EUGENE, Ore. – The Oregon track and field team saw great success with three school records falling, Friday at the Don Kirby Collegiate Elite in Albuquerque, N.M., and the Husky Classic in Seattle. In addition to the records, the Ducks logged a number of nationally-ranked marks which put them in good position to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Quarter-mile specialist Mike Berry broke a nine-year old indoor school record with a run of 20.84 in the 200, bettering the previous mark of 21.10 set by Kedar Inico in 2005. The senior was the second-fastest collegiate athlete in the field and his time is the seventh-fastest in the NCAA this season.
Shortly after Berry took down the men’s record, Phyllis Francis put her mark on top of the record book in the women’s indoor 200 with a time of 22.92. Francis led a trio of Ducks who were all in the same heat and each finished with a top-five time in Oregon history. Jenna Prandini, who finished second in 23.30, is third all-time while Jasmine Todd stamped her name with the fifth-fastest time (23.87). Francis and Prandini now rank second and fifth in the NCAA this season.
“For Jasmine and Jenna to add the longer dash to their repertoire, and for Phyllis to come down from the 400, shows the great work that they have put in with Coach Taylor,” said head coach Robert Johnson. “We strive for our sprinters to be balanced across the board and it showed today with every one of our men and women who competed in the 200 setting a PR.”
Nearly 1,500 miles away, another school record was broken as Greg Skipper has continued to improve in the weight throw this year and set a school record with a winning toss of 68-3 (20.80m), breaking the old record set by Brian Richotte in 2007 (68-0.25).
Edward Cheserek made his indoor individual debut in the 5,000 as part of the most competitive field in the nation so far this season which battled through most of the race. The freshman used a late burst with 200 meters remaining to take the lead and separate from the pack, winning in a time of 13:40.51, the third-fastest time in the NCAA this season. The time was also a big personal record for the NCAA Cross Country Champion whose high-school best was 13:57.04.
“Greg’s school record is huge for our team and Edward and Parker's debut in the 5,000 places them exactly where they need to be right now,” said Robert Johnson.
Todd and Prandini were also in action as the top two collegians in the long jump. Todd set a personal record by four inches, reaching 21-4 (6.50m) in her first jump of the finals. The distance is the farthest in the NCAA and the fourth-longest jump by an American this year. Prandini also set a PR with a jump of 20-5.75 (6.24m).
The Ducks were well represented in the high jump at the Don Kirby as Chancey Summers finished second after clearing 5-11.50 which is an indoor-best for the junior. On the men’s side, Bradley Laubacher finished in a tie for fourth, clearing 6-9.75 (2.08m).
Molly Grabill competed in the women’s 5,000 at the Husky Classic and also set a personal record. The redshirt sophomore finished seventh in 16:01.91, ahead of her previous best by more than 36 seconds.
Parker Stinson finished behind Cheserek in the 5,000, taking seventh place in 13:43.51 which puts him at No. 10, nationally.
Jillian Weir took fourth in the weight throw at the Husky Classic with a distance of 62-8.75 (19.12m).
“The competition has been great for both groups and is exactly what we need at this point in the season as we continue toward the NCAA Championships,” Johnson said.
Both meets will resume, Saturday with the first Ducks competing at 9:30 a.m. at the Husky Classic and 9:45 a.m. PT at the Don Kirby.