Ducks win Mountain pacific indoor

RELEASE DATE: 02/28/2015

SEATTLE – The Oregon track and field team garnered five event wins at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships, Saturday, with the Men of Oregon finishing atop the podium as team champions.  

The Ducks tallied 95 points to finish 6.5 ahead of second-place USC, while the women’s team took second with 89 points.

Prior to the meet, Johnson said the Ducks’ main focus was to strengthen their NCAA Championships numbers but noted that a conference championship weekend provides a little extra incentive.

“At the end of the day, for our men to stand at the top of the podium, it’s a great by-product of the kids going out and trying to advance to nationals,” Johnson said.

The men’s distance squad showed even more depth on Saturday as Jeramy Elkaim sealed his NCAA Championships bid in the 3,000. The senior took the lead in the final two laps and never looked back as he crossed in 7:48.48, the fourth-fastest time in the NCAA this season and the fifth-fastest time in school history. Parker Stinson finished fourth with his fastest time of the season (7:52.21) and is in contention for an NCAA spot as well, joining Eric Jenkins,Edward Cheserek and Will Geoghegan to make five total Ducks in qualifying position for the event.

“We had some good performances today,” Johnson said. “Those guys in the 3k, they did a good job of punching their ticket to the big dance.”

Jenna Prandini set an MPSF Championship record with her win in the 60-meter finals, crossing the line in 7.19. Teammate Jasmine Todd finished second in 7.20, also under the previous meet record.

Lauren Crockett continued her strong season in the high jump with a clearance of 6-0.5 (1.84m) for the win. The mark just missed the personal best of 6-0.75 she set earlier this season.

In the men’s heptathlon, Mitch Modin edged out Stanford’s Harrison Williams by four points with a personal-best score of 5,543.

Also crowned an MPSF Champion was Brittany Mann who saved her best throw for last in the shot put, reaching 55-1 (16.79m) to win by more than two feet.

Geoghegan took second in the mile while becoming the fourth Oregon Duck to break four minutes this season. The senior-transfer, who entered the day ranked second in the 3,000 and 10th in the 5,000, finished in 3:58.36 which is 17th in the NCAA descending order list. Colby Alexander finished fourth with a personal-record time of 4:00.66.

In the women’s mile, Ashley Maton (4:41.02), Nikki Hiltz (4:42.38) and Kaite Porada (4:42.62) finished 2-3-4 while Alli Cash was close behind in sixth with a time of 4:43.59. The time is more than a four-second personal best for the leader, Maton, and a two-second best for Cash.

Annie Leblanc and Raevyn Rogers each set personal bests in the 800, climbing the Oregon top-10 list. Leblanc finished second thanks to a strong kick and crossed the finish line in 2:05.67, fifth in school history. Rogers won her heat in 2:06.50 (sixth overall) for the ninth-fastest indoor time at Oregon.

Niki Franzmair finished second in the men’s 800 during a physical race. Despite contact down the home stretch, Franzmair finished with a season best of 1:48.79.

A pair of Ducks finished second in the 60 hurdles finals with Sasha Wallacerunning an 8.19 on the women’s side, winning her heat with the second-fastest time. Trevor Ferguson did the same on the men’s side, winning his heat in 7.93.

Oregon football running back Tony James tied his personal best in the 60 of 6.71 for a fourth-place finish.

Molly Grabill set a big personal best during her third-place finish in the women’s 3,000. The junior finished in 9:17.38 which tops her previous record by eight seconds and ranks ninth in Oregon history.

The Ducks will have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., March 13-14. Entries for the championships will be announced Tuesday, March 3.