Ducks Collect Four Champions on Day Two

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. – On day two of the Pac-12 Championships, the Oregon track and field team collected four conference titles—two men and two women—pushing the weekend total to five. Through eight events scored, the Women of Oregon share the lead with Arizona State at 56 points while the Men of Oregon currently sit in second with 54 points.
 
Alysah Hickey was the Ducks’ first champion of the day, securing a 1-2 sweep in the long jump with teammate Rhesa Foster. In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Jackson Mestler and Aneta Konieczek combined to sweep the event for the first time in program history, and Max Vollmer successfully defended his title in the decathlon.
 
In another productive day in qualifying, the Ducks advanced 15—eight women and seven men—to Sunday finals. All told, the UO men will have another 31 scoring opportunities in 11 events on day three while the UO women will have 27 chances in 13 events to add to their total.
 
Saturday Qualifiers
MEN
Gaston Bouchereau – 100 meters
Rieker Daniel – 100 meters
Jonathan Harvey – 110m hurdles
Cole Hocker – 800 meters
Charlie Hunter – 800 meters
Luis Peralta – 800 meters
Micah Williams – 100 meters
 
WOMEN
Megan Bolton – 400 meters
Jadyn Mays – 100 meters
Mia Moerck – 800 meters
Kemba Nelson – 100 meters
Jasmin Reed – 100 meters
Emily Sloan – 100m hurdles
Alexa Webster – 100m hurdles
Danyel White – 100 meters
 
The final day of the 2021 Pac-12 Championships begins at 1:15 p.m. (PT) with the men’s discus. Running events, and the Pac-12 Network coverage, starts at 3 p.m. with Jim Watson and Ato Boldon handing the play-by-play and color analyst duties, respectively.
 
Hickey put together an impressive series of jumps with four marks beyond 21 feet including the eventual-winning effort of 6.59m/21-7.5 in the second round. The personal-best marks doubles as the farthest Pac-12 winning jump since 2013. With the win, Hickey becomes the fifth UO woman—along with Foster—to win the conference title in the long jump.
 
“Today was amazing,” Hickey said. “I told Rhesa (Foster) before the meet that we’re going 1-2. I told everybody. I just had to speak it into existence. At the end of the day, it’s about points. On Rhesa’s last jump, I didn’t have the best angle but I heard the reaction from our team so I started screaming, too.”
 
Foster, the Pac-12 champion in 2017 and 2019, saved her best for last with a wind-aided 6.57m/21-6.75 (+3.4) in the sixth round. The measure bumped her from third to second and secured eight points toward the team total.
 
Mestler is the 13th UO man to win the steeplechase at the conference meet, and first to do so since Steve Finley did so in 2011. Mestler crossed the finish line in 8:35.32, knocking more than nine seconds off his lifetime best and, based on times entering the weekend, posting the No. 4 time in the NCAA this season. The Eugene, Ore., native navigated a chaotic final 200 meters on his way to his first Pac-12 title.
 
“It’s been slow and steady improvement in terms of technique and fitness, and even placing,” Mestler said. “I was seventh my freshmen year, then fifth, then third and now, to win as a senior, is a progression I really wanted. This has been a long-term goal since that freshman year so to have that finally realized four or five years later, it’s feels really good.”
 
In the race, Steven Neumaier used a personal best of his own to get up first fifth place and four more points for the Ducks. He crossed the finish line in 8:46.20, well past his previous best of 8:53.15 from 2019 during his career at Cornell.
 
With a season best of 9:59.42 from the Hayward Premiere (April 2), Konieczek entered the meet with the fourth-fastest seed time. She made quick work of that time and stopped the clock in a school-record 9:36.74 to win the Pac-12 title. In the process, Konieczek broke the meet record and Loker Stadium facility record, and recorded the No. 2 time in the NCAA this season. That performance also now ranks No. 6 all-time in Poland, Konieczek’s home country.
 
She is just the second UO woman to win a conference title in the steeplechase and first since Claire Michel (2010). Francesca Ierulli, in just her second-ever steeplechase, grabbed two points for the Ducks in seventh place. She had a PR of her own in 10:32.31, more than two seconds faster than her initial run at the OSU High Performance meet (April 30).
 
Vollmer is the sixth UO man with multiple conference titles in the decathlon and, overall, the program has now won the event 19 times. The Men of Oregon have won the event nine of the past 13 years the meet was held, dating back to Ashton Eaton’s first of three in 2008. Vollmer (7,638 points) led a 1-7-8 finish for the Ducks, good for 13 points in the team race.
 
In their first Pac-12 Championships, Jett Kinder and Nathan Poff finished seventh and eighth, respectively.
 
The Women of Oregon got eight points from Jaida Ross and Kiana Phelps in the shot put. In the third round, Ross extended her lifetime best to 16.54m/54-3.25 to become the No. 3 performer in UO history. The Medford, Ore., native finished fourth in the event. Phelps was sixth overall and posted a season-best mark of 15.58m/51-1.5 in the final round of throws.
 
Both Ross and Phelps, along with Christalee Kirby, will return Sunday for the discus.
 
Ben Milligan tied for second in the high jump, scoring seven points for the UO men. He finished the with a day’s best clearance of 2.17m/7-1.5 and is now a two-time conference runner-up (2018) in the event.
 
