The Oregon women didn't get off to the start they were hoping to at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, garnering only four points on the day with many event finals still to be contested. Junior Brittany Mann was the lone scorer, throwing 57-4.75 in the shotput to take fifth.
Scoring aside, Hannah Cunliffe's injury in the 100 would be enough to put a serious scare in Oregon's case for a repeat national title. Cunliffe failed to qualify for the 200 out of the NCAA West Prelims, running with kinesio tape. There were injury concerns at the time but nothing could be confirmed. Cunliffe pulled up lame in the 100 and walked to the finish, having held the tenth-best time in the world. The injury is speculated to be a hamstring strain that she re-aggravated.
Hannah Cunliffe pulls up in her 100 semifinal heat. Walks through finish line. Huge loss for Ducks— Chris Hansen (@chansen_RG) June 10, 2016
There wasn't all bad news, however. Cunliffe was part of the 4x100 that advanced to the finals earlier by posting the fourth-fastest time of the day. It's unclear if Cunliffe will be able to help out her teammates in the final, as the extent to the injury is unknown. Other sprinters picked up the slack, with Sasha Wallace winning her heat en-route to a blazing school-record time of 12.95. Wallace broke teammate and fellow competitor Alaysha Johnson's school record, who did not advance.
Oregon's Sasha Wallace (right) wins her 100M hurdles heat to advance. #NCAATF pic.twitter.com/lxh0znZxlk— Brian Davies (@daviesphoto) June 10, 2016
The Ducks will have a trio of sprinters competing in the 100 and 200, owning the top overall times in each race. Ariana Washington moved on in both, running 11.18 in the dash for the top time in Cunliffe's absence. Washington (22.61) and teammate Deajah Stevens (22.32) both secured spots in the 200 finals, and finished in the top four overall.
Raevyn Rogers gave herself a chance to defend her NCAA title in the 800 by moving on to Saturday's finals. Rogers ran 2:03.55 to qualify with the fifth-fastest time. Teammates Brooke Feldmeier and Annie Leblanc just missed joining her. Fortunately Leblanc was able to keep her collegiate career alive by sneaking into the 1,500 finals in 4:14.15.
Arkansas leads the team standings with 26 points, followed by Texas A&M (16) and Georgia (13). Tomorrow resumes action for the men with the exception of the decathlon which took place earlier. Mitch Modin and Joe Delagado were unable to add to the men's team lead, finishing in thirteenth and fourteenth respectively. The men still hold a one-point edge over Texas A&M, while the women will look to bounce back from the depths of despair Saturday.