EUGENE, Ore – If the weekend at the USATF Junior Championships was any indication, the long-standing tradition of Oregon track and field greats is in safe hands, as two Oregon signees won national junior titles, Sunday, to make for a total of three championships and one runner-up finish among incoming freshmen.
Raevyn Rogers went wire-to-wire during her title run in the women’s 800, fighting off a surge with 200 meters remaining before finishing with a comfortable win in 2:04.40. Rogers will be coming to Oregon from Kinkaid High School in Houston, a place where she said she has gotten used to leading the way.
“I’ve been running out front since I can remember,” Rogers said. “I don’t know how, but I guess my coach just got me a long time ago to run from the front.”
And while she did so again today, all that mattered was that she finished in front.
Nate Moore won the men’s triple jump after unleashing a monstrous jump on his fifth attempt. The incoming freshman went 53-7 (3.7w), catapulting to the top of the leaderboard with a distance which won by nearly two feet. Though because Moore did not have a world qualifying mark he will not compete at the World Juniors later this month.
“This is my first time at a meet like this,” Moore said. “I’m just happy to be out here and say I was able to come out and compete with athletes of this caliber.”
While Moore was on the wrong end of the qualifying rule, freshman Maggie Schmaedick used it to her advantage. Schmaedick knew she was the only runner in the women’s 5,000 field with the world standard, so after pushing through 90-degree heat to finish fifth, her mind was still at ease knowing she would have the chance to compete again at Hayward Field later this month.
“I felt pretty relaxed through 3 (kilometers) and then past 3k I really hit the wall all of a sudden,” she said. “Luckily I had the standard, so I feel very fortunate about that.”
Oregon freshman Chris Mulverhill made the podium in the men’s steeplechase, battling hot conditions at Hayward Field. Mulverhill took third in a time of 9:20.55.
Ashlee Moore finished seventh in the women’s 100 hurdles with a time of 13.76. Moore will still be returning to Eugene for the World Championships though, as she won the women’s heptathlon last weekend in Sacramento.
In total, six competitors with ties to Oregon will be competing at the World Junior Championships, July 22-27. Those include freshmen Christian Brennan (400), Cole Walsh (pole vault) and Maggie Schmaedick (5,000) along with incoming freshmen Ashlee Moore (heptathlon), Raevyn Rogers (800) and Ariana Washington (100).