Oregon men, Colorado women lead at Pac-12 Track & Field Championships
EUGENE, Ore. – The No. 7 nationally ranked OREGON men extended their lead, while the COLORADO women moved in front thanks to a pair of 1-2 distance finishes on Saturday’s opening day of the 2017 Pac-12 Track & Field Championships final weekend at historic Hayward Field.
An announced crowd of 5,002 watched 20 events on a cool and overcast afternoon that featured intermittent patches of rain and sunshine. A total of 13 event champions were crowned on Saturday, with the host Ducks securing three titles in front of their home crowd, including Edward Cheserek’s seventh all-time Pac-12 title with a win in the 10,000-meter run for the second year in a row.
The Championships conclude on Sunday with the crowning of 27 more event champions as well as the Pac-12 team titles and for the first time in history it will all be broadcast live on Pac-12 Network, all regional channels and Pac-12 Now beginning at 3 p.m. PT. Sunday’s start of competition has been adjusted to begin with the men’s discus at 12:45 p.m. PT.
Entering the day with a nine-point advantage in its quest for an 11th consecutive Pac-12 men’s title, host OREGON extended its cushion by four points to a 69-56 margin over second-place UCLA, while less than five points separate the five teams between third and seventh.
On the women’s side, COLORADO used 1-2 finishes in both the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 10,000-meter run to vault past heptathlon leader UCLA into the top spot heading into Sunday’s finale. Four teams are closely bunched between third through sixth, including No. 2 nationally ranked and eight-time defending champion OREGON, No. 3 USC and No. 17 STANFORD.
MEN’S TEAM LEADERBOARD (Through 9 of 21 events)
1. Oregon – 69
2. UCLA – 56
3. California – 36
4. USC – 34.5
5. Washington – 33
6. Arizona State – 32
7. Washington State – 31.5
8. Stanford – 26
9. Arizona – 20
10. Colorado – 13
WOMEN’S TEAM LEADERBOARD (Through 6 of 21 events)
1. Colorado – 44
2. UCLA – 37
3. Stanford – 25
Washington State – 25
5. USC – 24
Oregon – 24
7. Oregon State – 16
8. Arizona State – 15
9. Utah – 10
10. Washington – 7
11. California – 6
12. Arizona - 1
Below are Saturday’s event champions:
MEN’S HAMMER THROW – Brock Eager, Washington State (67.39m/221’-1”)
WSU sophomore Eager led throughout the event, highlighted by a winning second throw of 67.39m/221’-1”, to give the Cougars their first Pac-12 hammer champion since 1988.
MEN’S JAVELIN – Carson Fuller, Washington (74.38m/244’-0”)
Huskies senior Fuller beat his personal-best by three feet and moved into the top five in the country this season with a throw of 74.38m/244’ to give UW its first Pac-12 javelin champion since 2006. He is the first non-Oregon champion in six years, outdistancing defending champion Cody Danielson (72.82m/238’-11”) by more than five feet.
MEN’S LONG JUMP – Damarcus Simpson, Oregon (7.95m/26’-1”)
Oregon junior Simpson became the first Duck to win the Pac-12 long jump title since Ashton Eaton in 2010 with a wind-aided mark of 7.95m (+2.5)
MEN’S SHOT PUT – Peter Simon, California (19.15m/62’-10”)
Cal junior Simon unleashed his lifetime-best on the final throw of the competition to overtake runner-up Nick Ponzio of USC. Simon is the first Golden Bear to win the Pac-12 shot put crown since 1981.
MEN’S POLE VAULT – Matthew Eckles, Arizona State (5.07m/16’-7.5”)
ASU sophomore Eckles cleared 5.07m/16’ 7.5” on his first attempt to edge Oregon’s Cole Walsh, who passed the mark on his second try, and give the Sun Devils their first Pac-12 champion in the event since 1994.
WOMEN’S LONG JUMP – Rhesa Foster, Oregon (6.26m/20’-6.5”)
Ducks freshman Foster won the long jump in her first Pac-12 Championships, the first event winner from Oregon since Jenna Prandini in 2014.
