Pepsi Invitational — Ducks Dominate While Easing into Outdoor Season

The Oregon men and women swept the Pepsi Invitational this past weekend. The team’s performance ranked the men 3rd on the national poll and 8th for the women. The Ducks featured plenty of their A-squad on both sides and a lot of were pulling their punches.

Lady Ducks sticking together in the 5000m

Isaac Gibson

Lady Ducks sticking together in the 5000m.

Jenna Prandini  competed only in the long jump, but she could have won both the 100m and 200m events.

Oregon’s record holder in the 100m hurdles, Sasha Wallace, didn’t perform well in the 400m hurdles as she finished 7th but which scored 2 points.

Perhaps the most dominant win of the meet was the men’s 5000m. Edward Cheserek, Eric Jenkins, and Will Geoghegan all crossed the line in 14 minutes flat, leaving 4th place behind by 17 seconds.

While the performance was dominant, some questions were raised. Only the top 48 in the nation will qualify for the regional meet leading to the NCAA championship. The problem is that there is a total of 68 athletes who went under 14 minutes in this event from last year and this year combined.

In this writer’s opinion, I think the fear of seeding and qualifying times are too early in the season to formulate. The outdoor season is a long one with plenty of opportunities to run fast times. The team just returned from a tiring indoor season and are now recovering. To avoid injury, it makes no sense to compete aggressively so early in the season.

The Oregon Relays will start today 1:00 pm at Hayward Field and run through Saturday. To watch the relays, view the live stream on runnerspace.com.

Top Photo by Isaac Gibson

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