Oregon women's outdoor track & field caps triple crown for Pac-12's 501st NCAA title
EUGENE, Ore. - The OREGON women's track & field team captured the NCAA outdoor championship at Hayward Field on Saturday to become the first women's program to complete the "triple crown." The Ducks also won this season's NCAA cross country and indoor track & field crowns to achieve the trifecta.
The championship is the third all-time outdoor national title for the Oregon women, including their second in the past three years, and the eighth overall for Pac-12 programs with five coming since 2001.
In terms of Pac-12 membership, the NCAA title is the national-best 13th of the 2016-17 academic year and 501st all-time for members of the Conference, which became the first collegiate league to reach 500 national championships in May.
Oregon's attempt for history came to an epic conclusion in front of the Hayward faithful on Saturday - the 400-meter relay finale, which the Ducks needed to win to overcome an 8.2-point deficit to Georgia.
The Bowerman Award candidate Raevyn Rogers, who earlier on Saturday became the first athlete ever to win three 800-meter NCAA outdoor titles, closed the final 4x400 leg in 49.77 seconds to edge USC's Kendall Ellis (despite her 49.63 final leg) and give Oregon the victory and the 10 points it needed to claim the crown.
USC pushed its rival Oregon to victory as both teams recorded collegiate record-breaking times in the 4x400, the Ducks clocking in at 3:23.13 and Trojans at 3:23.35 to better Texas' 13-year old mark of 3:23.75.
The Ducks finished with 64 points to narrowly top the Bulldogs' 62.2 points, while the Trojans placed third with 43 points.
It was a fitting cap to the "triple crown" as Oregon began its quest with the narrowest margin of victory in NCAA Cross Country Championships history in November. UO defeated Michigan by a single point, 125-126, with the Ducks' final scorer beating the Wolverines' to the finish line by one-tenth of a second. Oregon then cruised to the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship in March by a 33-point margin over Georgia.
Also from the Pac-12, ARIZONA's Sage Watson led a 1-2-3 Conference finish in the 400-meter hurdles, winning the event with a time of 54.52 seconds to beat USC's Anna Cockrell and Amalie Iuel.
The Bowerman Award candidate Maggie Ewen totaled 21 points in three throwing events to help ARIZONA STATE to a 10th-place showing. Ewen won the hammer throw with an NCAA-record toss of 73.32 meters (240'-7") and placed sixth in the shot put on Thursday, then added a runner-up finish in the discus on Saturday.
On the men's side, OREGON totaled 19.5 points to lead the nine Pac-12 teams in the field in ninth place. USC tied for 20th with 14 points, while STANFORD tied for 26th with 10 points. Florida (61.5) also used a 4x400 victory to narrowly win the men's title over Texas A&M (59.5).
Cardinal sophomore Grant Fisher was the Pac-12's lone individual men's event winner, becoming the first American underclassman in 28 years to win the 5,000-meter run (14:35.60). It helped extend the Conference's streak of at least one event champion at the NCAA outdoor meet dating back to 1960.
2017 NCAA OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
TEAM RESULTS (Top 3 and Pac-12 finishers only)
1. OREGON - 64
2. Georgia - 62.2
3. USC - 43
10. ARIZONA STATE - 21
12. COLORADO - 16
T13. STANFORD - 15
T21. ARIZONA - 10
T43. WASHINGTON - 5
T48. UTAH - 4
T52. WASHINGTON STATE - 3
1. Florida - 61.5
2. Texas A&M - 59.5
3. Virginia - 36
9. OREGON - 19.5
T20. USC - 14
T26. STANFORD - 10
T33. UCLA - 8
T41. ARIZONA - 6
T59. COLORADO - 4
T69. CALIFORNIA - 2
T74. ARIZONA STATE - 1
PAC-12 CONFERENCE'S 2016-17 NCAA TEAM NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Women's Cross Country - Oregon
Men's Water Polo - California
Women's Soccer - USC
Men's Soccer - Stanford
Women's Volleyball - Stanford
Skiiing - Utah
Women's Indoor Track & Field - Oregon
Women's Swimming & Diving - Stanford
Beach Volleyball - USC
Women's Water Polo - Stanford
Women's Golf - Arizona State
Women's Rowing - Washington
Women's Outdoor Track & Field - Oregon