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Track & Field: Ducks turn in strong day one at NCAA West Prelims

Freshman Keira McCarrell opened the day with a fifth place finish in the javelin to advance to the NCAA Championships, May 24, 2018. (Photo courtesy University of Oregon Athletics / GoDucks.com)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Highlighted by four Ducks who punched their ticket to the NCAA Championships, Oregon wasted little time in making a strong impression at the 2018 NCAA West Preliminary Round on Thursday at Hornet Stadium.

In addition to the four NCAA qualifiers, a total of 18 runners advanced to the next round in their respective races at the West Preliminary, including 12 on the women’s side.

Freshman Keira McCarrell opened the day with a fifth place finish in the javelin to advance to the NCAA Championships, while sophomore Rhesa Foster’s first jump of the day landed her in third place in the women’s long jump. Senior Alli Cash made it three NCAA qualifiers from the women as she closed the night with a gutsy performance in the 10K to earn one of the 12 spots.

On the men’s side, two-time Pac-12 long jump champion Damarcus Simpson left no doubt with his first place finish. Simpson secured his spot in Eugene on his very first long jump attempt with a leap of 26-11 ¾ (8.22m).

FLYING HOME

Entering the day with a personal best of 154-9 (47.16m) in the javelin, McCarrell set the tone for the day on her second throw as she destroyed her previous best by nearly 17 feet. McCarrell’s throw of 171-1 (52.15m) was the top mark through the first two heats and good for No. 4 all-time at UO in the new implement javelin records. That mark was good for fifth on the day after the third and final heat, as she became the first Duck to clinch a spot in the 2018 NCAA Championships.

In the final field event of the first day, Foster – like McCarrell – wasted little time making her case for a spot at the NCAA Championships. In her first jump of the day, Foster turned in a leap of 20-4 ½ (6.21m) to finish in third place. It marks the second NCAA Championship bid in the long jump for the sophomore.

Cash’s NCAA bid came in the final race of the night, as she took on a deep field in the 10K. Needing a personal best to make her way into one of the 12 NCAA qualifying spots, Cash delivered, crushing her PR by over 27 seconds with a time of 33:02.89 to finish in 12th place.

Just a few hours after McCarrell’s huge throw, it was Simpson’s turn to put the men on the board out of the fourth flight of the long jump. On what turned out to be his only jump of the day, Simpson delivered a leap of 26-11 ¾ (8.22m) to win the long jump by eight inches. Simpson led by over a foot until the very last jump of the final flight.

MOVING ON

The three NCAA qualifiers from the women’s side were bolstered by the Ducks advancing two or runners to the next round in four other events, highlighted by five in the 400. Sophomore Makenzie Dunmore (52.04) raced to the top time in the 400 of the opening round, while the Ducks had four of the top seven times. Dunmore will be joined by Shea Anderson, Venessa D’Arpino, Briyahna DesRosiers and Hannah Waller. All five will be back on the track for the final round of the 400 on Friday night.

All three Ducks in the 100 advanced despite all being in the sixth and final heat. Freshman Jasmin Reed turned in a personal best of 11.26 to win the heat and finish with the third-best time of the day, while freshman Lauren Rain Williams (11.37) also earned an automatic qualifying spot. Junior Ariana Washington (11.39) made in three Ducks in Friday night’s final round.

Less than two weeks removed from winning a Pac-12 title in the 1,500 meters, sophomore Jessica Hull turned in the day’s top time of 4:19.51 to advance to Saturday’s final where she’ll be joined by sophomore Katie Rainsberger, who won the fifth heat with a personal best of 4:21.38.

In the men’s 1,500, Oregon claimed three spots in Saturday’s final round. Sophomore Mick Stanovsek (3:51.76) and senior Sam Prakel (3:51.76) raced to two of the automatic qualifying spots by finishing 1-2 in the first heat. Freshman Reed Brown was able to battle his way to one of the auto-Q spots in the third heat with a time of 4:01.82.

Junior Cravon Gillespie displayed the speed that won him in the Pac-12 100-meter title with an opening time of 10.12 to earn an automatic qualifying spot into Thursday’s final round.

NCAA QUALIFIERS

WOMEN

Javelin

5. Keira McCarrell – 171-1 (52.15m)*

Long Jump

3. Rhesa Foster – 20-4 ½ (6.21m)

10,000 Meters

12. Alli Cash - 33:02.89*

*-Personal Best

MEN

Long Jump

1. Damarcus Simpson – 26-11 ¾ (8.22m)

ADVANCED TO NEXT REGIONAL ROUND

WOMEN

100 Meters

3. Jasmin Reed – 11.26*

11. Lauren Rain Williams – 11.37

13. Ariana Washington – 11.39

400 Meters

1. Makenzie Dunmore – 52.04 (Q)

4. Shae Anderson – 52.60 (Q)

5. Venessa D’Arpino – 52.78 (Q)

7. Briyahna DesRosiers – 52.78 (Q)

16. Hannah Waller – 53.37 (Q)

800 Meters

15. Sabrina Southerland – 2:07.80 (Q)

23. Susan Ejore – 2:08.56

1500 Meters

1. Jessica Hull – 4:19.51 (Q)

8. Katie Rainsberger – 4:21.38* (Q)

Q – Automatic Qualifier

*-Personal Best

MEN

100 Meters

4. Cravon Gillespie – 10.12 (Q)

400 Meters

15. Orwin Emilien – 46.86 (Q)

30. Cameron Stone – 47.31 (Q)

1500 Meters

22. Mick Stanovsek – 3:51.76 (Q)

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