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#TrackTown20 Viewing Guide | Day 8

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EUGENE, Ore. – Day eight of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials is another busy day for Oregon track and field with 16 current and past standouts scheduled to compete Friday. There are two finals—men’s steeplechase and discus—on the program including an Olympic berth on the line for Eugene native Jackson Mestler.
 
Television coverage begins at 2 p.m. (PT) on NBCSN, a three-hour window that will also feature semifinals in the men’s 1500 meters and 400-meter hurdles and women’s 200 and 800 meters.
 
Click HERE for full schedule and live results.
 
In addition to action in Eugene, the Ducks will have an eye on Kingston, Jamaica, where Kemba Nelson will race in the semifinals (4:25 p.m.) of the 100 meters at the Jamaican National Trials. Should she advance, the final will take place at 5:55 p.m. Nelson ran 11.05 in Thursday’s first round, good for the fifth-fastest qualifier.
 
FOLLOW THE DUCKS
1:30 p.m. – men’s long jump | qualifying
Who: Damarcus Simpson
What: Three jumps each; top 12 advance to final (6/27 – 3:45 p.m.)
Watch: NBCOlympics.com
 
2:04 p.m. – men’s 200 meters | first round
Who: Cravon Gillespie, Kyree King
What: Four heats; top three in each heat + next four fastest advance to semifinals (6/26 – 7:33 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
2:33 p.m. – 110m hurdles | first round
Who: Devon Allen
What: Four heats; top three in each heat + next four fastest advance to semifinals (6/26 – 6:03 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
3:00 p.m. – men’s high jump | qualifying
Who: Ben Milligan
What: Two pits concurrently; top 12 advance to final (6/27 – 1:15 p.m.)
Watch: NBCOlympics.com
 
3:02 p.m. – women’s 800 meters | semifinals
Who: Raevyn Rogers, Sabrina Southerland
What: Two heats; top three in each heat + next two fastest advance to final (6/27 – 4:30 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
3:18 p.m. – men’s 400m hurdles | semifinals
Who: Jonathan Harvey
What: Two heats; top three in each heat + next two fastest advance to final (6/26 – 6:35 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
4:05 p.m. – men’s 1500 meters | semifinals
Who: Colby Alexander, Matthew Centrowitz, Johnny Gregorek, Cole Hocker, Sam Prakel, Jack Yearian
What: Two heats: top five in each heat + next two fastest advance to final (6/27 – 4:40 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
4:25 p.m. – women’s 200 meters | semifinals
Who: Jenna Prandini
What: Two heats; top three in each heat + next two fastest advance to final (6/26 – 7:24 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
4:42 p.m. – men’s 3000m steeplechase | final
Who: Jackson Mestler
Watch: NBCSN
 
For more news and information about Oregon Track and Field, follow @OregonTF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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#TrackTown20 Viewing Guide | Day 7

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EUGENE, Ore. – After a two-day rest break, the U.S. Olympic Team Trials resume Thursday at Hayward Field. In total, 15 current and past Ducks are scheduled to compete on day seven including recent NCAA champions Cole Hocker and Cooper Teare.
 
Television coverage begins at 6 p.m. (PT) on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app with additional dedicated links for field events.
 
Click HERE for live results.
 
FOLLOW THE DUCKS
5:45 p.m. – women’s long jump | qualifying
Who: Rhesa Foster, Alysah Hickey, Jasmine Todd
What: Three jumps each; top 12 advance to final (6/26 – 6:30 p.m.)
Watch: NBCOlympics.com
 
