Oregon men win 12th straight Pac-12 track and field title, women place second
As the Oregon track and field teams headed to Stanford University for the Pac-12 Championships this weekend, both the men and women had winning streaks to defend. For the past nine seasons, the Ducks have swept the teams titles. The men have won the meet the past 11 years.
On Sunday evening, that streak extended to 12 years after the men placed first in the meet with 174 total points, the fourth-highest in meet history. The women finished second to USC by just 16 points.
“To win a dozen championships is definitely big time for the Ducks,” head coach Robert Johnson told Pac-12 Network after the win.
The Oregon men competed well in the field events. On Saturday, senior Damascus Simpson repeated as long jump champion, jumping a wind aided 27 feet, 4 inches. Fellow jumper Tristan James finished runner up to Simpson, going 25-7.25. The following day, James placed third in the triple jump at 51-3.
In the sprints, Cravon Gillespie took the victory in the 100-meters, running a wind-aided 10.05. Gillespie edged out Damarcus Simpson, who placed second in 10.14. He also took second the 200-meters behind USC’s Michael Norman in 20.26.
In the 110-meter hurdles, Braxton Canady won a highly contested race between the top three finishers in 13.57. He out-kicked WSU’s Nick Johnsonm (13.84) and teammate Joe Anderson (13.96).
Both the 4×100 and 4×400-meter relay teams ran a competitive races and finished runner-up, but did well enough to clinch the team title. The 4×400 team (3:07.57) took second behind Arizona (3:07.46) by a few tenths of a second. USC’s 4×100-meter team, the best relay team in the nation, won in 39.38 seconds. Oregon’s team of Simpson, Gillespie, Julius Shellmire and Rieker Daniel went 39.41.
In the men’s distance races, Tanner Anderson ran 29 minutes, 39.64 seconds in the 10,000 meters, finishing just behind the winner, Jack Keelan of Stanford. Cooper Teare was the top Duck finisher in a tactical 5,000 meters with a time on 14:13.74. Teammate Jackson Mestler finished a few placed behind him in tenth, running 14:22.
In the women’s events, USC prevailed in a highly contested battle. The Trojans won the title with 170 points, next to Oregon’s 154.
Jessica Hull out-kicked Stanford’s Kristina Aragon to win the 1,500 meters in 4:21.65. Lilli Burdon (4:25.19) and Katie Rainsberger (4:26.98) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
The women’s 4×100 team finished in second place, going 3:33.30 with Briyahna DesRosiers, Shae Anderson, Vanessa D’Arpino and Hannah Waller. USC won the race in 3:30.45.
Continuing her consistent performances all season long, Sabrina Southerland won the 800-meters in 2:02.18, just edging ASU’s Alethia Marrero. Southerland’s time was less than a second slower than her personal-best. Susan Ejore ran 2:05.00, good for fifth place.
Ariana Washington, trying to bounce back from a lackluster indoor season, placed seventh in the 200-meter finals. Sophomore Makenzie Dunmore was able to get some points by winning the event in 22.37 seconds, but USC finished 2-5, securing most of the possible points in the event.
The Ducks will look to build on this momentum as they head to the NCAA West Prelims in Sacramento next week. That will be the team’s final tune-up before the NCAA Championships in Eugene in June.
Follow August Howell on Twitter @howell_august
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