SportsTrack & Field

Ducks see 21 athletes set qualifying marks

Nicole Blood and Andrew Wheating set NCAA bests in the 5,000 meters and 800 meters, respectively, and the women’s 4×400-meter relay team lowered its school record in another dramatic weekend for Oregon track and field.

Competing at the Husky Classic in Seattle, Blood won Friday’s 5,000m in 15:51.69 in a race that saw eight NCAA automatic-qualifying marks. Among them was Oregon teammate Mattie Bridgmon (seventh, 16:02.48), whose time now ranks second in school history.

On Saturday, Wheating posted an automatic-qualifying mark of 1:46.36 to win the men’s 800m in the best time posted by an American this season. The Husky Classic was good to the Ducks’ middle-distance corps: Freshman Mac Fleet set a school record in the indoor mile (3:57.70) while fellow freshman Elijah Greer hit an automatic qualifying mark in the 800m as well (1:47.33).

Oregon sent members of its men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams to the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., and once again the women’s relay team stole the show. Despite finishing second to Arkansas, the women lowered their school record to 3:33.31, an NCAA provisional mark that fell just .01 seconds off the automatic standard.

LaMichael James made his Oregon track debut at the Husky Classic 60-meter dash, finishing first among collegians and third overall. His time of 6.77 seconds ties the third-best time in school history.

In all, Duck athletes set 21 NCAA provisional- or automatic-qualifying marks over the weekend.

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