6:04 p.m. – men’s 1500 meters | first round
Who: Colby Alexander, Matthew Centrowitz, Johnny Gregorek, Cole Hocker, Sam Prakel
What: Three heats; top six in each heat + next six fastest advance to semifinals (6/25 – 4:05 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
6:31 p.m. – women’s 200 meters | first round
Who: Jenna Prandini
What: Five heats; top two in each heat + next six fastest advance to semifinals (6/25 – 4:25 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
7:00 p.m. – women’s 800 meters | first round
Who: Brooke Feldmeier, Raevyn Rogers, Sabrina Southerland
What: Five heats; top two in each heat + next six fastest advance to semifinals (6/25 – 3:02 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
7:32 p.m. – men’s 400m hurdles | first round
Who: Jonathan Harvey
What: Four heats; top three in each heat + next four fastest advance to semifinals (6/25 – 3:18 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
8:04 p.m. – men’s 5000 meters | first round
Who: Cole Hocker, Eric Jenkins, Cooper Teare
What: Two heats; top five in each heat + next six fastest advance to final (6/27 – 4:30 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
For more news and information about Oregon Track and Field, follow @OregonTF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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#TrackTown20 Viewing Guide | Day 4

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EUGENE, Ore. – Day four of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials will feature six finals including the men’s triple jump for Isaiah Griffith. Monday also marks the start of competition for Jackson Mestler in the steeplechase. He enters the meet off a personal-best performance of 8:27.65 at the TrackTown Qualifier (June 13).
 
Griffith posted a season-best mark of 16.54m/54-3.25 in a sixth-place showing at the recent NCAA Championships (June 11) at Hayward Field. He advanced to the final with an effort of 16.25m/53-3.75 in Saturday qualifying.
 
Television coverage begins at 4 p.m. (PT) on NBCSN. The one-hour window will include the steeplechase. The last hour of Monday’s coverage starts at 5 p.m. on NBC.
 
Monday finals: men’s 800, women’s 1500, women’s 5000, men’s pole vault, men’s triple jump, men’s javelin
 
Click HERE for live results.
 
FOLLOW THE DUCKS
4:29 p.m. – men’s steeplechase | first round
Who: Jackson Mestler
What: Top five in each heat + next four fastest advance to final (6/25 – 4:42 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN/NBC Sports app
 
4:40 p.m. – men’s triple jump | final
Who: Isaiah Griffith
What: Three jumps each, then top eight advance to final round of three more jumps
Watch: NBCOlympics.com
 
For more news and information about Oregon Track and Field, follow @OregonTF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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#TrackTown20 Viewing Guide | Day 3

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EUGENE, Ore. – Day three of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field will feature eight finals including the conclusion of the decathlon. On the track, three UO men—Cravon Gillespie, Kyree King and Micah Williams—have advanced to the semifinals of the 100 meters with eyes on the final. Both rounds will take place Sunday.
 
Television coverage begins at 6 p.m. (PT) on NBC. Including the men’s 100, the two-hour broadcast window will feature finals in the 100-meter hurdles and the men’s and women’s 400 meters.
 
Click HERE for live results.
 
FOLLOW THE DUCKS
12:15 p.m. – decathlon
Who: Joe Delgado
What: Day 2 – 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, 1500m
Watch: NBCOlympics.com
 
6:19 p.m. – men’s 100 meters | semifinals
Who: Cravon Gillespie, Kyree King, Micah Williams
What: Top three in each heat + next two fastest advance to final (7:52 p.m.)
Watch: NBC
 
7:52 p.m. – men’s 100 meters | final
Who: TBD
Watch: NBC
 
For more news and information about Oregon Track and Field, follow @OregonTF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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#TrackTown20 Viewing Guide | Day 2

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EUGENE, Ore. – Day two of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials marks the beginning of the decathlon and six other events featuring current and past Ducks. Among the UO standouts, Micah Williams (100m) and Isaiah Griffith (triple jump) will be in action just over a week removed from the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field.
 
Television coverage begins at 5 p.m. (PT) on NBCSN with a two-hour window featuring first-round heats of the men’s 100 meters—Cravon, Kyree, Micah—and semifinals of the women’s 100 meters. NBC will then carry the final hour of day two beginning at 7 p.m.
 
Click HERE for live results.
 
