Preview: Oregon track and field opens 2017 outdoor season at Florida Relays and Stanford Invitational
Oregon track and field will split its team between two meets to open the 2017 outdoor season. The distance runners will compete in the Stanford Invitational on Friday and Saturday, while the sprinters, throwers and jumpers compete in the Florida Relays on Thursday through Saturday.
After making history during the indoor season by winning the 3,000 and 5,000 meters at the NCAA Championships for an NCAA-leading 17 titles, Edward Cheserek will begin his final season as a Duck in the 10,000-meter. He will lead a team of three other Ducks, including redshirt freshman Tanner Anderson in his outdoor season debut.
Freshman standout Katie Rainsberger will also begin her debut outdoor season, set to run in the 800-meter. Meanwhile, Maggie Schmaedick will begin her final season as a Duck by participating in the 10k as the lone Oregon entry.
Both the men’s and women’s teams will be well-represented in the 1,500-meter. After competing in the 5,000-meter earlier in the day, Matthew Maton will lead a fleet of seven Ducks, including Sam Prakel, making his first appearance since the cross country season. For the women, Lilli Burdon will lead a team of three.
Oregon will send the majority of its athletes – 38 of them specifically – to the Florida Relays down in Gainesville.
After winning their seventh indoor title in eight years and setting the meet record for points earned, the women of Oregon will attempt to make history in the outdoor season. Coupled with their cross country title, if the women win outdoors they will become the first women’s team to win a triple crown.
Many Ducks will ease into their outdoor seasons by competing only in relays. The women’s team will send two relay teams in each of the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400 races. Deajah Stevens and Raevyn Rogers will compete in all three of the relays, along with freshmen Makenzie Dunmore and Hannah Waller. Hannah Cunliffe and Ariana Washington will only compete in the 4×100 and 4×200 relays.
Some of the women athletes will compete in other events besides the relays. Coming off her first NCAA title, Sasha Wallace will run in the 100-meter hurdles, alongside Rhesa Foster and Alaysha Johnson, another athlete competing in all three of the relay events.
Foster is also set to participate in the long jump. Two other athletes, Chaquinn Cook and Oregon newcomer Kiare Tanner, will join her before competing in the triple jump as well.
Oregon will also send four female throwers, including freshmen Kiana Phelps and Maddie Rabing. Both will participate in the shot put in addition to the discus and hammer throw, respectively. After decent indoor seasons, Ronna Stone and Madeline Middlebrooks will lead the way for the newcomers. Like Phelps, Stone will also double in the shot put and discus, while Middlebrooks focuses on the hammer throw.
For the men, Oregon will send one team in each of the relays. Only senior Marcus Chambers is set to run in all three. Kyree King, Julius Shellmire and Damarcus Simpson will join him in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200.
To train for the decathlon, Joe Delgado and Mitch Modin will compete in the 110 hurdles, alongside Braxton Canady and Jonathan Harvey.
Ryan Hunter-Simms will lead a huge group of Oregon throwers, participating in both the shot put and the discus with Sebastian Barajas and Drake Brennan. Cullen Prena is also entered in the discus, in addition to the hammer throw.
After finishing 1-2 at last year’s Pac-12 Championships, Cody Danielson and John Nizich, will make their season debut in the javelin.
Follow Hannah Bonnie on Twitter @hbonnie03
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