Combined events kick off 2019 Pac-12 Track & Field Championships this weekend
SAN FRANCISCO - The 2019 Pac-12 Conference Track & Field Championships will begin this Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5 with the Combined Events hosted at the University of Arizona's Drachman Stadium. The full Championships will take place in Tucson, Ariz., the following weekend, May 11-12.
It marks the first time ARIZONA has hosted the Pac-12 title meet since 2011, and is the Championships’ fifth all-time appearance in Tucson (1985, 1995, 2004, 2011, 2019).
A total of 25 athletes are slated to compete in the multis - 11 in the men's decathlon and 14 in the women's heptathlon - with events slated to begin at 5 p.m. PT on Saturday and 4 p.m. PT on Sunday. The order of the combined events is subject to change.
The Pac-12 Track & Field Championships decathlon will have a new champion in 2019 as nine of the 11 entries will be making their Combined Events Championship debuts this weekend, making this one of the most wide-open fields in event history.
MEN’S COMBINED EVENTS ENTRIES (Pac-12 Multis app./Best finish)
Mohammad Almarhoun, So., ARIZONA (1st)
Tyler Brendel, R-Jr., CALIFORNIA (3rd/3rd in 2017)
Josh Farmer, Fr., COLORADO (1st)
Gregory Fernandez, So., ARIZONA STATE (1st)
Dominic Gehr, So., ARIZONA (2nd/10th in 2018)
Dalen Hargett, R-Jr., OREGON (1st)
Parker Kennedy, So., WASHINGTON (1st)
Ray Littles, Sr., WASHINGTON STATE (1st)
Hakim McMorris, Fr., CALIFORNIA (1st)
Wyatt Rhoads, Jr., COLORADO (1st)
Max Vollmer, Fr., OREGON (1st)
The lone returning competitors are CALIFORNIA’s Trent Brendel, who finished on the podium in third (7,413) in 2017, and ARIZONA’s Dominic Gehr, who made his Pac-12 Combined Events Championships debut last spring.
The field will not have to contend with the nation’s current decathlon leaders as defending champion Harrison Williams of STANFORD (8,112, No. 2 in NCAA) and freshman Ayden Owens of USC (8,130, No. 1 in NCAA) will instead focus on helping their teams at next weekend’s Championships and likely entry in the NCAA Championships in early June.
Williams’ and Owens’ absences not only leave the door open for Brendel, but also OREGON’s Max Vollmer (7,840) and CALIFORNIA’s Hakim McMorris (7,159), who rank third and fourth, respectively, on the current Pac-12 decathlon leaderboard and are the only other Conference athletes to break 7,000 points so far this season.
COLORADO’s Wyatt Rhoads and OREGON’s Dalen Hargett could also factor into the podium race as the respective Iowa State and Montana State transfers boast conference championships experience.
Fourteen competitors will look to capture their first heptathlon league title at this weekend’s 2019 Pac-12 Track & Field Combined Events Championship.
With the graduation of three-time champion Alissa Brooks-Johnson of WASHINGTON STATE, a new winner will emerge in 2019. The race will likely come down to a four-woman battle between the league’s current leaders in COLORADO’s Maja Wichhart-Donzo and Michaela Wenning, UCLA’s Christina Chenault and WASHINGTON’s Hannah Rusnak.
WOMEN’S COMBINED EVENTS ENTRIES (Pac-12 Multis app./Best finish)
Christina Chenault, R-Jr., UCLA (3rd/4th in 2017)
Claire Corbitt, So., OREGON STATE (2nd/14th in 2018)
Allie Jones, Fr., STANFORD (1st)
Elinor Jones Toutant, Jr., WASHINGTON (1st)
Keira McCarrell, So., OREGON (2nd/15th in 2018)
Saskia McNairy, R-Sr., OREGON STATE (3rd/7th in 2017 & 2018)
Drianna Mustin, Jr., COLORADO (3rd/13th in 2017 & 2018)
Hannah Rusnak, So., WASHINGTON (2nd/10th in 2018)
Lindsey Schauble, Sr., WASHINGTON STATE (4th/9th in 2018)
Skylar Sieben, Fr., ARIZONA (1st)
Kolbi Sims, Sr., UTAH (1st)
Isa Videler, So., UCLA (1st)
Michaela Wenning, Sr., COLORADO (4th/11th in 2018)
Maja Wichhart-Donzo, Sr., COLORADO (4th/5th in 2018)
UCLA’s Chenault boasts the best Pac-12 heptathlon finish of any of this year’s competitors with a fourth-place showing (5,269) in 2017, while COLORADO’s Wichhart-Donzo is the returning leader from last year’s Combined Events Championship at which she placed fifth (5,306).
Buffaloes’ teammate Michaela Wenning is tied for second with Chenault on the current Conference heptathlon leaderboard with 5,585 points at the Bryan Clay Invitational in mid-April. Washington’s Rusnak set her current Pac-12 leading mark of 5,642 to place third in the event at the Bryan Clay Invite.