FOLLOW THE DUCKS
1:00 p.m. – start of the decathlon
Who: Joe Delgado
What: Day 1 – 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m
Watch: NBCOlympics.com
 
4:30 p.m. – men’s pole vault | qualifying
Who: Cole Walsh
What: Two pits; top 12 advance to final (6/21 – 3:30 p.m.)
Watch: NBCOlympics.com
 
5:15 p.m. – men’s triple jump | qualifying
Who: Isaiah Griffith
What: Two flights; top 12 advance to final (6/21 – 4:40 p.m.)
Watch: NBCOlympics.com
 
5:34 p.m. – men’s 100 meters | 1st round
Who: Cravon Gillespie, Kyree King, Micah Williams
What: Top three in each heat + next four fastest advance to semifinals (6/20 – 6:19 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
6:03 p.m. – women’s 100 meters | semifinals
Who: English Gardner, Jenna Prandini
What: Top three in each heat + next two fastest advance to final (7:51 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
7:20 p.m. – women’s 400 meters | semifinals
Who: Phyllis Francis
What: Top three in each heat + next two fastest advance to final (6/20 – 7:06 p.m.)
Watch: NBC
 
7:51 p.m. – women’s 100 meters | final
Who: TBD
Watch: NBC
 
For more news and information about Oregon Track and Field, follow @OregonTF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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#TrackTown20 Viewing Guide | Day 1

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EUGENE, Ore. – For several Ducks, the Journey to Gold begins Friday on day one of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field. Over the course of the next 10 days, more than 30 UO standouts—past and present—will be looking to secure their spots to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
 
Television coverage begins at 4 p.m. (PT) on NBCSN and switches over to NBC at 7 p.m. for the final hour which will feature Eric Jenkins and Galen Rupp in the final of the men’s 10,000 meters. NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app will present exclusive coverage of select field events.
 
Click HERE for live results.
 
FOLLOW THE DUCKS
4:00 p.m. – women’s discus | qualifying
Who: Kiana Phelps
What: Three throws each; top 12 advance to final (6/19 – 6:42 p.m.)
Watch: NBCOlympics.com
 
4:03 p.m. – women’s 1,500 meters | first round
Who: Alli Cash
What: Top six in each heat + next six fastest advance to semifinals (6/19 – 6:40 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
4:30 p.m. – women’s 400 meters | first round
Who: Phyllis Francis
What: Top three in each heat + next four fastest advance to semifinals (6/19 – 7:20 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
4:58 p.m. – men’s 400 meters | first round
Who: Marcus Chambers
What: Top three in each heat + next four fastest advance to semifinals (6/19 – 7:35 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
5:54 p.m. – women’s 5,000 meters | first round
Who: Alli Cash
What: Top five in each heat + next six fastest advance to final (6/21 – 5:40 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
6:15 p.m. – women’s triple jump | qualifying
Who: Dominique Ruotolo
What: Three jumps each; top 12 advance to final (6/20 – 5:55 p.m.)
Watch: NBCOlympics.com
 
6:37 p.m. – women’s 100 meters | first round
Who: Hannah Cunliffe, English Gardner, Jenna Prandini
What: Top three in each heat + next four fastest advance to semifinals (6/19 – 6:03 p.m.)
Watch: NBCSN
 
7:25 p.m. – men’s 10,000 meters | final
Who: Eric Jenkins, Galen Rupp
Watch: NBC
 
For more news and information about Oregon Track and Field, follow @OregonTF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Journey to Gold Begins Friday in Eugene

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EUGENE, Ore. — The Ducks are flocking home to their new pond.

Nearly three dozen current or former University of Oregon student-athletes are getting ready to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials beginning Friday at Hayward Field. The 10-day meet, which includes off days Tuesday and Wednesday, concludes Sunday, June 27. List of UO entries and full broadcast schedule appear at end of the article.

Participants will be competing for the right to represent the United States at the Tokyo Olympics beginning July 23.

