Oregon will make a trip across the country to Fayetteville Ark., for the NCAA West Preliminary Round, Thursday-Saturday (May 29-31) with the hopes of returning with qualifiers by the masses for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, June 11-14. Field events will begin at 10 a.m. PT on Thursday, and 8 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Track events will start at 2:30 p.m. (Thursday), 3 p.m. (Friday) and 4 p.m. (Saturday).
Each of the two regional preliminary sites will host 48 declared athletes in each event and advance 12 to the NCAA Championships for a total field size of 24 at Historic Hayward Field.
Both the men’s and women’s team held constant at No. 3 in the USTFCCCA rankings this week.
Strength In Numbers:
Both of Oregon’s teams lead the country in entries for the NCAA Preliminary Rounds. The Ducks combine for a total of 71 entries, 12 more than Texas A&M, which has the next most at 59. For a complete list of entries compiled by the USTFCCCA, click here.
The Men of Oregon have 36 entries, led by 19 between the distance and middle-distance events. BYU is second with 32 entries.
The Women of Oregon have 35 entries, four ahead of second-most Texas A&M. The Ducks will be balanced at the regional meet with eight entries in the sprints/hurdles, eight middle-distance entries and seven in the throws.
Ducks in the Decathlon:
The Ducks already have two competitors who will take part in the NCAA Championships. Dakotah Keys and Mitch Modin have qualified for the decathlon in a field of 24. Keys’ PR of 8,027 qualified third while Modin’s 7,457 is 17th.
Leading the Pac:
With a sweep of the conference meet this season, the Women of Oregon are six-time defending Pac-12 champions, starting their streak in 2009 while the men are eight-time defending champions, starting theirs in 2007. The men’s streak is the longest in Pac-12 Championships history. The women’s streak is second longest, behind UCLA, which won eight times from 1997-2004.
Individual Top 10:
The men’s team has 10 top-10 marks this season, led by Edward Cheserek (1,500) and Mike Berry (400) who each rank second in the nation. Dakotah Keys is ranked third in the decathlon, while javelin thrower Sam Crouser and 5,000-meter runner Trevor Dunbar are each ranked fourth. Devon Allen jumped into the top 10 at the Pac-12 meet as he continues to elevate his performance as the season goes on, and is now ranked seventh in the 110 hurdles. Others in the top 10 include Mac Fleet (5th – 1,500), Greg Skipper (6th – hammer), Tanguy Pepiot (7th – steeplechase) and Dunbar (10th – 1500).
Laura Roesler leads the nation in the 800 meters this season while teammate Sam Murphy is third. Jenna Prandini is the Ducks’ one-woman wrecking crew and is ranked second in the 200, third in the 100 and eighth in the long jump. Both relays are among the nation’s elite with the 4x100 team ranked sixth and the 4x400 ranked seventh. Phyllis Francis who could be involved in both of those relays has top-10 marks in both the 400 (sixth) and 200 (eighth) while Jillian Weir mad a huge jump into the top 10 with her hammer throw at the Pac-12 Championships and is now third in the nation, while Lauren Crockett (high jump) and Megan Patrignelli (steeplechase) round out the top 10 ranked seventh and ninth, respectively.
Trio Going for Three:
Phyllis Francis (400), Laura Roesler (800) and Sam Crouser (javelin) each earned their third-consecutive Pac-12 Championship at the conference meet this season after winning in 2012 and 2013.
Three members of the women’s team set school records at the Pac-12 Championships. Jenna Prandini’s 22.60 is the top mark in Oregon history while freshmen Brittan Mann and Sasha Wallace set school records in the shot put (55-5) and 100 hurdles (13.24), respectively.
Prandini Puts on a Show:
Jenna Prandini won the 100, 200 and long jump at the Pac-12 Championships in Pullman, Wash., this season. She is the first woman to win three events at one Pac-12 Championships meet since Seilala Sue (UCLA) did so in 1999.
Cheserek, Roesler Named National Athlete of the Week:
Edward Cheserek was crowned as the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week, April 28 after being named the Penn Relays Athlete of the Meet. The freshman was a part of winning DMR and 4xMile teams, running mile splits of 3:57.98 and 3:56.4, respectively.
Senior Laura Roesler was named the National Athlete of the Week, April 21, picking up the award for the second time this season after previously being named during the indoor season, Jan. 27.
Flock of Ducks Named Pac-12 Athlete of the Week:
The Pac-12 has named an Oregon competitor the conference athlete of the week in four of the last five weeks. Most recently Edward Cheserek earned the honor, being named on April 29.
Jenna Prandini has been named twice, once after setting a world-leading mark at the San Diego Invitational (April 1) and another after winning the 100 and 4x100 at the Mt. SAC Relays (April 8).
Laura Roesler won her award after taking the 800 title at the Pepsi Dual.