Oregon goes extra mile for NCAA title
Ducks win second consecutive national championship
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Oregon went the extra mile -- three times -- to win its second consecutive women's NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship Saturday the Gilliam Indoor Stadium.
The Ducks used a dominating 1-3-4 finish in the mile by Jordan Hasay, Zoe Buckman and Anne Kesselring to all-but-lock up the 2011 crown. Oregon made it official when Amber Purvis finished sixth in the 60 meters, and then enjoyed the rest of the meet, including a punctuating win by Jordan Hasay in the 3,000 meters.
Melissa Gergel also placed fourth in the pole vault and 4x400 meter relay team took eighth.
The Ducks won with 67 points. Texas was second with 38, followed by Louisiana State with 37, Arkansas with 35 and Texas A&M with 32.
"It was a great team effort," said Associate Athletic Director Vin Lananna. "All the student-athletes did a fantastic job and the coaching staff did a great job setting the tone."
In the mile, Buckman led from the opening gun, while Hasay settled in behind her with 400 meters to go. Hasay then moved around her teammate with 100 meters remaining and ran to her first NCAA title in 4:33.01. In the process, the sophomore broke one of the most hallowed records in Oregon history, Leann Warren's 1982 mile time of 4:33.26.
"We're just really excited about it," said Hasay. "It shows the strength of our team.
"We all had to step up our game because our points were more important," she said of Oregon's win in spite of losing highly-ranked Alexandra Kosinski to injury prior to the meet.
Buckman held on for third in a personal-best 4:33.76 (No. 3 all-time) and Kesselring also came from deep in the pack to hit a PR in a fourth-place finish in 4:34.96 (No. 4 all-time). That gave the Ducks 21 points in the mile.
"At the start, I got to a spot where I was comfortable," said Kesselring. "I made a big move with 300 meters to go, from ninth to fourth, I think."
Hasay made it a double-win day by winning a riveting battle with Shelia Reid of Villanova in the 3,000 meters. She bided her time for most of the race, floating between fourth and sixth place. Then Hasay, Reid and Lucy Van Dalen of Stony Brook broke from the pack on the final two laps.
The sophomore from Arroyo Grande, Calif., then made a gutsy move by darting between Reid and Van Dalen with 250 meters to go and then held off a furious try by Reid to pass her on the outside.
Hasay won in 9:13.71, followed by Reid in 9:13.86 and Van Dalen in 9:14.12. She became the first Duck to win either the indoor mile or 3,000 meters.
"It was really nice," said Hasay of being able to hold off Reid. "We had a great battle last night. I thought I would just try to out-kick her."
Gergel added a fourth-place finish in the pole vault with a clearance at 14-3.5/4.35m, which matched her season best and scored five points for the team.
Purvis then locked up the trophy with her sixth-place in the 60 meters, running 7.22.
The Ducks added one more point with an eighth-place finish in the 4x400 meter relay. The team of Chizoba Okodogbe, Brianne Theisen, Purvis and Laura Roesler finished in 3:34.98.
The NCAA title was the 18th in school history and the fifth women's NCAA crown for the University of Oregon.
For the men, David Klech had a pair of PRs to finish sixth in the heptathlon with 5,831 points.
Competing in just his second career heptathlon, Klech had a terrific start to the day. He ran a personal-best 7.88 in the 60 meter hurdles to climb up to fifth in the overall competition. Klech's time was second-fastest overall on the day and was also the fourth-fastest 60 hurdle time in school history.
"To come through in the moment I needed a big race was really big," said Klech.
He made it a fourth heptathlon PR in the pole vault. Actually, all four clearances were bests for the senior from San Ramon, Calif., with a highest at 13-9.25/4.20m. He opened at 12-9.5/3.90m and needed two jumps to make it over that bar and the next (13-1.5/4.00m), before first attempt clearances at 13-5.25/4.10m and 13-9.25.
"It was a whole lot better than at the first meet," said Klech, who bowed out at 14-1.25/4.30m. "That's an event that's come through a lot in the past weeks."
Klech finish second in the 1,000 meters in 2:32.15 to move up to sixth in the final standings with 5,831 points. That was the second-best score in school history. His 146-points PR got the men are on the board with three points.
"Just to be here and able to be competing is amazing," said Klech.
The men also got five points from Matthew Centrowitz, who was fourth in the 3,000 meters in 8:04.88 a day after losing a shoe and suffering a severe cut on his heel in the distance medley relay.