After winning the NCAA title in the DMR the night prior, the women of Oregon earned another title thanks to redshirt senior Sabrina Southerland.
In the 800-meter final, Southerland won the event in two minutes and 1.55 seconds for her first national title.
Not only was it a two-second personal record for Southerland, but the time also marks the No. 3 fastest time in Oregon history, the second fastest meet time and the sixth fastest time in collegiate indoor history.
“I have no words,” Southerland said. “I just saw a spot and was like, ‘I can go,” and then I just made a definitive move and went for it and at the straightaway was like, ‘I’m not letting go.’ … I’ve come to this meet every year since my sophomore year and never even made the final. I was just trying to do my best to follow in Raevyn’s (Rogers) footsteps and do the best I could. I’m so happy.”
For Oregon, it’s the team’s third straight NCAA indoor 800m, its fourth in the last five years.
Southerland’s record-winning 800m, highlighted the second day of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships for the Ducks in College Station, Texas, at the Gilliam Indoor Stadium.
The women of Oregon finished fifth overall with 31 points, one spot shy of earning a team trophy. The men of Oregon tied for 13th with a total of 16 points.
“I like the way we battled,” head coach Robert Johnson said. “I like that when it was dark, dim and gloomy, we stuck to our guns and battled. We had an outstanding final day; the girls did really well and I’m very proud of them for that, and the guys did as well. I’m most proud of the way that they competed, even though we were a little short of our goal.”
Redshirt senior Sam Prakel and freshman Reed Brown started the day off for the Ducks in the men’s mile. Prakel finished third with a time of three minutes and 58.39 seconds, and Brown in eighth with 4:01.94. Both earned first-team All-America honors and seven total points for Oregon.
In the 3,000 meters, Jessica Hull and Lilli Burdon, who both helped Oregon earn the DMR title last night, placed in the top-10. Hull came in third in nine minutes, 01.96 and Burdon in ninth in a time of 9:04.62. In the men’s race, junior James West finished in sixth place in 8:06.94 for his first ever NCAA Championship meet. Both Hull and West earned first-team All-America honors for the event.
The meet concluded with the women’s 4×400 meter relay with an Oregon team of Shae Anderson, Briyahna DesRosiers, Makenzie Dunmore and Southerland. The women placed fourth, running a season-best 3:30.00.
Concluding the indoor season, Oregon will now transition into outdoor competition, with their first meet at the Lewis & Clark Spring Break Open in Portland next weekend, March 16-17. A week later the team will travel to San Diego for the SDSU Aztec Invitational, March 23 and 24.
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter: @maggie_vanoni