DMR Races to Third Place at NCAAs
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Women of Oregon capped day one of the 2022 NCAA Indoor Championships with a third-place performance in the distance medley relay. Coupled with Alysah Hickey's fourth-place finish in the long jump, the UO women scored 11 points Friday and with Jadyn Mays' qualifying effort in the 60 meters and the 4x400-meter relay, the Ducks will have two scoring chances Saturday.
On the men's side, Oregon secured three finalists—two mile, one 800 meters—on day one of the NCAA Championships and will have more opportunities to score with Emmanuel Ihemeje and Max Vollmer in the heptathlon.
After day one of the heptathlon, Vollmer sits in sixth place with 3,298 points aided by personal bests in the 60 meters and high jump. Day two features the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 meters.
800 Meters: Luis Peralta (final – Saturday, 2:30 p.m. PT)
Mile: Jack Yearian, Reed Brown (final – Saturday, 2 p.m. PT)
60 Meters: Jadyn Mays (final – Saturday, 5:10 p.m. PT)
The UO quartet of Izzy Thornton-Bott, Katriina Wright, Mia Moerck and Aneta Konieczek combined for a time of 10:55.52 in Friday's finale. With the effort, the team moves to No. 4 on the program's top-10 list while knocking more than two and a half seconds off it season best from the Pac-12 Invitational.
The DMR marked the second race of the day for Konieczek who had run in the mile prelim earlier but did not advance in the individual event.
"I was pretty upset after the prelim didn't go well at all," Konieczek said. "I wasn't sure if I was going to run the DMR but coach (Helen Lehman-Winters) came after me and told me 'you're doing it.' So I knew I had to put everything together and switch my mindset from being upset to being excited. It was the most difficult thing for me to do because I had never doubled like that before.
"Honestly, you just keep thinking 'this is for the team.' It's a different kind of excitement and different kind of pressure at the same time than an individual event. You just want to do it for the team."
In her NCAA Indoor debut, Hickey was fourth in the long jump and picked up the first points of the night for the UO women. She finished with a day's best of 6.53m/21-5.25 from the second round. The top five in Friday's competition were separated by just five centimeters.
Hickey exits the indoor season as the school-record holder with her 6.66m/21-10.25 from the Razorback Invitational (Jan. 28).
The UO women picked up a finalist with Mays' lifetime-best performance in the 60 meters. She recorded a time of 7.09, lowering her previous PR of 7.15 from the Pac-12 Invitational (Feb. 26). Coupled with her qualifying effort, Mays moved to No. 3 on the program's top-10 list and into a tie for seventh on the all-time collegiate list.
Defending champion Kemba Nelson ran a time of 7.21—just .03 out of a qualifying spot—and did not advance.
In the first event of the men's session, Jack Yearian and Reed Brown both secured spots in the final of the mile. Yearian (3:59.03) had the sixth-fastest time overall but had to wait out heat two to ensure an at-large spot. Brown collected an auto qualifier in 4:02.19 by finishing third in the second heat.
The UO men added another mid-distance finalist with Luis Peralta in the 800 meters. He clocked a time of 1:47.86 to finish third in the opening of two heats, advancing to the first national final of his career.
Micah Williams, defending NCAA champion in the 60 meters, was charged with a false start in heat one and did not advance. In the 5,000 meters, Aaron Bienenfeld (13:32.56) capped his indoor season with a 10th-place finish.
In the first event of the weekend, Vollmer opened the heptathlon by matching his lifetime best of 6.94 in the 60 meters. The effort was worth 904 points, good for third place overall heading to the long jump. Vollmer added 814 points with a day's best of 7.00m/22-11.75 in the long jump which put him in ninth overall through two events.
Vollmer was one of four competitors over 15 meters in the shot put, getting out to 15.24m/50-0 on his final attempt. The toss was good for 804 points and a boost to fifth place ahead of the high jump. In the final event of the day, the Ulm, Germany, native established a second personal best with a clearance of 1.97m/6-5.5 in the high jump. He entered the meet with a best of 1.93m/6-4 from the 2020 MPSF meet.
Day two of the NCAA Championships starts at 8:30 a.m. (PT) with the resumption of the heptathlon.
Friday UO Results
60 Meters | prelims
--. Micah Williams – FS
800 Meters | prelims
7. Luis Peralta – 1:47.86Q
Mile | prelims
6. Jack Yearian – 3:59.03q
10. Reed Brown – 4:02.19Q
10. Aaron Bienenfeld – 13:32.56
Heptathlon | Day 1
6. Max Vollmer – 3,298 points
3. 60 Meters – 6.94 (=PR) [904 points]
14. Long Jump – 7.00m/22-11.75 
4. Shot Put – 15.24m/50-0 
8. High Jump – 1.97m/6-5.5 (PR) 
60 Meters | prelims
2. Jadyn Mays – 7.09Q (PR) [No. 3 UO]
12. Kemba Nelson – 7.21
200 Meters | prelims
14. Iman Brown – 23.51
Mile | prelims
14. Aneta Konieczek – 4:41.79
Distance Medley Relay
3. Izzy Thornton-Bott/Katriina Wright/Mia Moerck/Aneta Konieczek – 10:55.52 [No. 4 UO] [6 points]
4. Alysah Hickey – 6.53m/21-5.25 [5 points]
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