Competition begins Friday, a session that includes finals in the men’s shot put and the men’s 10,000 meters, with UO alums Galen Rupp and Eric Jenkins in the field. Friday also features the first round of the women’s 100 meters, a field that includes Hannah Cunliffe, English Gardner and Jenna Prandini.

“Hayward Magic is a little bit more magical for the people who are wearing the ‘O’ or have worn the ‘O’ before,” said Prandini, a three-time NCAA champion for the Ducks and two-time U.S. champion at 200 meters. “I’m just excited to get back out on the new track and compete.”

Current Ducks will be on hand as well, including Kiana Phelps in the discus and Dominique Ruotolo in the triple jump Friday, and Micah Williams in the first round of the men’s 100 on Saturday. Williams will compete in a field that includes Cravon Gillespie, a junior on the 2018 Oregon team that was the last to compete in Historic Hayward Field before it was remodeled.

Gillespie recalled running in the Trials at Hayward as a junior college athlete back in 2016, and being appreciated by Oregon fans before he ever signed to run with the Ducks.

“It just means a lot to come back and have the Olympic Trials here, and knowing next year’s Worlds will be there,” said Gillespie, who helped the U.S. 4×100-meter relay team win gold at the 2019 World Championships. “To know you have a home-field advantage kind of, it’s always pretty cool to go back there and represent.”

Pole vaulter Cole Walsh recalled winning a junior national title at Hayward Field in 2014, before he went on to become a two-time all-American with the Ducks. He said he’s expecting a similar competitive environment in the reimagined venue when his event begins Saturday, with the pole vault runway located in about the spot, and with the contingent of longtime fans in the stands.

“Eugene is the only place in the States where the fans come and they know your name, they know your best mark, they know what you’ve been doing all year,” Walsh said. “Eugene is the only place I’ve really found (true) track fans, and I’m excited to be able to come back.”

The qualifying round for the men’s pole vault is set for Saturday afternoon.

For Gardner, who helped the U.S. win gold in the 4×100 at the 2016 Summer Olympic in Rio, this year’s U.S. Team Trials hold even deeper meaning. Not only will she race to make another Olympic team, she’s looking to show she’s all the way back from a bout with COVID-19 since April.

Gardner said she experienced “long hauler” symptoms including muscle pain, fatigue and respiratory problems. Her heart rate would remain elevated for several hours after a practice, she said. Garnder arrived in Eugene on Tuesday and said “this has been the first week where I feel like a normal person.”

“I have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” she said. “I’ve already beaten COVID. I feel like a conqueror.”

On a lighter note, Gardner also said she hopes to visit the concession stand at Hayward Field named in her honor. She’s hoping a little name recognition will go a long way at “English’s Garden.” 

“I’m just gonna show my ID,” she quipped, “and hopefully that’ll get me a free meal.”

Even for those athletes who didn’t fall ill with COVID-19, the last 15 months have been a whirlwind due to the pandemic. This Olympic cycle was originally scheduled for last year, before being pushed back.

“The fact we actually get to step on the line and race at the Olympic Trials is exciting,” Prandini said.

And the fact that UO athletes past and present get to do so at Hayward Field makes it that much more special.

“This is my second home — it’s a home away from home,” Gardner said. “So I’m excited to warm up the track a bit, and put on a great show for all the great fans that always come out and support us.”

Full Broadcast Schedule (all times PT)
Friday, June 18
NBCSN: 4-7 p.m.
NBC: 7-8 p.m.

Saturday, June 19
NBCSN: 5-7 p.m.
NBC: 7-8 p.m.

Sunday, June 20
NBC: 6-8 p.m.

Monday, June 21
NBCSN: 4-5 p.m.
NBC: 5-6 p.m.

Thursday, June 24
NBCSN: 6-9 p.m.

Friday, June 25
NBCSN: 2-5 p.m.

Saturday, June 26
NBC: 6-8 p.m.

Sunday, June 27
NBC: 4-5:30 p.m.

*NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app will present exclusive coverage of select field events

Ducks at the U.S. Olympic Trials
Devon Allen – 110HH
Alli Cash – 1500m, 5000m
Matthew Centrowitz – 1500m
Hannah Cunliffe – 100m
Joe Delgado – Decathlon
Brooke Feldmeier – 800m
Rhesa Foster – Long Jump
Phyllis Francis – 400m
English Gardner – 100m
Cravon Gillespie – 100m, 200m
Isaiah Griffith – Triple Jump
Jonathan Harvey – 400H
Alysah Hickey – Long Jump
Cole Hocker – 1500m, 5000m
Eric Jenkins – 10,000m
Kyree King – 100m, 200m
Jackson Mestler – 3000m SC
Ben Milligan – High Jump
Kiana Phelps – Discus
Sam Prakel – 1500m
Jenna Prandini – 100m, 200m
Raevyn Rogers – 800m
Dominique Ruotolo – Triple Jump
Galen Rupp – 10,000m
Damarcus Simpson – Long Jump
Sabrina Southerland – 800m
Cooper Teare – 5000m
Jasmine Todd – Long Jump
Cole Walsh – Pole Vault
Micah Williams – 100m
Jack Yearian – 1500m

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Nelson Fourth In 100 Final

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EUGENE, Ore. — Kemba Nelson ran an all-conditions personal best in the 100 meters Saturday to finish fourth in the NCAA Outdoor championship meet at Hayward Field.

One of four entrants for the Ducks on Saturday’s concluding day of the meet, Nelson was the only one to score. Aneta Konieczek (steeplechase) and Dominique Ruotolo (triple jump) each finished ninth, and the UO 4×100-meter relay team was disqualified after a bad exchange.

The Women of Oregon finished the meet with 19 teams points, bolstered by the five from Nelson in the 100. That total also included 10 from Carmela Cardama Baez’s victory Thursday in the 10,000, and four from Alysah Hickey’s fifth-place finish Thursday in the triple jump.

“Obviously, not the start we wanted,” UO coach Robert Johnson said. “We thought, coming into today, if we hit on all cylinders we would have had a chance to win a trophy. To start that way was a little deflating. We tried to rally but I’m proud of the team and the effort all season. It’s one of those things where we’ll go back to the drawing board and finish out the rest of this postseason at the Trials.”

Nelson, the NCAA Indoor champ at 60 meters, ran 10.90 seconds in Saturday’s 100 final, which featured wind at +2.2. Cambrea Sturgis of North Carolina A&T won in 10.74 seconds, before doubling back to win the 200 as well.

NCAA 100 Final Kemba Nelson

“I knew it was a fast race, but honestly I was surprised when I saw the time — but I did that,” Nelson said. “It feels good after a long season—indoor and outdoor—and running at a high intensity throughout, and to do (10.90) here, I am happy. I can’t complain.”

USC won the women’s team race with 74 points, helped by a sweep of the hurdles races from Anna Cockrell. The Ducks finished tied for 11th in the team scoring.

Oregon’s day began with the DQ in the 4×100, as Nelson — running the second leg — couldn’t get the baton to Jasmin Reed in rhythm. The Pac-12 champs gathered themselves and finished the race but ultimately were disqualified.

“I feel like part of that was for them because of what we talked about after the relay,” Nelson said of her open 100. “I said, ‘I’m not done yet,’ and I still had the 100 to go out and prove what I could do. I was doing it for all of us.”

Aneta Konieczek NCAA Final

Konieczek, who set a UO record in the 3,000 steeplechase of 9:34.47 in Thursday’s semifinals, was running with the lead pack Saturday with three laps to go before fading.

Roseburg native Mahala Norris of Air Force was the winner, and the third-place finisher was Washington’s Katie Rainsberger, who began her career at Oregon before transferring.

Dominique Ruotolo NCAAs

In the triple jump, Ruotolo put together her best jump on her opening attempt, of 44 feet, 1.5 inches. That helped her advance to the finals, where she did not improve and thus didn’t move up into scoring position.

