Duck Alums Dominate 1,500 Semis

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon alums continued to shine in the men's 1,500 meters Friday at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Three former Ducks advanced before a riveted Hayward Field crowd of 21,097, to set up what should be a scintillating final on Sunday.

In the semifinals, alums Andrew Wheating, Matthew Centrowitz and Jordan McNamara all found ways into the final 12.

Centrowitz closed hard to win his heat in 3:41.90, just a few thousandths of a second faster than Leonel Manzano, who also timed 3:40.90. In the same heat, McNamara was the final qualifier to make the final as his seventh-place finish in 3:42.77 got him through on time.

"It was good," said Centrowitz, the 2011 NCAA 1,500 meter champion for the Ducks. "The competition was good. I just came to qualify and give myself a good position."

In the first heat, which was considerably slower than the second heat, Wheating got caught up in the pack, but found his trademark kick around the Bowerman Curve to finish second in 3:51.40. Will Leer won in 3:51.27, while David Torrence was third in 3:51.43.

"Everyone swooped past me in the last half lap, and then I was like, ‘I need to make moves'," said Wheating. "I have one and a half days of rest now and then I think I will be right where I need to be to finish strong (in the final)."

In the women's 1,500 meter semifinals, Jordan Hasay placed 12th in her heat in 4:15.52 and did not advance.

"It's a learning experience for me," said the junior from Arroyo Grande, Calif. "I'm really happy with what I learned through training."

In the preliminary rounds of the women's javelin, Oregon alum Rachel Yurkovich took one throw that went 185-1/56.42m and easily advanced her to Sunday's final. Her mark was the second-farthest overall on Friday.

Oregon freshman Johnathan Cabral saw a long season in the men's 110 hurdles come to a close in Friday's preliminary round. The Calabasas, Calif., native was fifth in his heat in 13.63, the fastest of the non-qualifiers.

Former Duck Jamesha Youngblood had a best leap of 19-11.5/6.08m to finish fourth in the women's long jump.

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