WOMEN’S JAVELIN – Mackenzie Little, Stanford (53.02m/173’-11”)
Cardinal sophomore Little won her second straight Pac-12 javelin title - and Stanford's sixth straight in the event - as the only competitor to break 50 meters, doing so in five of six rounds including a winning mark of 53.02 meters on her final throw.
MEN’S HIGH JUMP – Isaiah Holmes, UCLA (2.12m/6’-11”)
UCLA’s streak of 53 consecutive Conference championship meets with a men’s event title remained intact with freshman Holmes edging sophomore teammate Michael Burke for the high jump crown. Holmes, Burke, Bruins teammate Sage Stone and USC’s Randall Cunningham, the defending NCAA champ, all cleared 2.12 meters, with Burke and Holmes doing so on their first attempts. Holmes’ clean mark through four rounds secured the event title.
WOMEN’S SHOT PUT – Maggie Ewen, Arizona State (17.18m/56’-4.5”)
ASU redshirt junior Ewen, one of two throwers on the Bowerman Award watch list, was the only athlete to break 17 meters. The Conference leader in the shot put, hammer and discus entering the event, Ewen threw 17.18 meters on her first throw to begin her quest for a rare Pac-12 throws treble.
MEN’S 3,000-METER STEEPLECHASE – Bailey Roth, Arizona (8:39.83)
Arizona sophomore Roth separated from UCLA senior Austin O’Neil (8:46.78) on the final lap to post the second-fastest steeplechase time in the country this season. He’s the first Wildcat to win the steeplechase since 1997.
WOMEN’S 3,000-METER STEEPLE CHASE – Madison Boreman, Colorado (10:06.83)
CU freshmen finished 1-2 in the steeplechase as both Boreman and Sage Huerta overtook UTAH’s Grayson Murphy over the final 50 meters. Boreman’s victory was the sixth straight steeplechase win for the Buffaloes, every year since CU joined the Conference in 2012.
MEN’S 10,000-METER RUN – Edward Cheserek, Oregon (29:11.76)
In his final Pac-12 Championships meet, Cheserek recorded his second consecutive 10,000-meter title, besting California’s Trent Brendel by nine seconds in the hardest rain of the day. It marked Cheserek’s seventh career Pac-12 event title, with a potential eighth ahead in Sunday’s 5,000-meter run.
WOMEN’S 10,000-METER RUN – Erin Clark, Colorado (33:23.92)
Similar to the steeplechase, a pair of Colorado runners made late charges to finish 1-2 with Clark and Makena Morley breaking past league-leader Bethan Knights of California in the final 150 meters. It marked the first CU victory in the Pac-12 women’s 10k.
Along with the 13 event champions, several of Saturday’s preliminary heats set up some intriguing storylines heading into Sunday finals.
- The women’s 400-meter hurdles will feature the nation’s three leaders in the event in ARIZONA’s Sage Watson and USC’s Anna Cockrell and Amalie Iuel. Watson and Iuel both competed in last summer’s Rio Olympics.
- OREGON’s trio of Deajah Stevens, Ariana Washington and Hannah Cunliffe were the top-three qualifiers in the women’s 100-meter dash. Cunliffe, the defending Pac-12 champion, made her outdoor season debut on Saturday.
- The women’s 200-meter dash will be all OREGON and USC, with five Ducks (Cunliffe, Stevens, Washington, Makenzie Dunmore and Elexis Guster) and three Trojans (Kendall Ellis, Deanna Hill and Cameron Pettigrew) emerging from qualifying.
- OREGON’s Raevyn Rogers is seeking a third Pac-12 crown in the women’s 800-meter run, but was the second-best qualifier (2:06.67) behind Ducks’ teammate Brooke Feldmeier (2:06.05).
- Two-time defending Pac-12 champion Marcus Chambers of OREGON posted the top qualifying time in the men’s 400-meter dash at 46.55.
- WASHINGTON STATE’s CJ Allen will go for a third league title in the men’s 110-meter hurdles after recording the best heat time of 50.83.
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