SPOKANE – The Oregon track and field team made the most of its season opener, collecting 11 wins to go along with 12 indoor personal bests and four top-10 program marks at the Cougar Classic.
Micah Williams lowered his own school record in the 60 meters to 6.48 in victory Saturday while Kemba Nelson posted an NCAA-leading time of 7.19 to take the top spot in the women’s 60 meters. Emmanuel Ihemeje, defending NCAA champion in the triple jump, opened his indoor campaign with a victory in the long jump.
In victory, Williams led an Oregon sweep of the top-four spots with teammates Ryan Mulholland (6.76), Xavier Nairne (6.80) and Rieker Daniel (6.81), respectively. Williams’ performance currently sits No. 2 in the country, trailing only a converted 6.47 by Terrence Jones of Texas Tech run roughly 30 minutes prior in Lubbock.
The UO women took four of the top-five spots in the women’s 60 meters with Nelson leading the way. She was followed by Jadyn Mays (7.27) in third, Jasmine Montgomery (7.35) in fourth and Iman Brown (7.39) in fifth place. Mays finished just off her PR of 7.26 from last season while Brown posted a career best of 7.37 in the prelims.
Ihemeje, in his first collegiate appearance in the long jump, recorded a day’s best of 7.28m/23-10.75 to go 1-3 with UO teammate Jonah Tactay (7.00m/22-11.75). Both passed on their final two attempts of the day. The UO men added another win in the horizontal jumps with DJ Henderson taking the top spot in the triple jump. He got out to a mark of 15.33m/50-3.5 in his first triple jump competition as a Duck.
In addition to her PR-effort in the 60, Brown was a double winner on day two of the Cougar Classic with first-place outings in the 200 meters and with the 4×400 relay. Brown (23.65) and Mays (23.82) went 1-2 with Montgomery clocking in at 23.94 for fourth. Overall, the UO women placed eight inside the top 15.
Brown combined with Katriina Wright, Shaniya Hall and Ella Clayton for a time of 3:42.11 and first place in the 4×400-meter relay.
Daniel was back on the track from the 60 meters to take the victory in the men’s 200 meters. He crossed the line in 21.22, and was one of two Ducks in the top field along with newcomer Evan Mafilas (21.87) in fifth place.
Freshman Shana Grebo made her UO debut with a first-place performance in the 60-meter hurdles. She was the second-fastest qualifier (8.52) from the prelims. She dropped her time to 8.51 to nab first place in the final, a mark that makes Grebo the No. 10 performer in UO history.
Jaida Ross became the No. 6 performer in program history with a mark of 15.80m/51-10 on the way to winning the women’s shot put. She added more than four feet to her previous best of 14.48m/47-6.25 from last season.
Tori Sloan collected one of the Ducks’ five field-event wins this weekend with a victory in the women’s high jump. She finished just off her lifetime best with a first-attempt clearance of 1.73m/5-8. With the win in hand, Sloan took three attempts at 1.80m/5-10.75 to close out the competition.
Coupled with his win Friday in the weight throw, Mason Strunk finished third in the men’s shot put with a personal-best of 16.56m/54-4 on his fourth attempt of the day. He moved from fifth to third with the toss.
The season-opening Cougar Classic was held at The Podium, the newest indoor facility in the PNW and home of the upcoming USATF Indoor Championships in late February.
The Ducks’ next meet is scheduled for Jan. 28-29 at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark.
60 Meters (final)
60 Meters (prelims)
60m Hurdles (prelims)
High Jump (from Friday)
–. Nathan Poff – NH
Shot Put – 12:30 p.m.
Weight Throw (from Friday)
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60m Hurdles (final)
T8. Lexi Ellis – 5.36m/17-7