Ducks Thrive in Dual-Site West Coast Classic
EUGENE, Ore. – Competing in the dual-host West Coast Classic, the Oregon track and field team recorded six wins and seven top-10 program performances. In the team competition, the Men and Women of Oregon out-distanced the field with 134 and 138 points, respectively.
In the unique format, the West Coast Classic featured a seven-team field—Air Force, Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Stanford, Oregon and UCLA—that split its teams with sprints and jumps competing in Tucson, Ariz., and distance and throws competing at Hayward Field in Eugene.
The Ducks' first win of the day came from Alysah Hickey in Tucson, where she led a 1-2 finish for the Women of Oregon in the long jump with Rhesa Foster. In her final attempt of the competition, Hickey moved from fourth to first with her jump of 6.47m/21-2.75, a mark that also makes her the No. 4 performer in UO history. Foster tallied a day's best of 6.36m/20-10.5 in the fifth round.
"I would have like to see what my second attempt was because it felt like a big one but I scratched," Hickey said. "With the last jump, I proved to myself what I could really do when it comes together. Every (indoor) meet, I felt like I was doing a little better but not what I am capable of so it was good for me to just step back and re-focus."
Saturday marked Foster's first long jump in a UO kit since the 2020 indoor season.
Oregon added another program top-10 mark from Tori Sloan in the high jump who finished second overall with a 1.78m/5-10 clearance. The effort ties the No. 8 performance in UO history, and Sloan becomes the first to crack the program top 10 in the event since 2014. Hickey, in her second event, and Dominique Ruotolo each established personal bests with clearances of 1.73m/5-8.
In Eugene, the Ducks got into the winner's circle with Jackson Mestler in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Having not competed in the event since the summer of 2019, Mestler stopped the clock in 8:44.84, just .12 off his PR. Based on times reported through Saturday evening, his time currently ranks third in the NCAA.
"It's a beautiful day with sunny weather," Mestler said. "People travel around the country to get weather like this and we happened to have it here this weekend so I wanted to take advantage of it and just go."
Kemba Nelson, the NCAA champion at 60 meters, made her season debut at 100 meters and recorded a winning time of 11.18 that puts her at No. 7 on the all-time UO performance list. She later posted a wind-legal personal best of 23.03 to finish second in the 200 meters. Nelson opened the outdoor campaign with a wind-aided 22.79 at the Aztec Invitational.
Gaston Bouchereau and Jonathan Harvey were double winners Saturday, each as a leg of the Ducks' 4x100-meter relay and then separately in the 100 meters (10.29) and 400-meter hurdles (51.14), respectively. Harvey's busy day also featured a personal best of 14.02 in the 110-meter hurdles where he finished second overall. In addition to the PR in the 100 meters, Bouchereau added a time of 21.01 as a new career best in the 200 meters.
The Ducks' 4x100-meter relay posted a time of 39.20 and featured Harvey, Bouchereau, Rieker Daniel and Jacoby McNamara.
In the women's triple jump, Dominque Ruotolo, Lexi Ellis and Jaimie Robinson finished 2-3-4, respectively, all with UO top-10 marks. After Saturday's competition, that list includes Ruotolo (12.99m/42-7.5) in fifth overall, Ellis (12.96m/42-6.25) in a tie for sixth and Robinson (12.82m/42-0.75) in ninth.
The first event on the track in Tucson was the women's 100-meter hurdles where Emily Sloan lowered her PR to 13.16, which strengthened her hold on the No. 4 spot in program history.
Freshman Elliott Cook was just out-leaned at the tape in the men's 800 meters in Eugene but posted a personal best of 1:49.98 to become the fifth UO man to dip below 1:50 this season. Along with Cook, that group includes Cole Hocker (1:46.60), Luis Peralta (1:47.55), Cooper Teare (1:48.99) and Reed Brown (1:49.95).
In another mid-distance highlight in Eugene, Hannah Reinhardt—NCAA indoor qualifier at 5,000 meters—took more than nine seconds off her previous PR in the 1,500 meters. She entered the race with a best of 4:24.05 from 2019 but crossed the line Saturday in 4:14.91, second to Stanford's Ella Donaghu (4:14.15). Reinhardt was one of four Ducks—Mia Moerck, Melissa Berry and Caramia Mestler—to PR in the race.
"I haven't run the (1,500 meters) in almost two years so it was time," Reinhardt said. "I wanted to commit to a hard pace right off the rip and go for it to see what I could churn out. We're going through a heavy training block right now so I just wanted to get some work in."
Up Next: The Ducks will host the Oregon Relays (April 23-24) at Hayward Field. As part of the Journey to Gold series, day two of the meet will feature the USATF Grand Prix. More information including broadcast details and entries will be announced as it becomes available.
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