Well, I don't do a whole lot with track and softball, but as there are no other Duck sports really going on right now (save spring football, which I'll have a lenghty report on tomorrow evening), I like to check in every once in a while to see how our Ducks are doing.
Its kind of funny what a difference a coach can make. Duck softball used to be really, really bad. But every since they hired Kathy Arendsen as coach, they have become a power in the Pac-10, and make regular postseason appearances. Currently, our Ducks are ranked #10 in the country, and are #2 in the Pac-10 with an impressive 37-5 record (3-2 in the conference). This weekend, they split a home series with the Barkrodents, and have UCLA coming up next weekend. Perhaps most important is their April 25 matchup with the Beavs. The Civil War cup is all tied up, and this is the last event to go. The Barkrodents have won it two years in a row, so a win would be really nice. But, more importantly is that the lady Ducks keep up their great start and make some noise in the postseason.
Also on Saturday, the Men's and Women's track teams both finished first in the Pepsi Invitational at Hayward Field, besting Kansas State, Washington, and USC. In the process, the Ducks had 19 tracksters qualify for regionals and chalked up nine wins. Of the four womens victories, great performances were turned in by All-American Rachel Yurkovich shattered the meet record in javelin with 174'4" and stud runner Rebekah Noble took the 1500 in 4:22.25. Emily Enders also took home the long jump title. On the men's side, five victories included victories a 100 m win by Phillip Alexander, who was the conference's athlete of the week, the team 100m relay win, and a 5,000 m triumph by Galen Rupp. The next major event for the Ducks is the Oregon Invitational on April 20. Its nice to see some track swagger back in Track Town USA.
Even though these teams don't get the national pub that basketball and football do, they represent our university well and are more than deserving of our support. If you're in Eugene, catch a meet or a game (I can tell you that softball games at Howe Field are very entertaining).