Ducks at NCAA Indoor









DUCKS WIN THREE TITLES ON DAY ONE
COURTESY: GODUCKS.COM
RELEASE DATE: 03/13/2015

FAYETTEVILLE – The multi-talented Jenna Prandini was all over the Randall Tyson Track Center during the first day of the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships, Friday, helping the Ducks in their hunt for a sixth-straight NCAA Indoor Title. Prandini earned one of three Oregon NCAA titles on the day with a win in the long jump while Eric Jenkins and men’s distance medley relay ended the day with championships as well.

Prandini added Oregon’s first indoor long jump title to go with the one she earned last spring at Hayward Field, setting a school record with a jump of 21-10 (6.65m) on her second attempt. With a busy day ahead she passed on her final four attempts in order to prepare for the prelims of both the 60 and 200, where she did not disappoint.

The newly minted national champion set a personal best of 7.15 in the 60, winning the first heat to advance to tomorrow’s final along with teammate Jasmine Todd who finished second in the second heat in a time of 7.17. The two now both have personal bests of 7.15 set this season, tying them for second on the Oregon all-time list and tenth in collegiate history.

In Prandini’s last event of the day, the 200, fatigue was still out of the question. The junior ran to a 2015 world-leading mark of 22.52 which vaults her to No. 6 on the collegiate all-time performers list. She will be joined in the final by freshman Ariana Washington who won her heat in a personal-best time of 23.21.

“I don’t’ really think about (the hectic schedule) that much,” Prandini said. “I just listen to my coaches. I’ve done it all in high school and I got a lot of experience with it last year at Pac-12’s and outdoor nationals so I was pretty comfortable with it.”

“Jenna is absolutely phenomenal,” said head coach Robert Johnson. “For her to be able to maintain and manage her energies correctly was big coming into this meet.”

Senior Eric Jenkins was part of a patient 5,000 group which included teammates Parker Stinson and Will Geoghegan. The three stayed connected throughout a tactical race with many position changes. With 400 meters remaining, Jenkins picked up the pace and held off Arkansas’ Kemoy Campbell to win his first NCAA Championship in 13:48.36. Stinson repeated his third-place finish (13:52.79) from 2014 while Will Geoghegan tacked on two more points to total 18 with a seventh-place finish (13:56.11).

“We had a cohesive team race plan coming in,” said Geoghegan. “All three of us knew what we had to do. We knew we could work together as a team. Parker and I were going to kind of key off Eric and he did a fantastic job of executing.”

The Ducks finished the day on the highest note possible, as Colby Alexander, Marcus Chambers, Niki Franzmair and Edward Cheserek rallied to win the DMR in 9:30.53. Alexander and Chambers put Oregon in the middle of the pack before Franzmair moved up to third during an outstanding 800-meter carry, handing the baton off to the five-time NCAA Champion. Cheserek made up the gap on leaders Iowa State and Georgetown before creating a gap of his own en route to a win by nearly two seconds.

While in the hunt for a team championship, where every point is vital, the Ducks outperformed the dope sheets with key showings from Greg Skipper and Lauren Crockett.

Skipper grinded his way to a fifth-place finish in the weight throw. The senior secured the final spot in the finals, sitting in ninth and one point out of scoring position. On his final throw, he flew up the leaderboard to fifth, unleashing a mark of 72-6.50 (22.11m) for four points to become Oregon’s first Indoor All-American in any men’s throwing event.

Crockett, who finished ninth at the Championships a year ago, started the day for the Ducks by picking up 3.5 points while tying for fifth in the high jump. The senior only missed one attempt on her way to a successful clearance of 6-0.50 (1.84m), picking up her third All-American honor in the process.

The Men of Oregon lead the team race after five scored events with 32 points, nine ahead of second-place Arkansas. The women have 13.5 points after the first day and trail first-place Georgia by half a point.

The Ducks were nearly perfect in qualifying, advancing nine of ten athletes to finals of their events tomorrow.

Edward Cheserek (3:58.69) and Johnny Gregorek (3:58.75) went 1-2 to open the competition in the mile, securing their spot in the finals with a surge down the home stretch. Daniel Winn followed in the next heat, making it 3-for-3 while qualifying in second place with a time of 3:58.50.

Nikki Hiltz advanced to the final in the women’s mile, qualifying on time in a personal best 4:37.90.

Sophomore Sasha Wallace will be looking for redemption in the 60 hurdles after she did not finish in the indoor finals last year. Wallace advanced on Friday, finishing in 8.18.

The Ducks will begin the second day at 1:45 p.m. PT with Brittany Mann starting things off in the women’s shot put. The meet will be streamed live on ESPN3.








