Ducks Poised for ANOTHER National Championship Run

Can the Oregon women continue a dominance seen in few sports ever? After the “Triple Crown” of Cross-Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track last year-the bar is set unbelievably high for these amazing female athletes representing the Ducks. Yet many believe that the women’s team has an excellent shot at another National Championship in Indoor Track.

The indoor track and field season races into high gear this weekend when the Ducks visit the Armory in Manhattan for for the second straight year. The goal is to qualify as many athletes as possible for the NCAA Championships which take place in College Station, Texas, on March 9th and 10th.

This is a particularly important meet since it provides great exposure to potential East Coast recruits, some of whom in recent years have included superstars such as Edward Cheserek, Deajah Stevens, English Gardner, World Championship Gold Medalist Phyllis Francis and Olympic Gold Medalist Matthew Centrowitz.

From Video

Alaysha Johnson Jr. Hurdler.

Given the Ducks huge successes on the track in recent years, the crowds in NYC have been very supportive. The Ducks will be joined by UCLA, Ohio State, Duke, Villanova , Missouri, Penn, Georgetown, BYU, and Wisconsin , in addition to the host Columbia as well as a handful of professional athletes including several Olympians. The meet will be available live on USATF TV (requires a subscription) and will be available on a tape-delayed basis on NBCSN at 2:00 PM PST.

Last year the Duck women set an NCAA record in the Distance Medley Relay. An NCAA qualifying mark in NY allows athletes to move into different training modes geared solely towards the Championship Meet. Another important meet this year will be the Don Kirby Invite in Albuquerque; high altitude is a friend to sprinters and jumpers and many Ducks in those disciplines have qualified for the Championships in past versions of this meet. The Kirby meet takes place February 9th and 10th.

Additionally, the Ducks compete in several meets at UWs indoor facility and the oversized 300 meter track there often provides faster times in the longer distances (a typical indoor track is 200 meters and steeply banked).

The women are currently ranked No.1 by USTFCCCA and will be attempting to win their 3rd straight indoor championship and 8th in 9 years! That makes the Patriots NFL domination seem trivial. This year the men will be dealing with the loss of superstar Ed Cheserek and after winning three NCAA titles in a row from 2014-2016, the men fell to 3rd last year, with Cheserek accounting for almost all of the men’s team points.

From Video

Katie Rainsberger, Middle Distance runner.

The Duck men have re-loaded with an outstanding group of middle distance runners, but only return a couple of scorers from last year’s squad. Florida appears to be the runaway favorite, but the Ducks have an outside shot at a podium spot should the heralded recruiting classes of the last several years step up.

Want to keep up with the scores and success of our track competitors on a daily basis during the big meets, and discuss the recruiting of Oregon Track? Join the new message board!

A new chat forum for Duck track enthusiasts has been established, following the closure of the previous forum at Scout.com which was sold to 247 Sports. While Scout.com generously hosted the previous forum, 247 Sports has imposed an annual fee of $149 to use the forum and many Duck track fans have found themselves digitally homeless.

Fortunately, Oregon grad Bill Ogden, a computer science specialist affiliated with New Mexico State University has stepped up and established a free forum at http://trackducks.boards.net . Simply follow the easy registration process and join the Duck Track faithful, a terrific group of knowledgeable fans who are beginning to merge over to this brand new forum.

Bruce Nelson
Eugene, Oregon

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