EUGENE, Ore – The Oregon Relays began with the first half of the heptathlon and decathlon, Thursday, and while the competitors who found themselves at the top of the leaderboard for the respective events have vastly different backgrounds in the combined events, the link they share is the donning of an Oregon uniform.
Dakotah Keys leads the decathlon as a redshirt junior and four-time All-American in the multi events, coming off a fourth-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships in the heptathlon.
The heptathlon leader, Lauren Crockett, ranks third in Oregon history as a high jumper, and now leads the first heptathlon of her career.
Keys took the lead after setting a personal best in the long jump of 24-5.5 (7.45m) to win the event, and followed that with another PR in the shot put with a toss of 44-9.50 (13.65m). He closed out the day with the top finish in the high jump, passing after his clearance of 6-9.75 (2.08m), and taking fifth in the 400 to finish with 4,110 points. Keys’ pace exceeds that of the PR set at the Pac-12 Championships last season (8,001) by 80 points for a day-one high.
Crockett took the lead after her specialty event, the high jump, one she would hold throughout the day. She cleared 5-11.5 (1.82.) to create some distance between her and the field, leading by more than 200 points after two events.
It was a short climb to the top for the junior, who took second in the 100 hurdles to start the day with a time of 14.40.The shot put (34-5.5/10.50m) and 200 (26.61) ended the first day of competition with Crockett earning 3,233 points in her heptathlon debut.
Redshirt sophomore Daphne Chambers also competed in her first heptathlon while sporting an Oregon uniform. Chambers began by finishing fourth in the 100 hurdles but made her way up the ranks, helped by a personal best in the shot put of 43-11.25 (13.39m) to win the event, followed by a second-place finish in the 200 (25.96).
Mitch Modin is currently second in the decathlon after personal bests in the long jump and the high jump. The freshman will head to day two with 3,987 points.
Sophomore Alec Fellows set two personal bests during the first day in the 100 (11.11) and 400 (48.63).
Competition will resume, Friday, with the multi events at noon, followed by the main portion of events at 5 p.m.