Campus Roundup: Cheserek leads Ducks at Penn Relays, acro wins fourth-straight title

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It was a busy week in Oregon athletics. Back east, freshman sensation Edward Cheserek led the Ducks to big wins at the Penn Relays, while acrobatics & tumbling defeated Azusa Pacific for their fourth straight national championship on Saturday.

Acrobatics & Tumbling

Oregon's acrobatics and tumbling team continued their dynasty, winning their fourth consecutive national championship on Saturday night. The Ducks defeated Azusa Pacific 290.825-282.600. The Ducks got off on the right foot with a pair of perfect scores in the compulsory round, taking a 39.250-38.90 lead after the first event. The Cougars managed to hang with the Ducks in all three acro heats as both teams earned a total score of 29.45. Oregon would win the pyramid event to lead 98.65-96.90 going into the half. Azusa Pacific would narrowly win its first event, taking the toss event by a score of 29.55-29.40. A perfect 10 from Nicole Erlichmann in the tumbling event lifted the Ducks to a 59.325-58.50 win in the event. Erlichmann has achieved a perfect score in each national championship meet she has competed in. Leading by 2.425 points heading into the final event, the Ducks wrapped up the win in the team performance to clinch their fourth consecutive national championship. The win redeemed a loss to Azusa Pacific back on April 7.

Baseball

The Ducks had their nine-game win streak snapped on Friday in a 3-1 loss to the No. 5 Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis. The Beavers jumped out to the early lead with a sacrifice fly from Dylan Davis. The damage could've been much worse as the bases were loaded with no outs. After an RBI double from Michael Conforto in the fifth and a solo home run from Caleb Hamilton in the sixth, the Beavers had built their lead to three runs. Oregon got on the board in the ninth as a ground out from J.B. Bryant drove home Kyle Garlick, but despite sending six hitters to the plate, the Ducks couldn't spark a comeback.

On Saturday, Jeff Gold delivered a masterful performance, pitching seven innings of shutout baseball. Unfortunately for the Ducks, Garrett Cleavinger couldn't do the same, giving up four runs in the bottom of the eighth to Oregon State as the Beavers defeated the Ducks 4-2 in Corvallis. After issuing two walks and a hit, Dylan Davis delivered the go-ahead hit, driving in two runs. Caleb Hamilton drove in two more runs for insurance as the Beavers clinched the series win.

The Ducks and Beavers wrap up their weekend series today at 1:00 pm. You can catch the action on ESPNU.

Golf

The Oregon men's golf team struggled during Friday's opening round at the Pac-12 Championships, carding a first round score of 384 (+24), tied for 10th with Washington State. Stanford found themselves at the top of the leaderboard on Friday, shooting a 362 (+2). Zach Foushee was Oregon's top performer in the opening round, shooting a 73 (+1), tied for 17th overall. Washington State's Michael Anderson topped the individual leaderboard, shooting a 70 (-2). Play was suspended midway through the second round due to a slower pace than officials had anticipated.

Oregon continued to struggle on Saturday, carding a 389 (+29), remaining in 10th place heading into the final round. Jonathan Woo moved up from being tied for 21st to a tie for eighth on the individual leaderboard, shooting an even par on Saturday. Stanford's Patrick Rodgers sits atop the leaderboard at seven-under through three rounds as the Cardinal appear to be running away with the tournament, holding a 21-stroke lead over California heading into the final round.

Oregon will be paired up with Washington State and Utah for today's final round.

The women dealt with tough weather in Corvallis on Friday as they opened play at the Pac-12 Championships, carding a 300 (+12), tying for eighth place along with Oregon State. UCLA led after the first day, carding a 285 (-3). Cassy Isagawa led Oregon on Friday, carding a 74 (+20) to tie for 20th individually. Caroline Inglis and Cathleen Santoso finished Friday both one stroke behind Isagawa, carding a 75 (+21).

The Ducks improved by one stroke as a team on Saturday, carding a 299 (+11) in the second round. Raphaela Dyer and Cathleen Santoso led Oregon, each carding a 74 (+2) for the round. Despite improving by a stroke as a team, the Ducks dropped to ninth overall. Oregon State, who had been sitting in eighth place with the Ducks, carded a 296 (+8) in the second round to improve to seventh place. California, who the Ducks were paired with, fell from seventh to eighth after carding a 299 as well. Through two rounds, Cathleen Santoso leads the Ducks as she sits tied for 29th with a total score of 149 (+5).

Oregon will be paired with Washington State and Colorado today as the tournament wraps up.

