Oregon track and field continued to impress this weekend, posting a strong day two at the NCAA West Preliminary Round Friday in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The meet is all about getting athletes qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championship meet, which is taking place at the friendly confines of Eugene’s Historic Hayward Field. Only the top-12 finishers in any event get a chance to return to Eugene and compete.
For Oregon, getting athletes through Regionals was a goal they were able to meet on the second day, as the team went 11-for-15 (73.3 percent) on athletes vying for a Championship bid.
Two Ducks were able to qualify after setting season-best times in their respective events.
Senior Boru Guyota finished fifth overall in the men’s 800, crossing the line in 1:48.16. Guyota’s teammate Tanguy Pepiot also had a strong showing of his own, finishing third in the men’s 3,000 steeplechase with a time of 8:42.67.
In the women’s steeplechase, Oregon’s Megan Patrignelli qualified after battling the field in a hard fought race. Patrignelli finished with the ninth best time of the day (10:10.86).
The men and women’s 400 were also good events for the Ducks. Senior All-American Mike Berry finished third overall (45.39) while for the women seniors Phyllis Francis (52.05) and Chizoba Okodogbe (53.07) both qualified in the top 12.
Oregon sophomore hammer thrower Greg Skipper had an impressive showing to finish second overall, just behind Oklahoma State’s Nick Miller. Skipper only needed a single throw to qualify, throwing for 225-1 on his first attempt. Then, confident with his chances to advance, he decided to pass on his remaining five throws.
Another Duck thrower was also able to qualify, with senior Laura Bobek making it in the women’s discuss. Bobek finished ninth with a top throw of 175-7.
Adding on to her strong performance from yesterday, Oregon sophomore Jenna Prandini won another event. Prandini finished first in the women’s 100 with a final time of 11.17.
The women’s 800 was another event that was won by a Duck. Senior Laura Roesler crossed the line in first place with a final time of 2:03.01. Her teammate Annie Leblanc also qualified, finishing ninth (2:05.83).
As with yesterday, there were several preliminary events the Ducks competed in to advance athletes on to the finals that will take place Saturday.
In the preliminary heats of the men’s 110 hurdles, the Ducks had two athletes advance. Freshman Devon Allen finished in third while Johnathan Cabral finished second overall. Cabral being able to compete was a great sign for Oregon. Especially, after the star junior hadn’t seen the track since the Oregon Preview back at the beginning of the season. Due to the team’s policy of withholding injury information from the media, it was unsure whether Cabral was hurt or academically ineligible. The Register-Guard reported Friday evening that Cabral’s absence was due to two injuries he suffered.
Word from our freelancer in Arkansas, UO hurdler Johnathan Cabral missed 2 months due to hamstring injury and deteriorated discs in his back
— Chris Hansen (@chansen_RG) May 31, 2014
Arthur Delaney won his heat of the men’s 200 and will race again Saturday. His time of 20.76 was just shy of his personal best.
Following up her showing in the 100, Prandini ran the third fastest time in the women’s 200 with a time of 23.00, good enough to advance to the finals tomorrow.
The NCAA West Preliminary Round will come to a conclusion tomorrow. The first event scheduled for tomorrow is the women’s hammer, which is set to begin at 8 a.m.
Follow Christopher Keizur on Twitter @chriskeizur