Oregon has won the most DI women’s track and field championships in the 21st century, adding to an already impressive history. With so much success, we created an all-time relay team of Oregon women’s track and field greats.
Three relays are currently held at NCAA Championships — the 4x100 meter relay, the 4x400 meter relay and the Distance Medley Relay. But which one fits Oregon for an all-time team the best?
Oregon has never won a 4x1 NCAA title, and only five of its 21 individual champions have won events that were 200 meters or less. That leaves the 4x4 or DMR as options. The Ducks have won six 4x4 titles compared to two DMR titles in program history, but Oregon has only had an athlete win an individual 400 meter title once in program history. Luckily, the DMR requires exactly one 400-meter leg, meaning the aforementioned titleist can still be considered. The DMR fits a team of Oregon greats the best.
That said, let’s get into the all-time team.
The Oregon women's track and field all-time relay team
*The first DI women’s champion was crowned in 1982. This list looks at athletes since that season*
1. Claudette Groenendaal - 1200 meters
Claudette Groenendaal is the first woman in Oregon history to win two individual NCAA titles on the track, winning the 1500 meters in 1984 and the outdoor 800 meters in 1985. Her all-dates career best in the 800 meters is 1:58.33 in 1985, still one of the fastest times in NCAA history to date. Her career-best 4:08.13 finish in the 1500 meters remains fourth on Oregon’s all-time leaderboard.
Groenendaal has speed over mid-distance that has stood the test of time. While the DMR wasn’t around until 1994 at an NCAA Championship meet, there’s no doubt Groenendaal could’ve thrived as the first leg.
2. Raevyn Rogers - 400 meters
Raevyn Rogers is arguably the best 800 meter runner in NCAA history over a four-year span. Rogers won five straight 800 meter titles from the 2015 outdoor championships through the 2017 outdoor championships, sweeping the 800 in 2016 and 2017. She finished her career in 2017 with what was then the 800 meter outdoor collegiate record and the Bowerman trophy.
So why is she bumped down to the 400 meters?
To make room for another Bowerman winner at the 800 in Laura Roesler. Unlike Roesler, Rogers showed during her collegiate career that she could drop down to 400 meters for a relay and thrive. Rogers ran the anchor leg on Oregon’s 2017 championship-record-setting outdoor 4x4, giving confidence she can run a good 400 meters on this all-time DMR team.
3. Laura Roesler - 800 meters
Oregon has had five women win 800 meter NCAA titles, including Bowerman winner Laura Roesler. While she may not have the best 800 meter resume of the bunch, she still had a career at Oregon that would be the best among 800 runners at almost any other school.
During her career, Roesler won the 2014 Bowerman after sweeping the indoor and outdoor 800 meter titles. She finished her career with the fastest indoor 800 meter time in Oregon history, which fits perfectly into this DMR.
THE BOWERMAN: Complete history of the track and field honor
4. Jessica Hull - 1600 meters
Jessica Hull brings versatility to this all-time DMR squad. She could’ve been placed as the first leg or the last leg here, spots she ran on Oregon’s NCAA title-winning DMRs in 2018 and 2019, respectively. She gets the last leg on this all-time team because the first leg is a better fit and more up for grabs for the other all-time team candidates.
In 2018 and 2019, she won individual titles in 1500 and 3000 meter races, respectively. She established herself as one of the top runners in the country during her time and she has what it takes to close out this all-time relay.
- Phyllis Francis
- Jordan Hasay
- Leann Warren
Phyllis Francis is the only 400 meter individual champion (2014 indoor) in Oregon’s program history, but she misses out on the all-time DMR. Francis only ran once in the DMR during her Ducks career, but she did run anchor on three NCAA title-winning 4x4s. The Ducks won the indoor NCAA championship during all four of Francis’ years, but even that wasn’t enough to get her the edge over two Bowerman winners. Meanwhile, Jordan Hasay misses out on the DMR even though she is one of the few athletes to win two indoor titles — the mile and 3000 meters — in one year.
Leann Warren is Oregon’s first woman to ever win an individual title, taking home the 1500 meter trophy way back in 1982 — the first-ever women’s track and field NCAA championship. While Warren still owns the fastest all-dates 1500 meter time in Oregon history, the fastest 800 meter time of her career came in 1981, before the formation of the women’s championships. In fairness to the legends that came before Warren, that time can’t be considered in a head-to-head comparison with Groenendaal, leaving the original Duck champion on the outside looking in.