Monday's Olympics saw some heavily anticipated performances on the track for current and former Oregon athletes. First in the women's 400 final, Phyllis Francis (50.41) took fifth in a hotly contested race. After winning her first round and semifinal heats, Francis unfortunately wasn't much of a factor, as she was never a threat to medal at any point in the race. The real story was with winner Shaunae Miller and American runner-up Allison Felix. Miller, of the Bahamas, led into the final turn and dove at the finish to fend off a surging Felix.
A few Ducks managed to fare better, qualifying for semifinal rounds to take place Tuesday. Devon Allen may have been the most anticipated Oregon athlete to compete in Rio, as the first round of the 110 hurdles marked his first Olympic appearance. Allen didn't run the race he would like, as the rain-soaked track got the better of many athletes. Allen never looked comfortable and hit more than a few hurdles (one that almost took him out of qualifying) but recovered to finish in second place in his heat with a time of 13.41. Konstadinos Douvalidis of Greece shared the top time with him. Tuesday evening Allen will have a chance to put himself in the Olympic final, as the semifinals take place at 4:40 p.m. Should he qualify, the finals will go on at 6:45 p.m.
Allen wasn't the only current Duck to advance Monday. Deajah Stevens, along with former teammate Jenna Prandini, clinched their spots in Tuesday's semifinals of the women's 200 in convincing fashion. Stevens (22.45) posted the second-fastest time overall, and both Ducks won their heats. Prandini ran 22.65, good for eighth overall. Team USA teammate Tori Bowie will join them in the semifinals, giving Americans three of the top eight times.
The duo will take to the track again Tuesday at 6 p.m. for the semifinals and will hopefully be back for the final on Wednesday.