“When I first stepped on the runway, the energy … I mean, it is Hayward magic. I literally had goosebumps.” Ruotolo said. “…. The first jump was just to get it out of the way because I was so nervous, since it was my first time competing here. When I was down there I could literally feel the energy, so I was trying to think about my phases but I just kept smiling: ‘Oh no, I’m not focused.’ It was a good first jump but I just couldn’t get it going after that.”


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#NCAATF Viewing Guide | Day 4

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EUGENE, Ore. – The Women of Oregon enter the final day of the NCAA Championships with 14 points and four more scoring opportunities. All three chances on the track come within the first hour of the ESPNU broadcast, starting with the 4×100-meter relay at 3:02 p.m. (PT).
 
The Ducks points so far have come from a national-title performance by Carmela Cardama Baez in the 10,000 meters and a fifth-place finish by Alysah Hickey in the long jump.
 
Television coverage begins at 3 p.m. (PT) on ESPNU with dedicated links for field events on ESPN3. Click HERE for live results.
 
2021 NCAA Championships
Hayward Field (Eugene, Ore.)
Friday, June 11 – Men’s Finals
   
Click HERE for complete broadcast schedule.
 
For more news and information about Oregon Track and Field, follow @OregonTF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Men of Oregon Claim Three Titles

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EUGENE, Ore. — The Men of Oregon are a team of rivals, and on Friday they also were a team of NCAA individual champions.

UO junior Cooper Teare and freshman Cole Hocker, teammates but also competitors in the middle distances all year, each was able to celebrate a victory Friday in the NCAA Outdoor championship meet at Hayward Field. Teare set a meet record to win the 5,000 meters, Hocker won the 1,500 before doubling back to finish fourth in the 5k, and Emmanuel Ihemeje gave the Ducks their first-ever NCAA title in the triple jump as Oregon took second in the team race with 53 points, trailing only LSU’s 84.

Hocker ran the final lap of the 1,500 in 52.23 seconds to win in a personal-best 3:35.35. He nipped Teare at the line in the 1,500 final at the NCAA Indoor championships, and also in the 5,000 of the Oregon Relays on April 23. But on Friday, Hocker’s kick in the 5k only brought him up to fourth, while Teare bested two other runners to the finish line to win in 13:12.27, the No. 2 time by a collegian in history.

“I couldn’t be happier for Cooper; indoors he was so happy for me,” Hocker said. “Throughout the race they made it fast, just enough to take me out of that front pack with 800 to go. I would have definitely been more upset if it hadn’t been Cooper that won. I’m so happy for him.”

EUGENE, OR - JUNE 09: during the Division I Mens and Womens Outdoor Track & Field Championships held at Hayward Field on June 11, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Eric Evans/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Teare’s training for Friday’s race was fueled by some of those narrow losses to Hocker earlier in the year. He said his workouts have emphasized finishing well over the final 150 meters, something that paid off Friday.

Running with the front pack the entire race, Teare took the lead with a lap to go. With 200 meters left, both Athanas Kioko of Campbell and Luis Grijalva of Northern Arizona passed Teare, but he returned the favor in the final turn and held on to win.

“They came around me and they didn’t really pick it up that much,” Teare said. “Neither of them were really moving that hard, and I saw my opening and didn’t look back. The whole season I’ve been getting caught at the line so it was all about, don’t look back and run through the line.”

EUGENE, OR - JUNE 09: during the Division I Mens and Womens Outdoor Track & Field Championships held at Hayward Field on June 11, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Eric Evans/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Teare’s final time of 13:12.27 not only was a meet record, but it was under the Olympic ‘A’ standard of 13:13.50.

“To be able to do that in a championship race, now I have a lot more confidence going into Trials,” he said.

