Photos: NCAA Championships Day 3

Oregon distance runner Cooper Teare races in the 5000m. The NCAA Track & Field National Championships are held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. on Friday, June 8, 2018. (Adam/Emerald)

With six events and 16 Ducks competing on day seven of the U.S Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon had another chance to show why they are, and have been, known as one of the nation’s premiere programs. After a poor first event, the Ducks represented themselves well on Thursday night.  

In the first event of the day, the women’s long jump, three past and present Ducks competed. 

Alum Jasmine Todd got the ball rolling on her first jump. Her score of 21 feet and 9.5 inches was a season best, and enough to advance her to Saturday’s final. 

The other two Ducks in the event, Rhesa Foster and Alysah Hickey, failed to advance. 

The Oregon athletes would make up for themselves in a big way in the men’s 1500 meters. Six current and former Ducks competed in the event, and all six of them automatically qualified for Friday’s semifinal.

The most noteworthy performance of the round came from reigning NCAA champion Cole Hocker, whose time of three minutes and 39.72 seconds marked the best in the second heat. Hocker finished just under a second ahead of Olympic gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz (3:40.09) and teammate Jack Yearian (3:40.19).

“I just wanted to make a good effort race,” Hocker said. “Getting in the top 5 was the only priority.”

Oregon continued its momentum in the next event, the women’s 200 meters. 

Jenna Prandini was the only Duck to compete in the event coming off a fourth place finish on Saturday’s 100-meter final. She showed up again on Thursday in a big way by running a 22.14 which was enough to win her heat, and qualify her at second overall before Friday’s semifinal. 

Three more Ducks took the stage in the women’s 800 meter. Former Ducks Sabrina Southerland and Raevyn Rogers both won their heats to advance to Friday with times of 2:00.85 and 2:00.75 respectively. 

“I just ran to get the job done,” Southerland said. “Nothing crazy today. It was basically survive and advance to the semis.”

The third Duck who competed in the event, Brooke Feldmeier, failed to advance. 

The second to last event, the men’s 400m hurdles, saw a fair share of slips and mistimed jumps amongst the competitors. Still, Jonathan Harvey looked unfazed. Coming off an NCAA Championship and a school record set in June, Harvey looked as good as ever.

His time of 49.95 placed him second in his heat, but with the top three advancing in each heat, Harvey qualified for Friday's semifinal. 

Three Ducks were set to hit the field in the men’s 5000 meter to cap off the night, but only two competed after Hocker won his 1500m heat. 

Still, Erik Jenkins and Cooper Teare represented Oregon in a big way. Jenkins, an Oregon alumni, was left off the 2016 Rio Olympics team after poor play in the trials. Five years later, Jenkins redeemed himself by winning the first heat at 13:43.18 to qualify for the final. 

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a meet like this, fighting for a spot on a team,” Jenkins said. “I’ve never felt better. I just have to keep putting my best foot forward and keep trusting myself.”

Just under a second behind Jenkins was long distance star Teare. In a year that’s seen him win an NCAA Championship and graduate, Teare kept adding to his resume on Thursday with a time of 13:43.78.

This time placed Teare in fourth in his heat which was enough to advance him to the semifinals.

Of the 16 past and present Ducks who competed on Thursday, 13 moved on to Friday’s semifinals. The day will begin at 1 p.m. with the women’s javelin throw. 

Daniel Friis is a sports writer from Belmont, California. He enjoys covering all Oregon sports but mostly softball and baseball. When he’s not writing, he enjoys playing video games, sleeping, fishing, and anything outdoors related.