In the event everyone had been waiting for, Devon Allen delivered. Allen won his heat of the 110 hurdles en route to the third-fastest time overall. His 13.44 was only five hundredths behind the top finisher, former NCAA Champion Ronnie Ash.
Devon Allen is one step closer to Rio after smoking the field in his 110m hurdles heat! #RoadToRio https://t.co/LwPaa04rZP— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) July 8, 2016
Another hotly contested race, the women's 200 first round, pitted a few more current and former Ducks against each other. Jenna Prandini ran the top overall time in the 200 (22.72) and she wasn't the only highlight. Deajah Stevens and Ariana Washington's finishes gave those with Oregon ties three of the top seven overall times. Like Prandini, Stevens (22.91) and Washington (22.95) each won their respective heats and will see each other in the semis.
The women also had competitors in the 100 hurdles, as Alaysha Johnson and Sasha Wallace had both moved on to the semifinals. Unfortunately that was as far as either would get. Johnson only missed the finals by three hundredths (13.03) while Wallace finished in a disappointing 13.40.
Former Ducks Matthew Centrowitz & Andrew Wheating are through to the 1500m final on Sunday. #liveonKMTR pic.twitter.com/durSVOdOYt— Hayden Herrera (@haydenherrera) July 8, 2016
The men had a much more positive experience in the 1,500 race, as six of the eight athletes with Oregon ties advanced to the final. Defending U.S. champion Matthew Centrowitz (3:44.29) picked up the pace on his Rio campaign with the second-fastest time of the day. Andrew Wheating wasn't far behind, taking sixth in the same heat in 3:44.73. Wheating was followed by former Oregon grad transfer Johnny Gregorek (3:45.59).
Colby Alexander and Daniel Winn qualified out of the first heat, taking third (3:47.77) and fifth (3:48.31). Finishing sixth in their heat was Sam Prakel who missed qualifying by two-tenths of a second. Freshman Matthew Maton (3:46.91) did not manage to qualify either, despite besting Winn's time by nearly two seconds.
Jordan McNamara's time was good enough to qualify initially, but he was disqualified. After some time he was reinstated, and now Gregorek (who qualified at first as a fill-in) and McNamara will get to race in the final.
The lone wolf in the men's high jump was Justin Frick. Frick tied for tenth, leaping 7-0 1/4 (2.14 meters) which left him in a tie for tenth. Twelve advance to the finals, so Frick will have a chance for a spot in Rio. The half dozen 1,500 runners will join him in that endeavor on Sunday. The women will get back to the track tomorrow for the 200 semifinals, and should they qualify, would run again on Sunday. Allen will have semifinals and potentially finals in the 110 hurdles tomorrow evening.