Devon Allen and Jenna Prandini ensured the University of Oregon some Olympic representation on Saturday, the second to last day of the Olympic Trials.
With a chance to qualify for the Olympics on the line Saturday, two 2016 Olympians and former Ducks left it all on the field and turned in performances worthy of a trip to Tokyo.
On a scorching 90-plus-degree day in Eugene, Allen tied a season-best of 13.10 seconds in the men’s 110-meter hurdles and Prandini ran a personal-best 21.89 in the women’s 200 meters finals. The duo put on a show for Oregon fans en route to second place finishes and automatic bids to the 2021 Olympic Games.
“You have to love this atmosphere,” Allen said. “Luckily there are fans here which is amazing. I have a big home field advantage. I get a lot of love which is much appreciated.”
Prandini finished just .21 seconds shy of New Balance’s Gabby Thomas who set a meet record with a world-leading 21.61.
“I’m really excited,” Prandini said. “We’ve been working really hard at practice… to be able to come out here and execute what I’ve been able to do in practice… to be able to come out here and do well and get a place and punch my ticket to Tokyo, I’m really excited to do that.”
After a strong week at Hayward Field, Prandini feels more prepared than she did heading into the 2016 Olympics.
“I think I'm more mature,” she said, “I think I’m just learning how to race better, but also going into this year I've been battling injuries so my number one focus was to get healthy and stay healthy.”
Similarly, Allen came in .14 seconds behind adidas’ Grant Halloway. Allen was just .07 seconds slower than his personal best. Allen said he’s committed to continued improvement as he prepares for Tokyo.
“Keep doing what I’ve been doing,” he said. “Be aggressive. Feeling fast. My start is pretty good. First race of the round. Faster than I did three years ago. In the past I have trended faster each time.”
In Saturday’s women’s long jump finals Jasmine Todd leaped a season-best 21 feet, 10 inches on her second attempt of the day but scratched on her final jumps, finishing eighth and bringing an unfortunate end to her Olympic hopes.
Despite finishing fifth in his heat, former Pac-12 champion Kyree King’s personal-best of 20.23 seconds was fast enough to qualify for Sunday’s finals.