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NCAA Track & Field Championships: Oregon men and women sit in first place halfway through competition

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday was another busy day of action at the NCAA Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field, but nobody was busier than Oregon's Jenna Prandini.

Due to a new meet format where the men compete on Wednesday and Friday while the women compete on Thursday and Saturday, Prandini had no time to rest between several of her events on Thursday evening.

In the women's long jump final, Prandini took second overall with a jump of 22 feet, 3 and 3/4 inches, an Oregon school record.

Prandini also qualified for the finals in the 100 and 200 while helping Oregon's 4x100 team advance through to Saturday's finals as well. She'll have Friday to recover before another big day on Saturday.

The 4x100 team of Marybeth Sant, Jasmine Todd, Ashante Horsley and Prandini finished second in their heat to automatically qualify for Saturday's final with a time of 43.49 seconds. Texas A&M had the top overall time, winning their heat in 43.00 seconds. Saturday's final will also include Texas (43.12), Florida (43.30), LSU (43.32), USC (43.62), Mississippi (44.10), and Purdue (44.20). Mississippi and Purdue qualified on their times while all others qualified by finishing in the top two of their respective heat.

Todd, who was part of Oregon's 4x100 team, also set a personal best in the long jump with a mark of 21 feet, 10 inches to finish fourth.

In the 1,500 meters, Nikki Hiltz squeaked into the final, qualifying off her time of 4:18.26 in the first heat. Hiltz finished seventh, missing an automatic bid, but was able to advance to the final thanks to a slow second heat in which the fourth and fifth place finishers (top five from each heat automatically qualify), both ran slower times than Hiltz.

In the women's hammer throw final, Oregon's Jillian Weir opened the scoring for the Ducks with a fourth place finish, earning Oregon five points. Going into the finals, Weir sat in fifth place with a best throw of 208 feet, 2 inches. Weir then improved in the finals with a throw of 218-11, moving up one spot to pick up an additional point.

Finally, there was a bit of a surprise in the 10,000 meters as Molly Grabill and Waverly Neer finished fourth and fifth in the final, picking up nine points for the Ducks. Grabill had been sitting back in ninth place about halfway through the race, but moved up to finish fourth in 33:26.61 while Neer took fifth in 33:26.98.

The meet continues today with a jam-packed slate of men's finals, including the much anticipated 5,000 meters final with Edward Cheserek and Eric Jenkins, who went 1-2 in Wednesday's 10,000 meters final.