Eric Jenkins was pumped (click for photo gallery)

Eric Jenkins was pumped (click for photo gallery)

Quick Take #1: Eric Jenkins Had to Wait a Long Time for His First National Title

Jenkins went through two coaches at Northeastern, was DQ’d at NCAA Indoors in the 3000 in 2013 (nullifying a 7:46 PR and second-place finish), and then transferred to Oregon where he played second fiddle to Edward Cheserek during all of 2014. He accomplished a tremendous amount before tonight (pbs of 7:44/13:18, runner-up finish at NCAA XC) and though the focus for Oregon at NCAAs is always on the team, Jenkins deserves some recognition for his individual title.

He said it was nice to finally be in a race where he didn’t have to get second to teammate Edward Cheserek and Jenkins looked like a stud over the final 1000 meters, closing in 2:29.33 with a 26.80 last lap that finally broke Campbell.

Consider this: no American man had won an NCAA title at a distance longer than 1500 meters (indoor/outdoor/cross country) since Elliott Heath accomplished the feat at 3000 meters in 2011. Jenkins ended the streak tonight, and he’s got a chance to add to his title tomorrow night in the 3000.

Quick Take #2: The Men of Oregon Were Pleased with 18 Points in the Team Race

Oregon went 1-3 for the second year in a row, with Jenkins switching in for Cheserek and Parker Stinson once again taking third, capturing six big points in the team battle. Will Geoghegan, who was fifth in the indoor mile last year running for Dartmouth, was disappointed to finish seventh tonight in the 5k but has a chance to make amends as the second seed in the 3k tomorrow night. Overall, the Ducks are in a good spot in the team race right now. They have 32 points after being projected at just 27, as weight thrower Greg Skipper came up big and finished fifth (after being seeded ninth). Oregon has athletes in just two events tomorrow, but the Ducks can still score a lot of points (they have three guys in the mile final and five in the 3k).





Place Name Affiliation Time Heat (Pl)
1 Eric Jenkins SR Oregon 13:48.36 1 (1)
2 Kemoy Campbell SR Arkansas 13:49.55 1 (2)
3 Parker Stinson SR Oregon 13:52.79 1 (3)
4 Jason Witt SR BYU 13:53.64 1 (4)
5 Marc Scott SO Tulsa 13:54.25 1 (5)
6 Pierce Murphy JR Colorado 13:54.36 1 (6)
7 Will Geoghegan SR Oregon 13:56.11 1 (7)
8 Thomas Curtin JR Virginia Tech 13:57.87 1 (8)
9 Mark Parrish SR Florida 14:01.21 1 (9)
10 Ammar Moussa JR Colorado 14:01.22 1 (10)
11 Craig Lutz JR Texas 14:12.88 1 (11)
12 Aaron Nelson JR Washington 14:13.90 1 (12)
13 Shaun Thompson SR Duke 14:16.23 1 (13)
14 Morgan Pearson JR Colorado 14:16.63 1 (14)
15 Brandon Lord SR Georgia 14:16.73 1 (15)
16 Kevin Lewis SR Iowa 14:22.92 1 (16)


Men’s DMR: King Cheserek What Else Did You Expect?

When the anchor legs began, there were four teams within three seconds of the lead. Iowa State led and then it was Georgetown (.37 back), Penn State (2.47 back) and Oregon (2.67 back). Instantly, we thought to ourselves, ‘Game over, congratulations Oregon.’

3:57.68 later we were right. Oregon coach Andy Powell didn’t even wait that long to celebrate. We saw him start giving people high-fives once Cheserek hit the homestretch. Cheserek himself started celebrating halfway down the homestretch. Cheserek blew everyone away when he went to the lead just before the bell. He looked sensational. We’ll try to watch a race replay to get his final 200 split later, but trust us, he looked good, very good.

Cheserek had time to celebrate halfway down the homestretch.





One of the more interesting story lines at next weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas, will be whether the Oregon Ducks can  repeat as NCAA men's champions with points only from four distance events plus weight thrower Greg Skipper.

The Ducks were distance-powered last year too, but they weren't as one-dimensional as they will be in Fayetteville.

In 2014, Oregon picked up a fourth-place finish from Mike Berry in the 400, a fourth-place finish from Johnathan Cabral in the 60 hurdles, a sixth-place finish in the 4x400 relay and a fourth-place finish from Dakotah Keys in the heptathlon.

None of that will be possible this year. Berry now is a Seattle-based pro, Cabral and Keys aren't competing indoors this season, and Oregon doesn't have a 4x4 entered.

The Ducks should be more multi-dimensional outdoors.

I saw Cabral practicing this week while in Eugene working on other stories. Keys has a season of outdoor eligibility remaining, and looks good.