In the men’s long jump, Isaiah Griffith and Pierce LaCoste combined for 13 points. Griffith tied with Dylan James (Arizona State) but earned runner-up status with a better second-best mark. He had four jumps over 25 feet with a day’s best of 7.77m/25-6 (+2.5) in the third round of the day. After fouling his first two jumps, LaCoste nailed a third-round effort of 7.68m/25-2.5, good enough for fourth overall and a new personal best.
 
Among the highlights from Saturday’s prelims, all four UO women—Jadyn Mays, Kemba Nelson, Jasmin Reed, Danyel White—in the 100 meters qualified for the final. Nelson and White are also qualified in the 200 meters, along with duties with the 4×100-meter relay. Other double qualifiers in individual events Gaston Bouchereau (100m/200m), Rieker Daniel (100m/200m), Jonathan Harvey (110H/400H) and Alexa Webster (100H/400H).
 
In their respective events, Micah Williams and Luis Peralta were the fastest qualifiers in the field. Williams, one of three UO men into the final, led all runners with a wind-aided 10.09 (+2.9) in Saturday’s prelims. Peralta broke the facility record with his 1:46.13 in the prelims of the 800 meters. He’ll be joined in the final by teammates Charlie Hunter and Cole Hocker.
 
“There is a momentum piece that started (Friday) with four guys qualifying in the 1,500,” Mestler said. “That can be so positive and keep it rolling. It’s been something I’ve been part of before being on my fourth Pac-12 team. It can become contagious to have that rolling and it’s like ‘I’m not dropping the ball. I’m going to keep it going.'”
 
For the Ducks, field finals on Sunday include the high jump, triple jump and discus.
 
2021 Track and Field Pac-12 Championships – Day 2
Loker Track Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
MEN
100 Meters
1. Micah Williams – 10.09wQ (+2.9)
3. Gaston Bouchereau – 10.35Q
4. Rieker Daniel – 10.46Q
13. Jacoby McNamara – 10.54w (+2.9)
17. DJ Henderson – 10.59
18. Xavier Nairne – 10.63
 
800 Meters
1. Luis Peralta – 1:46.13Q (PR) [No. 6 UO]
2. Cole Hocker – 1:47.90Q
4. Charlie Hunter – 1:46.75Q (PR) [No. 9 UO]
20. Matt Wisner – 1:58.70
 
110m Hurdles
7. Jonathan Harvey – 14.07q
10. Will Mundy – 14.34 (PR)
 
3,000m Steeplechase
1. Jackson Mestler – 8:35.32 (PR) [10 points]
5. Steven Neumaier – 8:46.20 (PR) [4 points]
 
High Jump
t-2. Ben Milligan – 2.17m/7-1.5 [7 points]
 
Long Jump
2. Isaiah Griffith – 7.77m/25-6w (+2.5) [8 points]
4. Pierce LaCoste – 7.68m/25-2.5 (PR) [5 points]
9. DJ Henderson – 7.16m/23-6
10. Maxwell Shannon – 7.04m/23-1.25
 
Decathlon (Day 2/Total)
1. Max Vollmer – 7,638 [10 points]
               3. 110m Hurdles – 14.98 [852]
               1. Discus – 41.00m/134-6 [685]
               3. Pole Vault – 4.70m/15-5 [819]
               2. Javelin – 56.26m/184-7 [682]
               11. 1,500 Meters – 5:04.47 [534]
7. Jett Kinder – 6,745 [2 points]
               13. 110m Hurdles – 17.03 [621]
               3. Discus – 39.62m/130-0 (PR) [657]
               4. Pole Vault – 4.50m/14-9 [760]
               1. Javelin – 63.95m/209-9 (PR) [797]
               13. 1,500 Meters – 5:45.86 [325]
8. Nathan Poff – 6,695 [1 point]
               11. 110m Hurdles – 15.99 [734]
               8. Discus – 33.66m/110-5 [537]
               8. Pole Vault – 4.20m/13-9.25 (PR) [673]
               12. Javelin – 39.53m/129-8 [435]
               2. 1,500 Meters – 4:39.59 [683]
 
WOMEN
100 Meters
3. Kemba Nelson – 11.30Q
5. Jasmin Reed – 11.33wQ
6. Danyel White – 11.35Q (PR)
7. Jadyn Mays – 11.41wq
 
400 Meters
8. Megan Bolton – 54.21q
11. Gabby Beauvais – 55.83
 
800 Meters
5. Mia Moerck – 2:08.11Q
29. Nicole Louw – 2:14.37 (PR)
 
100m Hurdles
4. Emily Sloan – 13.21Q
7. Alexa Webster – 13.48q (=PR)
 
3,000m Steeplechase
1. Aneta Konieczek – 9:36.74 (PR) [No. 1 UO] [10 points]
7. Francesca Ierulli – 10:32.31 (PR) [2 points]
 
Long Jump
1. Alysah Hickey – 6.59m/21-7.5 (PR) [No. 4 UO] [10 points]
2. Rhesa Foster – 6.57m/21-6.75w (+3.4) [8 points]
 
Shot Put
4. Jaida Ross – 16.54m/54-3.25 (PR) [No. 3 UO] [5 points]
6. Kiana Phelps – 15.58m/51-1.5 [3 points]
17. Christalee Kirby – 12.21m/40-0.75
 
Heptathlon (Day 2/Total)
13. Taylor Chocek – 4,681 points
               11. Long Jump – 5.11m/16-9.25 [589]
               14. Javelin – 30.78m/101-0 [491]
               9. 800 Meters – 2:28.24 [715]
–. Mathilde Rey – DNF
 
For more news and information about Oregon Track and Field, follow @OregonTF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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