Ducks head to MPSF with NCAAs on their mind

The Ducks are in Seattle today and Saturday to compete at the MPSF championships. Neither team is focusing on getting the win. The women are so loaded they are the favorite and the men have lost two NCAA scorers (Elijah Greer and Mac Fleet) to injury and this meet is another focus on developing a young team.

The two-time defending NCAA champion Duck women have been ranked #1 all season and will try to qualify more competitors here.

Last season the Duck women competed five times in Seattle but this season the Ducks have been to Seattle twice. They have competed in Idaho (near the NCAA meet host location), Texas and New Mexico. The two meets at altitude will help them deal with Boise's altitude (NCAA indoor championships) and the traveling will help season a group of outstanding freshmen and sophomores.

Still, junior Jordan Hasay is likely to attempt repeating her NCAA double (mile and 3,000 meters) at College Station last year. She is close to an automatic qualifier in the mile, has an automatic qualifier in the 5,000 meters and will run the 3,000 meters (pr 9:05) at MPSF.

This event is one of the top events of the weekend. Husky sophomore Katie Flood is fourth all-time on the collegiate lists in the indoor mile and she is sixth all-time with the top time in the 3,000 meters this year (8:55.31). Fellow Duck all-American Alex Kosinski runs in her second meet of the indoor season and will attempt to qualify for the NCAA meet in the 3,000 meters pr 9:08). Cal junior Deborah Meier will also run the 3,000 after running 15:29.24 (fourth all-time) in the 5,000 meters at the Husky Classic. There are also several other all-Americans entered.

The women's 800 meters will also be exceptional. The defending NCAA indoor (Lacey Bleazard of BYU) and outdoor (Anne Keselring of Oregon) will face off along with other top national teammates. Junior Nachelle Mackie of BYU is the top collegian so far this year (2:03.56) and eighth ranked Duck sophomore Laura Roesler is the top Duck (2:05.07). Junior 1,500 meter all-American Becca Friday will look to compete in her first fast competition over 800 meters (2:06.88).

Sophomore English Gardner has run the top collegiate time (7.17) in the 60 meters and she will run with senior all-American teammate Amber Purvis. Duck sophomore Phyllis Francis is the top entrant in the 200 meters (23.75). The women have the top entrants in the 4x400 meter relay (3:37.49 and need to improve that time) and Distance Medley Relay (10:56.31).

Indoor Pentathlon NCAA record holder (and Canadian to boot) senior Brianne Theisen will compete in the 400 meters, Long Jump and 60 hurdles and is likely to score in each event. Additionally she will compete in the Shot Put and could run a relay leg.

The men will also have a featured 3,000 meter race. Two of the top five NCAA indoor 3,000 meter times have been run this year and this group may surpass their times. Arizona's tandem of Lawi Lalang (13:08.28) and Stephen Sambu (13:13.74) surpassed the previous NCAA indoor 5,000 meter record held by Galen Rupp (13:18) and they will compete against Chris Derrick (now fifth on the 5,000 meter list at 13:19.58). Duck sophomores Trevor Dunbar and Parker Stinson have qualified for the NCAA meet in the 5,000 meters with prs at the Husky Classic (13:36 and 13:39 respectively) and Stanford senior Jake Riley (13:39) will run in this tremendous field.

World Championship 4x400 meter relay Gold Medallist, Duck sophomore Mike Berry, will compete on his home turf in the 400 meters (46.69) against Stanford 400 hurdle all-American Amaechi Morton and hope to qualify for the NCAA meet.

Oregon has several conference leaders including freshman Johnathan Cabral in the 60 meter hurdles (7.89), the 4x400 meter relay (3:09.79), the Distance Medley Relay (9:36.88), Dakotah Keys in the Heptathlon (5433) will look to win championships and qualify for the NCAA meet.

Also of interest will be great competitions by top national competitors in the women's (Kate Stefanidi of Stanford and Christe Botteron-Gunther of BYU) and men's (Michael Woepse of UCLA, Victor Weirich of BYU and JJ Juilfs of UW), men's High Jump (Bryan McBride of ASU and Arizona's Edgar Rivera-Morales and Nick Ross) and the women's Shot Put (Julie Labonte of Arizona and Anna Jelmini of ASU).

Other top individuals include US and NCAA high jump Brigetta Barrett of Arizona, NCAA shot put champion Jordan Clarke of ASU, and NCAA mile champion Miles Batty of BYU running the 800 meters

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