Three Ducks Clinch Oregon22 Berths
EUGENE, Ore. — Three alums of the UO track and field program clinched spots Sunday in the World Athletics Championships, capping the four-day USATF Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field.
All three fell short of U.S. titles in their events, and identified areas of improvement before they return to Hayward Field for Oregon22. But all three — Devon Allen, Jenna Prandini and Raevyn Rogers — were able to appreciate their accomplishments this weekend all the same.
Allen is still adjusting to a new starting technique in the 110 hurdles, and he finished third Sunday in 13.09 seconds. Prandini was in command of the 200-meter final but slipped to third in the final few meters, in 22.01 seconds. And Rogers also took third in her own signature event, the 800 meters, in 1:57.96.
But all three will have the chance to cap their seasons on an even bigger stage in July, when the World Championships are contested at the same location where they competed as collegians.
"We're back, baby! I'm ready, I'm excited," Rogers said. "You know, that's a lot of pressure in itself, just being a Duck and Worlds being here, and just competing at Hayward Field as a Duck. I want to make everybody proud. I take into consideration everybody else's expectations for me. At the end of the day, coming back here is a step in the right direction. I just really want to continue on it."
In all Sunday, six UO alums and two current Ducks competed in the USATF meet. Freshman Jaida Ross capped her season with an 11th-place finish in the shot put, and sophomore Ty Hampton was 13th in the javelin. The program's three alums entered in the 5,000 — Cole Hocker, Eric Jenkins and newly crowned 1,500-meter U.S. champion Cooper Teare — did not toe the line in that race.
Sunday's session of the meet attracted 3,577 fans. In all, 13,306 fans attended the four-day meet at the reimagined Hayward Field, which will be the first U.S. facility to host the outdoor World Championships from July 15-24.
"It's still Oregon," Prandini said. "It still has the same fans, so it's Hayward magic. This is home for me. And every time I race here, it's always exciting."
Allen provided the home fans some excitement — and some moments of tension — in his hurdles final. He leaned at the tape with the third and final spot for Oregon22 at stake, and ended up finishing in 13.09 seconds — technically 13.087, three one-thousandths ahead of Jamal Britt. The finish had shades of the 2014 NCAA final, when the then-freshman Allen won the title by two one-hundredths of a second.
"I always come out here trying to win and this is a great field," Allen said. "I'm glad to be on the team. It gives me an opportunity to run fast in about 20 days."
Allen is adjusting to a seven-step approach to the first hurdle, from an eight-step approach. Ultimately that could lead to stronger starts, although that wasn't the case Sunday.
"It's getting there," Allen said. "It's getting more and more comfortable. But, you know, the good thing is I feel fast and my feet are moving quickly between the hurdles. I felt a little bit sloppy just because I hit a few, but other than that — the good part about being a hurdler is being fast, and I already got that. Now I just need to clean it up. And we've got some time to do that."
In the women's 800 final, Rogers was sixth through 400 meters, one spot ahead of her former UO teammate Brooke Feldmeier. Feldmeier eventually moved up to sixth, in 1:59.09, while Rogers went wide around the final turn and surged to third.
"I'm sure there's some things that went on with the race I could have changed," Rogers said. "But all in all, I just wanted to make sure that I had enough to close. I knew it was gonna be a fast first 400, and I wanted to make sure that I could finish. I think I put myself in the best situation and I executed that — and I made the team. I'm coming back."
Feldmeier broke 2 minutes in the 800 for the first time in Friday's semifinals, running 1:59.44. She lowered her PR again Sunday.
"I'm just really happy with how I ran that; I was in it the entire race," Feldmeier said. "Just came up a little bit short, but 1:59.0, I'm really happy with that. That's three PRs in four days. So yeah, I think that's great. …
"When things come together, they come together in a big way."
Prandini will be looking to put it all together at Worlds in July. She was in prime position to take home a U.S. title Sunday before faltering late to cross in third.
"I could have finished the race better," she said. "Obviously my coach is never satisfied with my races, but the main goal was to get a ticket back to Eugene. We did that and we'll just build from here."
In the men's 200, Kyree King participated in his second event final of the weekend, after taking sixth in the 100 on Friday. He was an automatic qualifier to Sunday's final after taking third in his semifinal earlier in the day; the 200 final was King's sixth race in four days.
"I didn't come out here to take anything for granted," King said. "Every round, I wanted to come out here and do something. And although I didn't hit every goal, I hit most of my goals. So I'm alright.
"I just keep getting better and better, man. I hope everybody else will see that too."
In the field events, Ross participated in the same shot put flight as one of her childhood idols, the legendary Michelle Carter, and had a best effort of 56 feet, 9.5 inches. Hampton threw the javelin 226 feet, 10 inches, and in the triple jump former UO all-American Isaiah Griffith soared 52 feet, 8 inches, finishing ninth to barely miss out on another three attempts in the finals.
Saturday night at the Bell Canadian Championships in Langley, British Columbia, past UO standout Jillian Weir qualified for next month's World Athletics Championships with a runner-up finish in the hammer throw. She turned in a lifetime-best performance of 73.12m/239-10 in round one of the event. Weir was also a 2021 Olympian for Canada.
In the U20 competition, Ella Clayton and Matthew Erickson — both off their freshman seasons at Oregon — won national titles in the women's 400 meters and men's 800 and 1500 meters, respectively. Clayton cleared the field by more than a second, stopping the clock in a time of 52.97 to qualify for a spot at the World U20 Championships (Aug. 1-6) in Cali, Colombia.
Having won the U20 men's 1500 meters Saturday, Erickson completed the middle-distance double with a 1:51.52 showing in Sunday morning's 800 final. He owns personal bests of 1:48.27 and 3:47.66 from this past spring, which are fast enough to stand as World U20 qualifiers.
James West ran 13:44.47 over 5,000 meters Sunday to establish a personal best by nearly eight seconds and finish second at the Muller UK Athletics Championships in Manchester.
2022 Toyota USATF Outdoor Championships – Sunday Results
200 Meters - final
7. Kyree King - 20.19
200 Meters - semifinal
4. Kyree King - 20.05Q
--. Cole Hocker - DNS
--. Eric Jenkins - DNS
--. Cooper Teare - DNS
110m Hurdles - final
3. Devon Allen - 13.09
110m Hurdles - semifinal
3. Devon Allen - 13.14Q
9. Isaiah Griffith - 16.05m/52-8 (SB)
13. Ty Hampton - 69.14m/226-10
200 Meters - final
3. Jenna Prandini - 22.01 (SB)
200 Meters - semifinal
6. Jenna Prandini - 22.19Q
800 Meters - final
3. Raevyn Rogers - 1:57.96 (SB)
6. Brooke Feldmeier - 1:59.08 (PB)
11. Jaida Ross - 17.31m/56-9.5