Nation Heads to Eugene for Track & Field Championships

“So it begins” King Theoden ominously murmured as the Uruks of Isengard descended upon Rohan. This Wednesday another battle, though not so mythological, takes place at Hayward Field as the top collegiate athletes from around the country flock to Eugene for the NCAA National Championship meet. Just like in Lord of the Rings, many captivating story lines unfold this weekend.  One of the most intriguing is the battle for gold between the women’s squads of #3 Oregon, and #1 Kansas.

Jordan Hasay running in the 1,500 meters during the Pepsi Team Invitational.

2013; Gary Breedlove

Jordan Hasay running in the 1,500 meters during the Pepsi Team Invitational.

Despite having only 13 women entries for the meet, Kansas has the advantage, with all of their competitors ranked in the top nine in their events, with seven in the top five.  Our lady Ducks have their best chance to upset the Jayhawks by cleaning up in the running events with top-ranked 100 meter sprinter English Gardner doubling back in the 200, Phyllis Francis in the 400, #2 Laura Roesler in the 800 and Jordan Hasay in the 5,000 meters.

These two teams already have some history.  They fought over the Indoor Track & Field national title in March, with Oregon prevailing in a hotly-contested battle. All signs point to this weekend’s match being every bit as tight, where a single point gained or lost has the potential to decide the meet.

Phyllis Francis sprinting in the 4x100 meter dash during the Pepsi Team Invitational.

2013; Gary Breedlove

Phyllis Francis sprinting in the 4×100 meter relay during the Pepsi Team Invitational.

If the Oregon women pull off the win, they will be the first women’s squad to take home NCAA team gold in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track in a single school year. The Ducks’ quest for history is just one of many story lines to follow as the Championships get underway on Wednesday.

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Mathew Topolewski

Mathew Topolewski

Mathew recently graduated from the University of Oregon with a major in both English and Cinema Studies. Growing up he played Hockey his entire life, and was able to reach the Junior A level of play his Freshmen year of college. He therefore not only has an intense passion for sports, but has a unique understanding and appreciation for all athletes.