Ducks Advance Five Men to Quarterfinals

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Oregon track and field team advanced five men—including three in the 1500 meters—to quarterfinal heats on day one of the NCAA West Preliminary at John McDonnell Field.

The Ducks got their day on the track started with a 3-for-3 outing in the first round of the 1500 meters. Tomas Palfrey and Rheinhardt Harrison clocked season-best times of 3:40.76 and 3:41.04, respectively, and Pac-12 champion Elliott Cook cruised through the line in 3:41.57 in his heat. All three were top five in their respective heat to secure an automatic spot in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Pac-12 champion PJ Ize-Iyamu won his heat of the 100 meters, earning his way into the next round. He used a charge over the latter half of the race to stop the clock in 10.26 (-0.3). The sophomore is making this second appearance at the NCAA West Preliminary, and is into the second round for the first time.

For a third time in his career, Matthew Erickson is into the quarterfinal round of the 800 meters. He ran 1:48.39 for a runner-up finish in heat four of six to advance to the next round. Erickson posted his PB of 1:46.84 at last year’s West Prelims in Sacramento.

Mason Strunk finished three spots shy of a top-12 finish in the hammer. He improved his mark on each of his three throws, posting a best of 66.08m/216-9 in round three. After a pair of 19th-places finishes in his previous two appearance, Strunk’s final spot of 15th was a career high at the NCAA West Preliminary meet. 

The Salem, Ore., native established a lifetime best of 69.11m/226-9 at the Desert Heat Classic (April 27) and became the No. 3 performer in program history.

Originally slated for a 10 a.m. (CT) start but adjusted due to heavy rain Wednesday morning, the men’s hammer was pushed back to after the completion of the 10,000 meters and pole vault. The final throw was recorded at approximately 1:45 a.m. (CT). 

Izaiah Steury was the Ducks’ top performer at 10,000 meters, the first running ‘final’ of the West Prelim. He finished in a time of 30:10.63 and in 32nd place. Devin Hart started Wednesday’s race but stepped off the track with six remaining. He is scheduled to return to the track Friday for the 5,000 meters.

In the team’s first result of the weekend, Gavin Korkeakoski posted a day’s best of 58.66m/192-5 in the first flight of three flights in the javelin. He finished 11th in the flight and 41st overall. In his first year with the Ducks, the Newberg, Ore., native recorded a lifetime best of 63.23m/207-5 at the Beach Invitational (April 12) and finished fifth at the Pac-12 Championships.

Up Next: Day two of the NCAA West Preliminary marks the start of the women’s competition. The Ducks will have six chances to secure national bids in the 10,000 meters, pole vault, long jump, shot put, javelin and hammer. Due to the threat of inclement weather Thursday evening, the schedule has been adjusted with the hammer starting at 6:30 a.m. (PT) and running events moved up to 3 p.m.

The NCAA East Preliminary is also being held this week in Lexington, Ky. The top 12 in each event at both sites advance to the 2024 NCAA Championships (June 5-8) in Eugene.

Wednesday Results

NCAA West Preliminary (Fayetteville, Ark.)


100 Meters

9. PJ Ize-Iyamu – 10.26Q (-0.3)

800 Meters

15. Matthew Erickson – 1:48.39Q

–. James Harding – DNS 

1500 Meters

5. Tomas Palfrey – 3:40.76Q (SB)

7. Rheinhardt Harrison – 3:41.04Q (SB)

14. Elliott Cook – 3:41.57Q

10,000 Meters

32. Izaiah Steury – 30:10.63

–. Devin Hart – DNF 

Pole Vault

–. Harrison Canfield – NH 


15. Mason Strunk – 66.08m/216-9


41. Gavin Korkeakoski – 58.66m/192-5

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