Grebo Fifth in 4x400 To Cap Oregon22
EUGENE, Ore. — When UO freshman Shana Grebo returned to Eugene with the French team for the World Athletics Championships, it was with humble goals in mind.
Grebo and the rest of France's 4x400-relay team were just hoping to make the final of their event at Oregon22 in Hayward Field. So when they checked that box Saturday in the preliminaries, it required some recalibration.
Sure, a medal was the ultimate goal. But even a top-five finish, Grebo said after prelims, would be an accomplishment.
Fast forward to Sunday, and the final event of Oregon22, the women's 4x400. Grebo ran the second leg for France. The UO record-holder in the 400 hurdles got the stick with her team in fifth place, she handed off with France still in fifth, and that was their finishing position, in 3:25.81.
For Grebo, just a freshman, there was much to celebrate. But also, much to anticipate in the future.
"We're happy, and we embrace this moment with place number five," Grebo said. "But we're still hungry for more and for the next championships: European (this August). And then Budapest 2023, we'll be there with super big ambitions."
The women's 4x400 capped the 10 days of Oregon22 in Hayward Field, as well as the marathons and race walks staged at Autzen Stadium. Team USA swept both 4x400s Sunday and was crowned team champions of the meet for accumulating a meet-record 33 total medals, 13 of those gold. The championships saw three world records set — Sydney McLaughlin of the United States in the 400 hurdles Friday, and both Tobi Amusan of Nigeria in the 100 hurdles and Armand Duplantis of Sweden in the pole vault Sunday.
Grebo was one of two Ducks with eligibility remaining to compete at Oregon22, with Emmanuel Ihemeje taking fifth in the men's triple jump. In all, 14 current Ducks or program alumni competed in this year's World Athletics Championships, winning two medals — Jenna Prandini taking gold for the United States and Kemba Nelson winning silver with Jamaica, both in the 4x100 relay Saturday.
Raevyn Rogers, the 2019 World Championships silver medalist at 800 meters, ran in that event final Sunday and took sixth, in 1:58.26. Rogers, the 2021 Olympic silver medalist, was eighth at the bell and moved up to sixth with about 200 to go, but could improve no more.
"I felt really good; all in all I was calm, I knew I put the training in," Rogers said. "I knew I was ready for something fast. I think the adrenalin just really got the best of me. I just wasn't in the race."
The gold medal went to Rogers' Team USA teammate, Athing Mu, the reigning Olympic gold medalist.
"This is still a great moment for America, still a great moment for Athing, being the first American to win the World Championships," Rogers said. "This is a great time to celebrate her as a country."
In the 4x400, Grebo was running on the track where she trained and competed as a freshman for the Ducks this past spring. She's now not only anticipating the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, but another homecoming the following year, when Paris hosts the Summer Olympics.
"When the Olympic Games are getting ready to be in your country, you've heard about it all the time, even if you're just in middle school, high school," Grebo said. "So I just feel like it's a super big chance."
First up, though, are the European Championships in Germany this August. There, Grebo will run the 200 meters, as well as a leg on the 4x400.
"After that," she said with a smile, "I'm gonna have big amounts of vacation before coming back here."