Head Coach Robert Johnson still remembers hearing the announcer address the crowd, alerting them of Oregon’s presence one of the first times he brought the track and field team to the prestigious Penn Relays.
“Here comes Oregon,” the speakers boomed. “And they have sprinters!”
Raevyn Rogers described the atmosphere of the Penn Relays with the same excitement, calling it “a festival for track.”
Oregon has been “putting on a show,” as Rogers puts it, at the Penn Relays since 2010 when the men’s distance medley relay team, that included Matthew Centrowitz and Andrew Wheating, took home the school’s first victory
Now, the Ducks are well-respected in the East Coast community and hope to continue their dominance this weekend. The Penn Relays will take place Thursday-Saturday and will be streamed live on USATF.tv with a premium subscription.
The Ducks are entered in eight different relays. The men and women are entered in both the 4×100 and 4×400 relays. Additionally, the women will be in the 4×1,500 and the sprint medley, while the men compete in the DMR and the 4xmile, which will both feature Sam Prakel.
“We have been running as individuals up until this point trying to chase regional qualifying times, but this kind of reminds us how great of a team sport track can be,” he said of the emphasis on relays the meet has.
However, there will be some individuals competing. Alaysha Johnson is set to compete in the 100-meter hurdles, while Jackson Mestler runs in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
In addition, a couple throwers will travel to the Penn Relays, including Cody Danielson and John Nizich in the javelin and Ryan Hunter-Simms in both the shot put and the discus.
The majority of the throwers and the rest of the track and field team will travel the much shorter distance up to Corvallis for the OSU High Performance. Drake Brennan and Sebastian Barajas are doubling in the discus and shot put. In both events, they will be joined by other throwers, including T.J. Brassil and Austin White in the shot put and Cullen Prena in the discus. Prena is also set to compete in the hammer throw with Max Lydum and Austin Tharp.
For the women, Kiana Phelps, Ronna Stone and Maddie Rabing will compete in the shot put and discus, while Rabing will also participate in the hammer throw with Madeline Middlebrooks. Annie Whitfield will be in the javelin.
More sprinters will compete in individual events at OSU, particularly in the hurdles. Rhesa Foster will double in the 100-meter hurdles – where she will be joined by Khadejah Jackson – and the long jump. Chaquinn Cook rounds out the jumpers in the triple jump.
Set to compete in the men’s 110 hurdles is Braxton Canady, along with decathletes Mitch Modin and Joe Delgado. The two of them will also be in the pole vault (with Cole Walsh) and shot put.
Coming off an NCAA-leading performance in the 1,500-meter two weeks ago, Katie Rainsberger will compete in the 800-meter, alongside Brooke Feldmeier.
Follow Hannah Bonnie on Twitter @hbonnie03