The Oregon track and field team will take part in its final tune-up leading to the NCAA Indoor Championships when they return to Dempsey Indoor for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships, Friday-Saturday (Feb. 28 – March 1).
While this is the last chance to qualify for the national meet in Albuquerque, N.M., the pressure is not necessarily mounting for the Ducks. Oregon has been successful in gradually qualifying over the course of the season. Of the 25 marks currently in position to qualify for the NCAA Championships (15 women, 10 men), the Ducks have at least one from every meet this season.
This weekend, some will look to solidify and add to those marks, while others will simply get one more chance to compete before heading to Albuquerque.
The Women of Oregon have stayed at No. 1 following the bye week, making it two-straight weeks the Ducks have been at the top of the USTFCCCA rankings.
The Men of Oregon dropped a spot in the latest standings and are currently No. 5.
Individual Top Performers:
The Men of Oregon currently have eight top-10 marks in the nation so far this season. Leading the way is freshman Edward Cheserek who is part of the teams’ two top-ranked times. Cheserek is third in both the 5,000 and in the DMR with Mac Fleet, Jack Galpin and Boru Guyota.
The Women of Oregon have 12 top-10 marks this season. In addition to depth, the Ducks have power at the top with three top-seeded times at 400 meters (Phyllis Francis), 800 (Laura Roesler) and in the long jump (Jasmine Todd).
The team’s split to the Husky Classic and Don Kirby Invitational, Feb. 14-15 proved to be successful as the Ducks put up 15 feats that are currently in position to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Five Oregon athletes set school records, while Sasha Wallace also tied one of her own. Robert Johnson called it, “One of, if not the best, weekends in Oregon track and field history.”
Wallace Writing the Record Book:
In her first finals race as a member of the Oregon track team, freshman Sasha Wallace broke the Ducks’ school record in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.21. Since then, the freshman has kept improving and brought her school record down to 8.10.
At the Don Kirby Collegiate, Wallace made her collegiate debut in the triple jump and set another school record on her first attempt (12.87m). Wallace improved on that distance, moving to 42-5.5 (12.94m) during her final jump of the day.
American Junior Record:
Sasha Wallace’s time of 8.10 in the 60-meter hurdles which was first set at the Rod McCravy Invitational and again at the Don Kirby Collegiate is an American Junior Indoor Record.
The Ducks have set seven indoor school records this season, five coming on the women’s side and two on the men’s side. Sasha Wallace holds school records in the in 60 hurdles (8.10) and the triple jump (42-5.5). Laura Roesler (800 – 2:01.32) and Phyllis Francis (200 – 22.92) each have individual school records this season and were also a part of the 4x400 relay team (3:30.08) which ran the fastest time in Oregon history.
Mike Berry and Greg Skipper each set records last time out. Berry moved down to the 400 and ran 20.84 at the Don Kirby while Skipper went 68-3 (20.80m) in the weight throw at the Husky Classic.
Going the Distance:
The Oregon men’s talent and depth was on display at the UW Invitational as the Ducks went 1-2 in the distance medley relay. The team of Mac Fleet, Jack Galpin, Boru Guyota and Edward Cheserek finished in 9:28.91, the second fastest time in the NCAA this season.
The team of Brett Johnson, Arthur Delaney, Russell Hornsby and Trevor Dunbar was close on the heels of their teammates. The second quartet finished in a close second with a time of 9:31.64, the fourth-fastest time in the country this year.
Ducks Add 13 to 2015 Signing Class:
The women’s signees include four Track and Field News All-Americans and combined to win 18 individual state championships. In total, the soon-to-be Ducks have accrued nine Track and Field News All-America awards, highlighted by the trio of Ariana Washington, a four-time All-American, National High School Cross Country Champion Sarah Baxter and World Youth Championships bronze medalist Raevyn Rogers. Joining them are Texas hurdles champion Alaysha Johnson and four-time state champion Ashlee Moore.
The men’s class encompasses four state champions, highlighted by Nate Moore, a 2013 Track and Field News All-American triple jumper last year, and Blake Haney, who placed fifth at the World Youth Championships in the 1,500 - the highest by an American at the event. Joining them is Oregon’s top decathlete, Liam Henshaw, Pennsylvania javelin thrower Jhett Janis and New Jersey 3,200 champion Kyle Levermore.
Roesler Named National Athlete of the Week:
Senior Laura Roesler was named the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week, Jan. 27. Roesler was the first Oregon athlete to receive the award in the two years it has existed.
The Oregon senior ran away from the 800 field at the Kentucky Rod McCravy Invitational– the Division I Meet of the Week – and turned in a winning time of 2:01.32 on UK’s oversized track (291m) for the second-fastest indoor all-conditions performance in collegiate history in an Oregon school record. She finished more than five seconds clear of runner-up Yanique Malcom of Alabama.
In addition to her individual showing at 800 meters, she also ran the 800-meter leg of the Ducks’ nation-leading distance medley relay in approximately 2:02.5 on Friday. Hers was the decisive leg of the relay, as she gave the Ducks a lead that would eventually translate to a 10:56.77 – fourth-fastest in school history.
Seniors Laura Roesler and Phillis Francis were included on February’s edition of The Bowerman Women’s Watchlist. Redshirt freshman Jasmine Todd was included in the “also receiving votes” section.