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Women of Oregon win Pac-12 XC title, Cheserek repeats as Pac-12 champion

Your weekly rundown of Oregon cross country and track & field news

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Women win Pac-12 title, Cheserek and Jenkins finish 1-2 in men's race

The Ducks had a successful Halloween trip to the Bay Area at the 2014 Pac-12 cross country championships. The Women of Oregon ran together as a pack to clinch the Pac-12 team title with all five scoring runners placing in the top 15. It was the second conference title in three years for the women.

The Ducks won the team title with 54 points, followed by Stanford with 74 points and Colorado with 82 points.

Leading the Ducks was freshman Frida Berge, who finished in sixth place overall on the 6K course in 20:25. The next four scoring runners for Oregon came across the line in a timespan of just four seconds. All seven of Oregon's runners on the course finished in the top 20 less than twenty seconds apart. Waverly Neer, Molly Grabill and Alli Cash finished in 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively, all within one second of each other. The trio was able to outrun Stanford's group of runners that finished in 13th, 14th and 21st, respectively.

results

On the men's side, Edward Cheserek won his second consecutive Pac-12 title and his sixth straight cross country win overall. Normally, Cheserek hangs with the pack for the majority of the race before making his move. This time, Cheserek pulled away with about two miles to go. Cheserek was the first across the line of the 8K course in 23:23 while fellow Duck Eric Jenkins finished right behind, placing second overall in 23:34.

results

Cheserek joined some elite company with his win, becoming just the third runner in school history to win back-to-back conference titles. Jim Hill (1982-83) and Steve Prefontaine (1970-71) were the only other Oregon runners to ever achieve the feat.

Oregon was not able to upset Colorado, who had all of their scoring runners finish fourth through eighth overall, respectively to win the meet with an astounding score of 30 points. The Men of Oregon finished second overall with 57 points thanks to the 1-2 finish from Cheserek and Jenkins. Had it not been for them, Stanford (who finished third overall with 60 points), would have likely beaten the Ducks.

What's next for the Ducks?

On the men's side, Oregon and Colorado will not meet each other in the NCAA regionals. Despite being from the same conference, Oregon is in the west region while Colorado is in the mountain region. Both teams look poised to win their respective regional meets. The women also look ready to take the West regional crown, but Stanford and Washington should both give the Ducks a run for their money.

Track & field announces 2015 schedule

Before you know it, Oregon will switch from running on golf courses to the track. Last Thursday, the Ducks unveiled their 2015 schedule, featuring three home meets during the spring outdoor season.

One major change this season is the absence of the Oregon Preview, which has traditionally kicked off the outdoor season for the Ducks. Head coach Robert Johnson said that the meet had become a burden for athletes who were in the midst of recovering from the NCAA Indoor Championships and final exams from winter term.

Oregon kicks off the outdoor season on March 20-21 with the USC Trojan Invitational followed by the Stanford Invitational on April 3-4.

The Ducks will open their home schedule with the Pepsi Team Invitational on April 11. The Pepsi meet has always been one of the most competitive meets of the year for the Ducks. This year, Oregon will square off at Hayward Field against Kentucky and Washington.

The next weekend, the Ducks will host the Oregon relays on April 16-18.

Oregon wraps up their home regular season schedule on May 8 with the annual Oregon Twilight meet.

For the third consecutive season, Hayward Field will play host to the NCAA Outdoor Championships on June 10-13. Oregon has a seven-year agreement in place to host the NCAA Outdoor Championships every year through 2021.

Oregon's indoor season kicks off on January 17 with the Washington Preview in Seattle. The Ducks will travel to Seattle four times in total during the indoor season, culminating with the MPSF Championships on February 27-28. This year's indoor championships will be held on March 13-14 in Fayetteville, Ark.