EUGENE – The Oregon women are after the triple crown.
The title consists of winning the NCAA title in cross-country and both the indoor and outdoor track and field all in the same academic year. It has never been won by a women’s team.
After having won cross-country and indoor track and field, the Oregon women are looking to make history this weekend at Hayward Field.
Coming in to the day, the team was the clear favorites to win the title on Saturday. But to get to Saturday, they had to get through the preliminary rounds. Today Oregon had 13 different entries in track events and 11 advanced on to the finals.
Standouts Ariana Washington – the reigning NCAA champion in the 100m and 200m – and Deajah Stevens –this year’s Pac-12 Champion in these events in addition to finishing seventh in the 200m at the 2016 Olympic Games – both advanced in the 100m and 200m but not as easily as they would have liked.
In the 100m, the pair both finished out of the automatic qualifying and had to agonizingly wait to see if their times were fast enough to advance to the final. Despite moving on, the pair was both disappointed in their performance.
“Some days are our days and some days are not and today wasn’t really our day in the 100,” said Washington. “I think [Deajah and I] are both really, really hungry knowing that we didn’t do as well. We should be going one-two every time we step on the line.”
In the 200, Stevens jumped out to a fast start but Washington failed to finish in the top two but advanced by having the third fastest time of the day. Despite the clear win, Stevens still expected more of her performances.
“I just need to go out there and do what I practice,” said Stevens. “Saturday is just time to give it all you got. You got to hit it and you got to hit it hard and that’s what I plan on doing.”
While Oregon’s performances held to form across the board, the one surprise finish came in the women’s 800m. While Oregon’s NCAA record holder Raevyn Rogers comfortably advanced with a first place finish in her heat, the shock came from Brooke Feldmeier. Feldmeier ran a strong race from the start and ended up finishing with the top time of the day. She attributed her success to being inspired to help bring home the elusive triple crown.
“I think that’s one of the biggest motivators I had,” said Feldmeier. “If we win a triple crown I want to say that I made the final and scored some points for that.”
Elsewhere at the meet Katie Rainsberger advanced in the 1500m, Sasha Wallace and Alaysha Johnson in the 100m hurdles, Elexis Guster in the 400 and a team in the 4 x 400m relay.
The women’s competition comes to a close Saturday and then men’s competition finishes up at Hayward Friday.