For the first time since 2012, the NCAA Division-1 Outdoor Track and Field Championships will not be held at Hayward Field.
Oregon has 30 entries for the championship meet in Austin, Texas, at Mike A. Myers Stadium, which runs from June 5-8. With 15 men and 15 women entered, both squads will be in contention for a national title. Oregon’s complete list of qualifiers can be found here.
On the men’s side, Texas Tech leads the nation with 19 entries, with 10 of their athletes ranked top-10 in their respective events. Florida and LSU are not far behind with 16 and 13 entries, respectively. Meanwhile, Oregon has three athletes ranked in the top-3 overall.
With the women, Arkansas is the frontrunner with 17 entries. USC has 13 entries, and Florida State has 11. Though the Ducks have many entries in the competition, the pre-championships rankings have the men and women ranked at sixth and eighth, respectively.
Oregon boasts five throwers from various disciplines, including Max Lydum (hammer), Kiana Phelps (discus), Keira McCarrell (javelin), Jackson VanVuren and John Nizich (javelin).
Lydum — a redshirt junior who secured the 12th and final qualifying spot at the west regional meet — was ecstatic to know he made his first outdoor championship roster. He is especially glad to have multiple throwers on the championship roster after Oregon qualified just two for the final meet last season.
“Everything individual is about contributing to that team effort,” Lydum said. “As a throws group, we think we can do that, and I think I can do that as well.”
Cravon Gillespie and Oraine Palmer will race the 100 and 200 meters, as well as the 4x100-meter relay. Gillespie in particular is expected to be a frontrunner for at least one title and has top-10 times in both individual sprint events. Eric Edwards Jr., one of two freshman qualifiers, will race the 110-meter hurdles, along with Joseph Anderson.
Jessica Hull and Reed Brown are the only Ducks racing the 1,500 meters. Hull will be looking to repeat as the event champion. Cooper Teare, fresh off his win at the Pac-12 championships, will race the 5,000 meters. Several other Pac-12 champions will race as well, including Max Vollmer in the decathlon and Orwin Emilien in the 400 meters.
Venessa D’Arpino has competed on the national stage before as part of the 4x400-meter relay team. But after setting a lifetime best of 52.22 seconds for 400 meters at the west regional meet, the senior finally earned an individual entry and will compete with her teammates, Hannah Waller and Briyahna DesRosiers. All three will compete in both relays as well.
While D’Arpino likes the drama and thrill of the relay, she said she was glad to secure an individual entry.
“Being a part of the relay and having that opportunity really set the tone for me this year of wanting to get there individually and prove that I’m good enough to be there,” D’Arpino said.
“We got more girls and guys into the NCAA than I think a lot of us were projected,” D’Arpino said. “We’ve put in all the work and now it’s time to do the dance.”
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