and 3,000, finishing as the top collegian in both fields. He started with a win in the 1,500 (3:45.33) leading a flock of five Ducks at the top of the results. To end the day, Elkaim finished a close second behind Daniel Quiqley of the Oregon Track Club in the 3,000.
“It's an accomplishment just to get back on the track,” Elkaim said. “To get my first win as a Duck in front of a home crowd is absolutely awesome."
Johnathan Cabral voiced his excitement to get back in front of the home fans to start the season. Cabral is coming off a fourth-place finish in the 60 hurdles at the NCAA Championships and won the 110 hurdles, Saturday, followed by Devon Allen who took second.
"It felt great,” said Cabral. “I missed it. It was amazing to come out here and get that Hayward magic again."
The 4x100 relay team of Devon Allen, Arthur Delaney, Mike Berry and Marcus Chambers dominated the field and won in a time of 40.46.
The final event win on the track came from Arthur Delaney in the 200 with a wind-aided time of 21.77.
In the field, the Oregon contingent was led by Josh Melu (triple jump), Greg Skipper (hammer throw) and Sam Crouser (javelin), each of whom earned event wins, with Melu setting a personal best in the triple jump with a mark of 49-8.25.
The Ducks will be back in action next weekend when they head to San Diegon, Calif., for the San Diego Invitational, March 27-29.