Track & Field No. 2, No. 3 in Preseason Polls

NEW ORLEANS – With the 2015 indoor track and field season fast approaching, the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association unveiled its 2015 preseason computer rankings which placed the Oregon men’s team at No. 2 and the women’s team at No. 3.

The Ducks are coming off a sweep at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., where the men won with 62 points and the women won an instant classic decided by a 4x400 relay win to close the meet. Both teams went on to championships but, similar to this season, were not favorites from the outset. The men’s team was ranked third in the 2014 USTFCCCA preseason rankings while the women were fourth.

The Men of Oregon return six 2014 indoor All-Americans led by sophomore Edward Cheserek who scored 20 points at the NCAA meet with wins in the 3,000 and 5,000 on his way to being named the USTFCCCA Division I Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. The other returner with two individual All-American honors from 2014 is redshirt senior Parker Stinson who made a huge move in the final 200 to finish third in the 5,000 and followed with an 11th-place finish in the 3,000.

The distance crew is bolstered with the contributions of transfers and previous NCAA scorers Eric Jenkins, Will Geohegan and John Gregorek, hoping to help fill the gap created by four graduated scorers from 2014. The Ducks also have outdoor All-Americans returning in Arthur Delaney (200), Greg Skipper (hammer throw) and Mitch Modin (decathlon).

Florida will be in Oregon’s sights as the Gators are ranked No. 1 on both the men’s and women’s side.

The five-time reigning indoor champion Women of Oregon will look to keep its streak alive behind the talented and versatile combination of Jasmine Todd and Jenna Prandini. Todd scored in both the 60 (third) and the long jump (sixth) in 2014 with Prandini joining her in the 60 (seventh). However, Prandini will be looking to carry momentum from an impressive showing at the outdoor championships where she won the long jump, took second in the 200 and third in the 100.

The Ducks have power across the events with returning All-Americans in Frida Berge (5,000), Lauren Crockett and Chancey Summers (high jump), Molly Grabill (5,000), Brittany Mann (shot put), Annie Leblanc (800), Sasha Wallace (60 hurdles), Jillian Weir (hammer throw) and transfer Waverly Neer (5,000).

Not taken into account in the preseason computer rankings are Oregon’s top-ranked women’s recruiting class and second-ranked men’s class.

The Ducks will open the season, Saturday, Jan. 17 at the Washington Preview in Seattle.

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