Don't forget, reigning NCAA javelin champion Sam Crouser will be throwing outdoors.

2014 NCAA Track and Field ChampionshipsOregon's Greg Skipper will the Ducks' only, non-distance scoring possibility at next weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships.Thomas Boyd/The Oregonian 

I think the odds are against reigning NCAA and USATF 110-meter hurdle champion Devon Allen returning from ACL surgery in time to be a factor in the spring. But what Allen did last year was improbable, so who really knows?

Meanwhile, back to the indoor season, can the UO distance runners plus Skipper win a title?

Sure. Why not?

OK, links:

Flotrack's Meg Bellino ponders the possibilities at the NCAA Indoor for the Oregon men and Georgia women in this piece for Flotrack.

The Oregon Ducks are well represented in the USTFCCCA's indoor regional awards.

Oregon's Eric Jenkins earns USTFCCCA recognition.





Going the distance

Another national championship could come down to the 3,000

 

 

Oregon’s five men running in the 3,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships (from left) Eric Jenkins, Will Geoghegan, Edward Cheserek, Jeramy Elkaim and Parker Stinson give the Ducks one of the most formidable distance presences at the meet. (Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard)

 


The NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship meet doesn’t begin until Friday, but already the Oregon men’s distance team has earned a spot in the record book.

On Saturday night, in the second-to-last event of the two-day meet in Fayetteville, Ark., five Ducks will be entered in the 3,000-meter race.

That includes the defending national champion (Edward Cheserek), the current national leader (Eric Jenkins), the NCAA’s second- and fourth-fastest runners this season (Will Geoghegan and Jeramy Elkaim, respectively) and veteran Parker Stinson, who finished third in the 5,000 last season.

Five runners from one school in one event ties the NCAA men’s record set by Arkansas in 2003 when the Razorbacks also had five in the 5,000.

“If we have a good day we’ll go 1-2-3-4-5,” Cheserek predicted.

If that actually happens, it would most likely turn a good day into a great one for Oregon.

The second-ranked Ducks won the national title going away last season, scoring 62 points to finish eight ahead of second-place Arkansas.

But that team had a more balanced attack, getting points from Dakotah Keys in the heptathlon, Mike Berry in the 400, Johnathan Cabral in the hurdles, Mac Fleet in the mile, the 4x400 relay team and of course, Cheserek winning individual titles in the 3,000 and 5,000.

This year, Oregon qualified for more individual spots than last season (13 to 11), but 11 of those are in the mile, 3,000 and 5,000.

“All our eggs are in one basket,” Stinson said.

Jenkins, Stinson and Geoghegan are entered in the 5,000, and entered in the mile are Cheserek, Johnny Gregorek and Daniel Winn — three of the four Oregon milers to run under 4 minutes this season.

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If the Ducks don’t perform well in those events, a second straight championship trophy will be lost.

“Expectations are always pretty high,” Jenkins said. “We’re looking good and we just need to do what we’re capable of, nothing special, nothing above and beyond, just go out there and do your job and let the chips fall where they will.”

Jenkins has been the standout performer this indoor season and last week was named the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association West Region track athlete of the year.

The redshirt senior is in his second year with Oregon after transferring from Northeastern in the fall of 2013.

He ran his national-leading 3,000 time of 7:44.91 at the Millrose Games in New York on Feb. 14. His top 5,000 time of 13:31.76 came at the Rod McCravy Memorial meet in Kentucky in his season-opening race.

Jenkins also ran the final leg of the Ducks’ national-leading distance medley relay at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship meet two weekends ago in Seattle.

Though he’s ranked No. 1 in those two individual events, Jenkins said he feels no added pressure to perform well thanks to the overall strength of the team.

“If we all go out here and run like we do in practice then I think we’ll be OK,” said Jenkins, the NCAA cross country runner-up to Cheserek last fall. “No one has to be the super hero of the day.”

Jenkins didn’t compete indoors last season as he continued to recover from an injury that also kept him out of the 2013 cross country season.

But during the 2013 NCAA Indoor meet while still at Northeastern, he recorded what was then the third-fastest time by an American in the 3,000 when he finished second at the NCAA Indoor meet in 7:46.21. He was later disqualified after it was determined he interfered with another runner in the final lap.

“Hopefully I don’t get disqualified again,” said Jenkins as he laughed. “That would be nice. That’s goal No. 1, just get my name on the paper.”

With the success Jenkins has had this winter, Cheserek seems to be heading into the meet this weekend flying under the radar, as hard as that is to believe.

But the Ducks sophomore distance sensation, after running 7:49.56 in the 3,000 on Jan. 23, turned his attention to the mile and the DMR, the other two races he’ll run in Fayetteville.

