Being that this is “Track Town USA,” it should come to no real surprise that the Oregon Ducks are dominating on both the track and the field this season. Although the men are certainly doing well, it is the women’s outdoor track & field team that is displaying its incredible prowess (currently with a #2 national ranking), and making things really interesting in the sport. Just as a quick recap, last month the women’s indoor team dug deep and claimed its fourth consecutive national title. Oh, and one more fun fact to keep in mind: earlier this school year, women’s cross country nailed down its first national title since 1987. So, depending upon how well the women’s outdoor track & field squad fares, this Oregon women’s team could be the first to win a national title in cross country, indoor, and outdoor track & field in a single school year ever (knock on wood of course).
Undoubtedly, then, all the attention and pressure turns to the outdoor crew. However, standing in the way of this illustrious honor seems to be powerhouse, and apparent Achilles heel for Oregon, Texas A&M. Going into the Pepsi Team Invitational this past weekend, not only were they ranked 3rd nationally (right behind Oregon), but they’re also the team that seized the national championship from the Ducks three years in-a-row.
For some reason, the Aggies just seem to have our number, and this weekend was no different. Although the women’s team did put on a great showing, leading for most of the meet and defeating both Washington and Washington State, it was the Aggies, once again, who rallied from behind and stole away from Oregon the tightly contested match with 201 points, winning events such as Oregon’s traditional stronghold, the 5,000 meter race in which they took first and second.
Of course, being that it’s the heart of the season, this doesn’t mean there should be any pressing of a panic button just yet. The women will still have a great ranking nationally after this weekend and, moreover, still have an excellent shot at being highly competitive in the national championship meet. However, to actually win the title this time, and consequently achieve this incredibly historic feat noted above, the women’s outdoor track & field team will first have to go back to the proverbial drawing board and figure out a way to combat those pesky and problematic Aggies.