PHILADELPHIA – The Women of Oregon were in action at the first day of the Penn Relays, Thursday, qualifying for the finals of the 4x100 and the 4x400, while taking fifth in the distance medley relay championship.
The Ducks began by advancing to the finals of the 4x100 with the second-fastest time of the day. The team of Marybeth Sant, Phyllis Francis, Jenna Prandini and Jasmine Todd, which tied the world leading mark at the Mt. SAC Relays last week (43.31), won its heat in 44.30. The team will take on five-time defending Penn Relays Champion and the 2013 NCAA Champion relay team from Texas A&M, which won its qualifying heat in 44.09.
Oregon also qualified in second for the finals of the 4x400 relay. The quartet of Claudia Francis, Chizoba Okodogbe, Annie Leblanc and Phyllis Francis finished in 3:34.49. The Ducks won their heat, with the NCAA Indoor 400 Champion Phyllis Francis surging past Penn State in the final stretch before coasting to the finish line. Oregon is the defending champion in the event, but heads into the final behind Texas which won its qualifying heat in 3:31.93. The stage is set for a rematch of the NCAA Indoor Championship, where anchor Phyllis Francis outleaned Texas' Ashley Spencer to set a collegiate record in the event.
Oregon will be in action tomorrow with four events, starting with the women’s 4x100 Championship of America at 9:50 a.m. PT. The men will run their first race with the DMR Championship of America slated at 11:25 a.m. PT.