Unlike day one’s downpour of rain, Saturday’s warm and partly cloudy weather for day two of three in the Pac-12 Championships called for fast times and far throws from the competitors.
After ending Friday just one point ahead of Washington (60) in the men’s team standings, Oregon (67) maintained control of the lead as it looks to capture its 15th consecutive men’s conference title.
Max Vollmer won his third consecutive Pac-12 title in the decathlon, totalling 7,961 points. Teammate Jett Kinder joined him on the podium, finishing in second place with 7,124 points.
On the women’s side of team totals, the Ducks (60) recaptured over Colorado (44) the lead on day two of the meet thanks to some strong performances in the long jump and shot put.
Oregon’s pair of redshirt sophomores, Alysah Hickey and Dominique Ruotolo, went one-two in the women’s long jump which added a much-needed 18 points to the team total. Hickey leaped for 6.41 meters while Ruotolo finished with a personal best at 6.24 meters.
“Let's go one and two,” Hickey said. “We were talking about it all of last week.”
This is Hickey’s second Pac-12 long jump title in a row.
The scariest moment of the meet happened on Hickey’s final attempt when she went down with an apparent injury. Fortunately, it was just a cramp.
Ducks redshirt freshman Jaida Ross placed second in the women’s shot put final while Mine de Klerk, her usual podium partner, barely missed out on the top three as she finished fourth.
A big underdog coming into Saturday’s long jump final was Eugene native and Oregon senior Pierre LaCoste, but he didn’t let that stop him from securing his first ever individual conference championship. LaCoste achieved his furthest jump of his career on his fifth jump of 7.73 meters.
“I did all four years of state championships in high school at Hayward so being able to come back into my college experience here has been something really special,” LaCoste said.
NCAA champion triple jumper Emmanuel Ihemeje was placed in the event mainly for scoring purposes and ended up coming in second with his second jump of 7.64 meters. Ihemeje passed on his final three jumps which LaCoste noted he was thankful for.
“He skipped his last three jumps too. So I mean, he could have passed me if he wanted to,” LaCoste said.
Micah Williams, Xavier Nairne and Ryan Mulholland all qualified for the 100-meter finals with Mulholland achieving a personal best of 10.41.
Ducks freshman Ella Clayton won her heat and advanced to Sunday’s finals in the women's 400 meters when she crossed at 53.09. Teammate Katriina Wright, who ran an impressive 53.66, also qualified for the finals.
Taylor Chocek threw for a personal best in the javelin (40.91 meters) but was unable to get a podium spot in the heptathlon. She went into the last event of the heptathlon, the 800 meters, in third place with 685 points but fell to fourth after coming in sixth in the final race.
With three pairs of Oregon competitors going one-two, the Ducks have put themselves in good position to claim both the women’s and men’s Pac-12 titles on Sunday at 11 a.m.