There was a lot of action on the track for current and former Ducks yesterday at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Oregon had no entrants in the only finals of the day, the women's 3,000 steeplechase and shot put, but more than made up for it with numerous qualifying performances.
The most Oregon-dominated event was the men's 1,500, as six former Ducks and two current runners all advanced to the semifinals. Alums Daniel Winn (3:42.22) and Andrew Wheating (3:42.41) led the way, with Winn running the second-best time overall. The rest of the bunch included defending U.S. champion Matthew Centrowitz, Johnny Gregorek, Jordan McNamara and Colby Alexander.
Matthew Maton and Sam Prakel were the only current Ducks in the race, but they made it worth their while. The freshman Maton was a late entry into the meet but proved he belonged, finishing in 3:42.51. Prakel's heat was the slowest of the day and his time reflected that, as he ran 3:50.73 for fifth in his heat. Maton took sixth in his heat, and both were able to sneak into the semis. The group will have to recover in time for Friday's semifinals.
The distance men weren't the only qualifiers on the day. Jordan Hasay ran 15:34.50 in the women's 5,000 to avenge her 10,000 race. Hasay barely missed moving on, as she finished ninth overall. She now has the 5,000 final to look ahead to, which will be contested on Sunday.
A pair of hurdlers also advanced on the day. Teammates Alaysha Johnson and Sasha Wallace both moved on in the women's 100 hurdles. Johnson's personal best time of 12.96 was good enough for her to move on although she finished fourth in her heat. Wallace ran 13.16 for third in her heat and to automatically qualify.
Friday will mark another day of significant action on the track. Johnson and Wallace will be back in the semifinals, and if all goes well, the finals. Both will be contested this afternoon. They won't be the only hurdlers on the track. Devon Allen will make his much-anticipated debut in the trials of the 110 hurdles as well.
Other sprinters on tap include a trio of women in the 200. Duck stalwarts Ariana Washington and Deajah Stevens will be joined by alum and defending U.S. champion Jenna Prandini in the first round. The Ducks will also have a pair of competitors in the women's pole vault (Becky Holliday and Melissa Gergel) and one in the men's high jump (Justin Frick).