In what was ultimately a banner day and a great impetus for the celebration of the program, a few Ducks managed to stand out at the Pac-12 Championships this weekend in Seattle. Oregon brought home a commanding 10th straight men's team title, while the women won for (only) the eighth straight year.
Devon Allen and Hannah Cunliffe were each awarded Athlete of the Meet honors for their stellar performances. The pair have been lights out all year and this weekend was no different. Allen started off Saturday by breaking the Pac-12 meet record in his 110 hurdle prelims (13.32) and followed on Sunday by again blowing away the field in 13.61. As was the case Saturday, no one ran under 14 seconds leaving Allen alone with his thoughts. Allen also claimed hardware in the 200, besting 4x100 teammate Marcus Chambers to win in 20.88. Chambers took third in 20.97. Chambers would get a title of his own in the 400 (45.94) for another 10 points. Those would be Allen's only wins, although third place finishes in the 100 (10.48) and 4x100 alongside Chambers, Christian Sourapas and Travonn White proved pivotal.
Not to be outdone, Hannah Cunliffe was a triple winner. As a part of the 4x100 team that had been untouchable all year, the fearsome foursome shattered the Pac-12 meet record in a time of 42.71. Teammates Jasmine Todd, Deajah Stevens and Ariana Washington would all go on to add points in the individual sprints. Cunliffe swept the sprints taking gold in both the 100 (11.08) and 200. The 100 was a clean sweep of the medals, as Washington (11.19) and Stevens (11.35) were hot on her heels. Teammate Danielle Barbian finished in sixth. The 200 was another clean sweep as Cunliffe (22.49) blazed her way to yet another meet record while again tailed by Stevens (22.77) and Washington (22.97). The double sweep was the first of its kind in Pac-12 history.
Raevyn Rogers and Annie Leblanc kept up the momentum in the middle distance, going 1-2 in the 800. The reigning national champion Rogers continued her dominating 2016 campaign, running 2:02.41. That wasn't all, as Grant Grosvenor was able to finish second in the men's race by way of a 1:47.72 personal best. Grosvenor was also a runner-up in the men's 4x400, along with Ben Thiel, Mitch Modin and Cameron Stone. Thiel was unable to defend his 400 hurdles title, however his time of 51.8 was good for third.
Sasha Wallace and Alaysha Johnson added to the scoring mix in the 110 hurdles, taking first and third respectively. Wallace also leaped her way to third in the triple jump.
The 1500 was a pivotal race for the men as Matthew Maton and Sam Prakel went 2-3 to put the Ducks in front for the first time on day two. Chris Brewer chipped in two points by taking seventh.
What remained of the throwing events allowed for the Ducks to get some insurance points on both sides. Drake Brennan and Cullen Prena took seventh and eighth in the men's discus, while Itohan Akhionbare added an eighth for the women. Meanwhile, Madeline Middlebrooks (189-5) and Brittany Mann secured fourth and eighth in the hammer throw.
The celebration was already on for the men's 5000, placing a trio of runners. Jake Leingang (fifth) and Jeramy Elkaim (eighth) combined for another five points in the men's race, while Allie Cash was the lone scorer in the women's race. Cash ran 16:14.25 for fourth.
Day two started differently for the men and women but ultimately ended in similar fashion. The women started the day with a comfortable lead, while the men began narrowly trailing Washington. It didn't take long for that to reverse itself, and the Ducks never looked back. The men garnered 155.6 points in all, a far cry from the 185 the women amassed.
The 10th straight title puts the men in selective company, as they now co-own the Pac-12 lead for most conference championships with UCLA. Both men and women now own the longest consecutive streaks in Pac-12 history.
Celebration will eventually give way to another meet. The NCAA West Prelims will take place May 26-28th on the University of Kansas campus.