His only 3,000 time of the season ranks sixth nationally but he is second in the mile at 3:56.43 — the Oregon indoor record which he set in the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games against a field of professionals.

“I like it,” Cheserek said of running the mile. “It’s something different and I’m trying to try something different this year. My focus is just to help the team win the title.”

Like Jenkins, Geoghegan ran his best 3,000 time of the season at the Millrose Games, finishing in 7:45.71. The senior transfer from Dartmouth was fifth in the mile at the NCAA Indoor meet last season.

“I was expecting to come here and have people to train with who are qualifying for NCAA meets and obviously it’s worked out about as well as it could have,” Geoghegan said. “Everyone’s just running great.”

That includes Elkaim, a redshirt junior who was the surprise winner in the 3,000 at the MPSF meet in 7:48.48.

“That was huge,” Jenkins said. “He’s been working out like a boss but that race aspect was never there. Everyone knew he was capable of that so to have him really go out there and do it, that was a big race. … And he deserves it. It was good to see.”

With so much firepower in one race, the Ducks will be able to employ some team tactics if they choose. But it is a championship race, so at some point, it’s going to be every man for himself.

“As much as they train together and as much as they work together … deep down inside they’re all competitors and us as coaches never ever want to take that away,” Oregon coach Robert Johnson said. “So at some point in time all the coaching will go out the window and it will be about that ticker that ticks in your chest and just show a little heart and see if you can get to the finish line first.”

Johnson wouldn’t predict who he thought that would be.

“I have no idea,” he said with a laugh. “Hopefully it will be someone with a big ‘O’ on their chest.”

Follow Chris on Twitter @chansen_RG . Email chris.hansen@registerguard.com .


“If we all go out here and run like we do in practice than I think we’ll be OK. No one has to be the super hero of the day.”

Eric Jenkins

Oregon Distance runner






DUCKS QUALIFY 25 ENTRIES TO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
COURTESY: GODUCKS.COM
RELEASE DATE: 03/03/2015

EUGENE - The 2015 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships fields were announced Tuesday night and Oregon has a school-record total of 25 entries to Fayetteville, March 13-14. The Ducks will have 13 entries on the men’s side and 12 on the women’s side, beating last year’s total of 23.

Eric Jenkins leads the men's team as the No. 1 seed in both the 3,000 and 5,000. He is part of the record-setting depth in the distance events with five entries in the 3,000 tying Arkansas (5,000 meters in 2003) for the most entrants in a men’s NCAA Indoor Championships event.

Jenkins will be doubling with Edward CheserekWill Geoghegan and Parker Stinson. Geoghegan and Stinson will be making the 3,000/5,000 double while Cheserek will compete in the mile/3,000. The Ducks will have 11 entries between the mile, 3,000 and 5,000 to go with the distance medley relay andGreg Skipper in the weight throw.

The Oregon women will send a diverse group headlined by Jenna Prandini who is entered in three events, ranked in the top five of the 60, 200 and long jump.Jasmine Todd will join her as the only other Ducks in multiple events, competing in the 60 and long jump. In addition to the sprints and jumps Oregon will also have entrants in the distances (Molly GrabillKatie Porada,Nikki Hiltz) and throws (Brittany Mann).

Both the men’s and women’s teams are coming off a sweep of the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships. Another title for the women would be the sixth in-a-row, the longest in NCAA history.

A full list of NCAA qualifiers from all school can be found here.

Men's Qualifiers

EventNameTop MarkNCAA Rank
MileEdward Cheserek3:56.432nd
MileJohnny Gregorek3:57.477th
MileDaniel Winn3:57.628th
3,000Eric Jenkins7:44.911st
3,000Will Geoghegan7:45.712nd
3,000Jeramy Elkaim7:48.484th
3,000Edward Cheserek7:49.566th
3,000Parker Stinson7:52.2113th
5,000Eric Jenkins13:31.761st
5,000Parker Stinson13:38.683rd
5,000Will Geoghegan13:43.228th
DMR 9:32.6112th
Weight ThrowGreg Skipper22.43m9th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women's Qualifiers

EventNameTop MarkNCAA Rank
60Jasmine Todd7.152nd
60Jenna Prandini7.195th
200Jenna Prandini22.942nd
200Ariana Washington23.3411th
MileKatie Porada4:38.0811th
MileNikki Hiltz4:39.3813th
5,000Molly Grabill15:59.6413th
60 HurdlesSasha Wallace8.169th
High JumpLauren Crockett1.85m8th
Long JumpJenna Prandini6.46m4th
Long JumpJasmine Todd6.43m7th
Shot PutBrittany Mann16.93m11th