The National Championship for 2021 Mens Indoor Track was the first for Oregon in a couple of years, and the question many Oregon fans had was whether it would translate to the Outdoor season? Could the Men of Oregon come through with a ‘Natty at the newly renovated Hayward Field in June? The original article in this series is right here, and let’s get Duck fans updated on the prospects for a second Mens National Championship for 2021!
Since my last article, LSU has put up some stunning numbers that have the Track and Field News and TFRRRS prognosticators projecting an easy win for the Tigers, who finished a distant 23 points behind the Ducks at the NCAA Indoor Championship meet in March. As I explained before, indoor track is a somewhat different sport than outdoor track and while the Ducks have been performing admirably outdoors, LSU has piled up a ton of projected points in events that aren’t held indoors.
For instance, they project to score an extra five points in the 100 meters versus the Indoor 60 meters, 10 points in the 400 hurdles which aren’t held indoors, eight points in the 4×100 relay which isn’t held indoors and five points in the hammer throw, also not held indoors. That’s a lofty 28 extra points.
Meanwhile, the Ducks will sorely miss their 10 points in the distance medley relay which isn’t contested outdoors, so based on those few events, we’re looking at a 38 point switch. To make things more difficult, when the NCAA went to a four day meet with alternating days for men and women, that forced a very tight time schedule for the men’s final day which makes doubling in some events nearly impossible.
Unfortunately, most of those events are distance races which are the bread and butter for our men’s team. With prelims on Wednesday and finals on Friday, it would be extremely difficult to double in the 800 and 1500 which are held a scant 60 minutes apart. The 1500 and 5000 will be a tad more doable given that there’s about an hour and 45 minutes between races. The simple fact is that the Ducks are going to have to double down in many events to climb back into contention, unless LSU has a dramatic drop-off.
However, one doesn’t have to look very far into the past to remember the astonishing 2017 women’s title meet when the Ducks were favored by nearly 50 points, yet won by a single point after most of the meet went in the wrong direction for the Lady Ducks, so anything is possible.
I’m not giving up on the men’s team as the coaching staff always prepares their teams for top performances in the meets that really count. I do have some concerns about injuries which have limited indoor triple jump champ Emmanuel Ihemeje to just a single meet thus far, and speedster Xavier Nairne, who had a breakout meet in March–hasn’t competed since. I’ve been told that both will compete in next weekend’s Pac 12 Track Championships, in which the Ducks are heavy favorites versus USC as they seek to extend their conference title streak to an astonishing 14 straight. That’s right, FOURTEEN STRAIGHT. Some of the Duck fanbase wasn’t even born the last time the Ducks didn’t win the conference!
This weekend’s Twilight meet served as a tune-up for the Ducks as they prepare to head to USC for the Pac-12 Conference Championships on May 14-16. In the only race of much concern, James West, Cooper Teare and Charlie Hunter all achieved regional qualification marks in a terrific 1500 meters and one might expect that several more athletes will qualify during the Pac-12s for the West Regionals which will be held at Texas A&M’s new facility starting May 29. As of this writing, the men have 36 qualifying marks and the women have 32. This could change as results from around the country are tabulated.
Finally, a shout out to redshirt freshman Mason Strunk, whose 61.16 in the Men’s Hammer throw on Friday would have set him up for Regionals had he not elected to redshirt this season and thus compete unattached on Friday. To put Strunk’s throw into perspective, I compared it with Greg Skipper who scored 22 NCAA championship outdoor points during his illustrious career and 34 Pac 12 championship points. Strunk’s PR throw yesterday was only a meter shy of Skipper’s frosh mark. This is a guy to watch and with the assistance of our excellent throws coach, Eric Whitsett, the potential for championship points is huge.
Anyone wishing to join the conversation is welcome to visit this excellent Duck Track forum as it’s free, fun and informative for all Oregon fans.
Top Photo by Oregon Track & Field Twitter
Bruce is a reformed USC grad, class of 1972. Bruce competed as a middle distance and cross country runner in college and also coached track and field briefly. He is now competing in Masters races, and is undefeated in his age category in the 5K over the last two seasons.
Bruce is rather obsessed with track and field and travels both countrywide and worldwide to attend meets. Bruce is a proud resident of Tracktown USA, a status that makes his track fan friends around the world green with envy.
For Football Season: FishDuck Back to Seven Days a Week!
I had to shut down the daily articles on July 20th because I could no longer work the extra 3 to 12 hours per week of certain managerial/editorial duties. (beyond the usual ones with FishDuck)
I’ve had a blast writing without those duties, and now, due to a new agreement with the writers, I can announce that we will have articles seven days a week again. I wish to thank the writers publicly for their graciousness in coming to a solution, as now I still do not have do those extra duties with our agreement, and meanwhile the writers are back having fun creating articles as I am.
Everybody is happy! So below is the new schedule through football season:
Monday: Mr. FishDuck
Tuesday: Darren Perkins
Wednesday: Joshua Whitted & Mr. FishDuck
Thursday: Coach Eric Boles & Alex Heining
Friday: David Marsh
Saturday: Mr. FishDuck (GameDay Baby!)
Sunday: Jordan Ingram
A couple of writers could not join us as they have new projects in their lives, and cannot write for anyone at the moment–but perhaps we will see them back later.
Things rarely work out so well for all parties in agreements, but this time it has and truly….everyone wins!
Our 33 rules at FishDuck can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
FishDuck members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!