NCAA Women’s Track and Field Championships Predictions

Isaac Gibson FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

With the NCAA Track and Field Championships around the corner, Oregon solidified its status as favorites in the men’s and women’s competitions. The Duck men and women swept the PAC-12 Championships two weeks ago, despite missing some key contributors.

Last week I made my predictions for the NCAA meet on the men’s side; this week, the women take center stage. Again, I stress that these predictions are only the personal opinions of this writer.

Similar to the men’s system, the women’s rankings system is heavily flawed, especially for a team such as Oregon that does not lay all of its cards on the deck during the regular season.

Jillian Weir throwing hammer

Dave Peaks

Jillian Weir throwing hammer.

The computer rankings have USC, Arkansas, and Kentucky ahead of Oregon going into the NCAA West and East regional meets.

USC at the number one spot is laughable, considering they were  beaten in their home town two weeks ago by an injured Oregon squad. What makes the Trojan’s ranking more peculiar is the fact that they are ahead of the Arkansas Razorbacks.

The Razorbacks won their first national title for any women’s sport in the school’s history during the last indoor track and field season. Their win was not a fluke; they crushed the competition. Arkansas won with 63 points, followed by Oregon in second place with 46.5 points. USC finished in tenth place with 17 points, and all of the schools have essentially the same line-up this outdoor season.

I give Oregon a lot of credit when I make predictions because I know when it sends its squad to the NCAA meet, its athletes are well-rested and have tapered correctly to peak at the right time. That is something a lot of schools fail to do well. Most teams want to look good in the regular season and pad their stats by running as fast as they can, as soon as they can.

Oregon, in contrast, puts less emphasis on the regular season. At the PAC-12 championships the Ducks pulled out their star athlete, Jenna Prandini, because she felt sick that day. The coaching staff knew that sitting Prandini would probably jeopardize Oregon’s chance to win another PAC-12 team title. However, while the conference crown is important to a degree, the Ducks ultimately have their eyes on the national championship.

Jasmine Todd in the Long Jump

Dave Peaks

Jasmine Todd in the long jump.

Even without Prandini the Ducks still pulled out the win at the Pac-12 meet, thanks to excellent overall team depth. Raevyn Rogers came up big winning the 800 meters over her teammate (and favorite) Annie LeblancJasmine Todd won the 100 meter and the triple jump and placed 2nd in both the 4×100 and the long jump.

These impressive finishes bode well for Oregon as it heads down the stretch run this outdoor season. Below is a complete list of how I believe the Oregon women’s squad will perform at the NCAA meet.

100:

  • Jenna Prandini 1st; 10 points
  • Jasmine Todd 5th; 4 points

200:

  • Jenna Prandini 1st; 10 points

800:

Ducks versus Wildcats at the year's Pepsi invitational.

Dave Peaks

Ducks versus Wildcats at the year’s Pepsi invitational.

  • Annie Leblanc 4th; 5 points
  • Raevyn Rogers 5th; 4 points

100 hurdles:

  • Sasha Wallace 7th; 2 points

Long Jump:

  • Jenna Prandini 1st; 10 points
  • Jasmine Todd 6th; 3 points

Shot Put:

  • Brittany Mann 4th; 5 points

Total: 53 points.

In the end, these 53 points will produce a similar result to this past indoor season. Arkansas will run away with the meet, and Oregon will come in second place with Georgia following close behind in third. The Razorbacks are completely loaded this year. The Ducks have proven they know how to make it past the qualifying rounds into the finals. But unfortunately it will not be enough to beat a supremely talented Arkansas squad.

Top photo by Dave Peaks

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