The Ducks on Friday also got third-place finishes from Micah Williams in the 100 and Charlie Hunter in the 800, a sixth in the triple jump for Isaiah Griffith and seventh from Jonathan Harvey in the 400 hurdles. Hunter ran a personal best of 1:45.75 and Harvey tied the UO record of 49.64, helping the Ducks follow up their NCAA Indoor team title with a second-place finish outdoors.

EUGENE, OR - JUNE 09: during the Division I Mens and Womens Outdoor Track & Field Championships held at Hayward Field on June 11, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Eric Evans/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Ihemeje posted three of the top five marks in the triple jump Friday, but it was his first jump that held up as the winner. He opened the meet by soaring 56 feet, 2.75 inches, and he surpassed 54 feet three more times over the course of the evening.

“I knew there was really tough competition,” said Ihemeje, who also won the NCAA Indoor triple jump title. “My plan was to throw a bomb at the beginning. So we worked a lot to make the first jump be executed in a good way. So I’m glad I did my best on my first jump.”

EUGENE, OR - JUNE 09: during the Division I Mens and Womens Outdoor Track & Field Championships held at Hayward Field on June 11, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Eric Evans/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Ihemeje fed off the Hayward Field crowd throughout his series, playing to the 6,234 fans on hand — the most since the venue re-opened this spring.

“It’s such an amazing vibe and emotion in this new Hayward Field,” said Ihemeje, who was raised in Italy and speaks five languages. “This is my biggest experience, and doing a big competition like the NCAA finals at home is such a big pleasure for me — an honor. And I had to do my best to entertain our fans, our Duck nation. So I did my best, and I hope they enjoyed the show.”

EUGENE, OR - JUNE 09: during the Division I Mens and Womens Outdoor Track & Field Championships held at Hayward Field on June 11, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Eric Evans/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Hocker said the energy from the crowd was “a feeling I’ve never felt,” and provided the adrenaline rush that fueled his finishing kick in the 1,500. With about 350 to go in that race he stumbled a bit in traffic, but he quickly regathered himself and surged into the lead on the backstretch.

For as tough as that effort was, Hocker said he had to dig even deeper in the 5,000. He said Teare and the other top finishers “ran smart” and pushed the pace early to take a 1,500-5,000 double by Hocker off the table. Still, Hocker was able to follow up his PR in the 1,500 with another in the 5,000, of 13:18.95.

“That’s something I’m really proud of today,” he said. “Of course I was still going for the win in the 5,000 today; that was my goal. I never really thought about running those times back to back, but I’m extremely happy with those performances.”

More reaction from Friday’s results:

Robert Johnson, UO head coach
“Finally our newbies and those that hadn’t experienced it yet got a little taste of the ‘Hayward magic’ we all talk about. Lane County Public Health and the University of Oregon administration has done a fantastic job in working together to get as many fans as we had today. To get close to that 50 percent capacity was awesome, and it showed. I’ve said all along, these fans are the most passionate and most knowledgeable in the world. Not only do they cheer for the Ducks — of course, they may cheer a little louder — but they cheer for all good performances.They’re supportive of good track and field.”

Charlie Hunter

Charlie Hunter, 800 meters
“This is one of the things I love about being a Duck: We have the best fans. In a sea of athletes, I feel like I’m special and six feet taller than everyone else. The roar I felt before we started, and then again on the last lap, was what kept me pushing through the line. It’s very special to put on this green and gold and it means a lot to me. … I executed this race exactly like I wanted to. I wouldn’t change a thing because I ran the best race for me today, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. I have no regrets because I went out and did exactly what I wanted to do today. It’s bittersweet to achieve what I wanted to but fall short on placing.”

Micah Williams, 100 meters
“It was definitely an experience I enjoyed. I didn’t execute like I wanted but it felt good to have the fans behind me even after losing. They were still there for me.”

Jonathan Harvey

Jonathan Harvey, 400 hurdles
“I didn’t know (about tying the school record) when I finished, but that’s what Coach (Curtis) Taylor was telling me. It’s special and I feel like I’ve really come a long way, in and out of athletics. To tie the school record really puts a cap on my achievements.”


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