EUGENE, Oregon — The Women of Oregon took flight on Thursday at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Overall, 11 Ducks qualified for the finals on Saturday from Hayward Field.
Oregon’s 4x400m relay team strolled to first place in their heat to conclude Day 2. A combination of Raevyn Rogers, Brooke Feldmeier, Hannah Waller and Mackenzie Dunmore finished their first place heat (3:31.76) in the night cap.
Freshman Katie Rainsberger started the second leg of Day 2 with the 1500m semifinal. She was the first woman from Oregon to qualify for a final on Thursday. The Duck finished in fourth place with a time of 4:19.21, advancing her to the 1500m final.
Alaysha Johnson won her third heat of the 100m hurdles with a time of 12.87. The tightly-contested first place finish advances her to the finals on Saturday.
Sasha Wallace finished in third place in the 100m hurdles. By not placing in the Top 2, the Duck had to wait for results from the third heat. It turned out that Wallace was the FINAL qualifier with her performance and will advance to the championship, alongside her teammate.
Oregon's Ariana Washington placed third (11.26) in the 100m second heat. Her Duck teammate in the lane next to her, Deajah Stevens finished in fourth place (11.29). Both qualified and advanced to the finals. They were the fastest two non-automatic qualifiers.
“I’ll never get tired of hearing Magic,” said Stevens in comparing Eugene to the Olympics. “I love our fans. I love running here. I don’t compare Rio to nationals. I don’t have any NCAA titles, so I’m just trying to get one.”
The 400m looked very similar to the 100m as far as results were concerned. Once again, Oregon finished outside automatic qualifications in third and fourth place, respectively.
Elexis Guster qualified for the final after concluding with a time of 51.93 in third. Meanwhile her UO teammate in the next lane, Mackenzie Dunmore, finished in fourth place (52.07) and did not qualify. The freshman missed by just 0.02 seconds.
The Women’s 800m favorite Raevyn Rogers shined bright under the big lights during her second heat. She strolled to victory in first place with a time of 2:05.63 to advance to the finals. Rogers led the 800m group from start to finish.
Teammate Brooke Feldmeier then won the third heat in the 800m. The Duck completed her race in 2:03.43. Feldmeier and Rogers head to the finals with the two fastest times from the group.
After her 100m fourth place finish, Stevens dominated the second heat of the 200m. She won the semifinal race with the fastest time of the group (22.31) in her strongest event. The electric talent qualified for the finals in both the 100m and 200m.
“We trained for it,” said Stevens. “I’m ready for the weekend.”
Washington, who placed third in their earlier race, finished in third place (22.60) for the 100m second heat, just outside automatic qualifying. However, she once again qualified with an outstanding finish in both races.
Washington will try to defend her titles in both the 100m and 200m.
“You have to go out there and run like practice,” said Washington, the reigning NCAA Champion. “I think it helps having a teammate (like Stevens). We go through the same thing. Our last 365 days of the year have been pretty identical to each other.”
Ashante Horsley took part in the 400m second heat for the Ducks. From the first lane, she finished in last place with a time of 53.98. However, there is no shame in placing anywhere in the championships. This is the best competition in the country.
Joe Delgado finished the decathlon with a personal-best time (4:14.34) in the 1500m race. He concluded in 12th place with 7,590 total points.
Mitch Modin tallied 7,446 points for his 15th place finish.
Much more Duck track and field coverage coming from ATQ this weekend.
Friday’s events will commence at 12:30 p.m. PT from Oregon. You can catch all the action on ESPN3 until coverage switches over to ESPN for the night cap beginning at 5:30 p.m. PT from legendary Hayward Field.
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