Lacrosse

Oregon had their hands full on Friday night at Papé Field in Eugene as they took on Denver. The Pioneers were undefeated in conference play heading into the matchup, and kept things that way, defeating Oregon 11-5. With the win, the Pioneers clinched the top seed in the MPSF Tournament for the second consecutive year. Rachel McKinnon got things going for Denver with a natural hat trick in less than three minutes. After two goals in 17 seconds from the Ducks, Denver led 7-4 in the second half, but after Nikki Puszcz's second goal of the game brought Oregon within three goals, the Pioneers took control and answered with three straight goals to seal the victory and the top seed. Oregon will now play Colorado for the No. 3 seed. If Oregon wins, they'll face San Diego State on Thursday.

Softball

The No. 1 Oregon softball team kept rolling on Friday with a 7-0 win over Stanford in Palo Alto. Oregon jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and with the Ducks posting a 20-0 record when scoring in the first, Cheridan Hawkins went to work. Hawkins improved to 26-3 on the year, allowing just four hits while striking out seven. Oregon took control in the third inning with four runs, including a triple from Koral Costa that drove in a pair of runs.

The Ducks kept things rolling with a 7-1 win over Stanford on Saturday afternoon to clinch the series. Oregon starter Karissa Hovinga went 5 1/3 innings, giving up one run on just three hits. Jasmine Smithson-Willett came on in relief for Hovinga, giving up only one hit while striking out four. A two-run double from Janelle Lindvall in the third inning gave the Ducks a 2-0 lead. Oregon would double their lead with a triple from Janie Takeda in the fourth inning. Then, with Takeda on third, Kailee Cuico launched a two-run homer to give Oregon a 6-0 lead. That's all the Ducks would need for their ninth straight win.

Oregon will go for the sweep against Stanford today, with first pitch scheduled for noon.

Tennis

The men's tennis team kicked off the Pac-12 Championship with a 4-2 win over Washington, their first ever win at the tournament. Oregon won two of three doubles matches to take the doubles point and kept rolling with two straight wins in singles play. Washington earned their first singles wins in the No. 2 and No. 5 match to cut Oregon's lead to 3-2. The Ducks wrapped up the upset with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win in the No. 3 match.

The Ducks delivered another upset on Thursday with a 4-2 win over Stanford. After losing the doubles point and the No. 5 singles match, Oregon trailed 2-1. The Ducks notched a comeback win in the No. 6 singles match to tie things up at 2-2. Oregon then took the lead with a win in the No. 2 singles match. The Ducks completed the comeback with a win in the No. 1 match to advance to the semi-finals.

Unfortunately, Oregon's magic ran out on Friday in a 4-0 loss to UCLA. The Bruins kicked off with wins in the No. 3 and No. 1 doubles matches and kept the momentum rolling with three straight wins in singles play. Marcos Giron, ranked No. 3 in the nation, defeated Robert Cambier 6-3, 6-4 to send UCLA to the finals. The Bruins will face cross-town rival USC, while the Ducks will wait and see if they can return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2004.

For the women, Lina Akesson was the only Duck to advance to the next round with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 win over Arizona's Inge Hendrikx on Thursday. However, Akesson would fall to USC's Giuliana Olmos, 6-0, 6-2. Lana Buttner and Nicole Long both dropped their championship flights on the day.

On Friday, all three of Oregon's doubles teams fell, as well as three players drop their consolation matches. Lana Buttner and Nicole Long fell to Cal's duo of Lynn Chi and Anett Schutting 8-4. Allie Hueffner and Kadie Hueffner dropped their match to Arizona State's Kassidy Jump and Joanna Smith 8-2. Utah's Luisa Gerstner da Rosa and Sarh Richter defeated Oregon's Lena Macomson and Maja Salibasic 8-2. Salibasic picked up Oregon's lone win on Friday with a 6-1, 2-6, (11-9) win over Colorado's Ashley Tiefel.

Track & Field

This week, the Oregon men jumped to the top of the USTFCCA outdoor rankings for the first time since 2009. At the Penn Relays this weekend, they showed why. Freshman Edward Cheserek led the Ducks to wins in the Distance Medley Relay on Friday and the 4xMile on Saturday and was named the Penn Relays Men’s College Athlete of the Meet. Cheserek clocked a 3:56.4 mile during the second leg of the 4xMile, the fastest split of the meet. The day before Cheserek, ran a 3:57.98 to help lead the Ducks to the DMR victory. Mac Fleet sealed the win in the 4xMile, crossing the line in 4:00.4 to earn Oregon their fifth Penn Wheel. Fittingly enough, Fleet has been a part of all five wins.

On the women's side, the 4x400 team of Claudia Francis, Chizoba Okodogbe, Laura Roesler and Phyllis Francis finished second in the Championship of America with a time of 3:29.82, the fourth-fastest time in the NCAA this season. Oregon's 4x800 team of Claudia Francis, Samantha Murphy, Annie Leblanc and Roesler took second place with a time of 8:22.54, finishing behind Villanova. This was the second straight year the Ducks finished runners-up in the 4x800.

Oregon's next meet will be the OSU High Performance Meet on May 2 and the Payton Jordan Invitational on May 4.

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