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Washington Wins the Day

Ducks Nearly Complete Miraculous Comeback

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ariana Washington won the 100 and 200 meter national titles and the Oregon women's sprinting depth allowed them to stay in the thick of things on Saturday. The freshman sprinted to a win in 10.95 to help the Ducks pick up the pace, moving into second behind Arkansas. She later won the 200 (22.21), narrowly edging teammate Deajah Stevens (22.25) for a 1-2 finish and eighteen much-needed points. Washington became the first freshman to win the 200 title, let alone sweep the sprints.

Raevyn Rogers helped out the cause by successfully defending her 800 title, winning by nearly two full seconds over her nearest competitor. Rogers ran 2:00.75 in a timely spot to put Oregon atop the leaderboard for the first time all day. This now means the Ducks have won the 800 in three straight seasons, as Laura Roessler won in 2014.

Sasha Wallace took third in a scorching 12.81 in the 100 hurdles, breaking her own school record in the process. Wallace broke the tape with Cindy Ofili of Michigan in a photo finish for third that took several hundredths to determine who crossed first. Hannah Cunliffe recovered from her injury Thursday to help the 4x100 team claim third place in 42.91. The Ducks also got some breathing room in the distance events, as Annie Leblanc and Alli Cash added a pair of fifth place finishes.  Leblanc ran 4:14.80 in the 1,500 while Cash (16:04.11) added pivotal points in the 5,000. The latter was an event won by Arkansas' Dominique Scott, which unfortunately sealed the national championship for Arkansas. The Razorbacks went into the final event (4x400) up two points on the Ducks (64-62) and Oregon did not have a relay team competing.

The Ducks surely made it exciting, as Arkansas led virtually the entire competition and went into day two with a commanding lead. Oregon came into the day with a mere four points, but their miraculous comeback fell just short. The women showed great heart and got timely points again and again. It's not the result they'd like but they couldn't have fought any harder, sliding up to second place and overtaking the lead with only two events (5,000 and 4x400) remaining. Then Scott won the 5,000 and that was all she wrote.