Ihemeje Goes Back-to-Back in Triple Jump
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Behind a collegiate-leading mark, Emmanuel Ihemeje successfully defended his national title in the triple jump Saturday afternoon at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Ala. The Men of Oregon also registered two other top-five national performances with Reed Brown in the mile and Max Vollmer in the heptathlon.
Jadyn Mays secured third-place points for the Women of Oregon with her effort in the 60 meters. The Ducks scored 17 points during the two-day meet, coupled with Friday's finishes in the distance medley relay and from Alysah Hickey in the long jump.
The UO men finished the weekend in ninth in the team race with 22 points.
Ihemeje led from the beginning, getting out to 16.57m/54-4.5 in the opening round. He extended his lead with the eventual winning jump of 16.83m/55-2.75 in round two. Ihemeje is the first man to win back-to-back indoor titles in the triple jump since Clive Pullen of Arkansas (2016-17). The win marks the 28th NCAA indoor title in program history for the UO men.
"This is a good team win because we come up with a plan to make this happen," Ihemeje said. "It's almost like we always know the formula, and we're not going to change it. At a championships meet your goal is to just be ranked as high as possible and whatever mark I get, I'm happy with that."
Mays continued her breakout weekend with a bronze performance in the finals of the 60 meters. She crossed the finish line in 7.11 in a race where just .02 separated the top three. Mays' showing was a follow-up to her 7.09 effort in Friday's semifinal. This weekend marked her first-career appearance at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
"I usually try to tell myself 'it's not nerves, it's just excitement," Mays said. "It was a great race especially being my first indoor national. It was a great experience and I'm glad I was able to go out there and still put down a fast time. All those times (in the final) were fast but I'm glad I was able to put down two fast times back-to-back."
Making his fourth appearance national appearance in the mile, Brown grabbed a bronze finish for a career-best placing at the NCAA Indoor Championships. In a tactically pace final, Brown finished in a time of 4:07.64; a slim margin of .24 separated the top-six spots.
Brown was fifth in last year's mile final and had an eighth-place finish in 2018 as a freshman.
"If Mario (Garcia Romo) was in the lead like he was, I kinda knew he would like to slow it down and make it a kicker's race," Brown said. "I really thought (Morgan) Beadlescomb would try to pick it up because he seems to like fast races a lot but he never came around. I was content either way. I felt ready for a kicker's race. I felt ready for a fast race but they just got me at the end there."
Teammate Jack Yearian finished in 4:09.59, good for 10th in his first national final. The Oregon senior enjoyed a career indoor campaign, dropping below four minutes for the first time and becoming the eighth-fastest performer (3:54.54) in collegiate history at the BU Last Chance meet.
Vollmer began the day with a season-best time of 8.18 in the 60-meter hurdles, just off his PR of 8.17 from the 2020 MPSF meet. He added a clearance of 4.86m/15-11.25 in the pole vault to maintain his spot in sixth place. Just 31 points separated fifth and seventh entering the 1,000 meters with Vollmer surrounded by Gary Haasbroek of Texas Tech and Alex Spyridonidis of Auburn.
The Ulm, Germany, native responded with a time of 2:40.63 in the 1,000 meters, besting Haasbroek by 11 seconds to secure the top-five standing. Vollmer improves upon his sixth-place finish at last year's NCAA Indoor Championships.
The UO men added their last two points on the track from Luis Peralta in the 800 meters. In another NCAA finals debut, the middle-distance standout finished in seventh place to secure himself a spot on the All-America First Team.
The Ducks' all-freshman 4x400-meter relay suffered from a fall after a collision at the start of the third leg but recovered to post a time of 3:37.71 in the first heat. The quartet of Ella Clayton, Shaniya Hall, Katriina Wright and Shana Grebo finish the indoor season with a best of 3:32.64—and No. 8 UO time—from the Pac-12 Invitational.
Saturday UO Results
800 Meters | final
7. Luis Peralta – 1:53.32 [2 points]
Mile | final
3. Reed Brown – 4:07.64 [6 points]
10. Jack Yearian – 4:09.59
1. Emmanuel Ihemeje – 16.83m/55-2.75 (SB) [10 points]
Heptathlon | Day 2/final
5. Max Vollmer – 5,969 points (PR) [No. 2 UO] [4 points]
6. 60m Hurdles – 8.18 (SB) [937 points]
5. Pole Vault – 4.86m/15-11.25 
6. 1,000 Meters – 2:40.63 
60 Meters | final
3. Jadyn Mays – 7.11 [6 points]
11. Ella Clayton/Shaniya Hall/Katriina Wright/Shana Grebo – 3:37.71
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