Good and Bad for the Ducks

The first day of the West Regionals had the expected mixture of good and bad results for the Ducks. No expected NCAA scorers took a fall but some expected NCAA entrants would have to wait for the NCAA committee to hopefully pick them. The biggest mark was by former South Eugene Axeman and now redshirt junior Sarah Pearson in the 5,000 meters.

Pearson ran a six second personal record (PR) to finish fourth in 16:28.59 behind Sophomore Nicole Blood who was second in 16:26.69.

Last season Pearson had a stress fracture that forced her to redshirt her junior track season. At the time she thought she might come back this year and next year for grad school and run during the track season (she is out of eligibility for cross-country) for her senior year. This season she scored for the NCAA runner-up cross country team and decided to take time off from school after the spring quarter so this would be her last season for track. Indoor, she ran a 16 second PR in the 5,000 meters and ran a 74-second PR in the 10,000 meters (34:29.72). Now she gets to run in Des Moines, Iowa for her final race or races as a Duck.

Early in the day Sophomore Alex Wolff finished sixth with another pr throw with a season best 67.11 meters (m) 220-2, just one inch short of Martin Maric of Cal Berkeley. That only moves Wolff to 30th on the national list but third place finisher Chris Richardson of Long Beach State is a Decathlete and may pass on an invite for the Javelin Throw. Junior Mike Simmons finished tenth and did not make the finals leaving his NCAA selection out of his hands.

Freshman Melissa Gergel was one of three valuators to clear 13-3 ¾ but finished eighth due to having three misses at her last clearance. Senior Carlos Trujillo finished fourth in the 5,000m at 14:06.16 and redshirt Sophomore Kenny Klotz was sixth in 14:14.22 and unlikely to get an invite for the NCAA meet (two seniors had PR performances ahead of him).

Among qualifiers Sophomores Andrew Wheating and Zoe Buckman in the 800m and Keshia Baker in the 400m won their heats. Getting another chance tomorrow are Senior Mike McGrath in the 800m, Sophomore AJ Acosta and Senior Joaquin Chapa in the 1,500m (Jordan McNamara was disqualified), Sophomore Chad Barlow in the 400m (Senior Marcus Dillon did not qualify), and Seniors Kasey Harwood in the 400m hurdles and Phil Alexander in the 200m.

Saturday will give the Ducks their final chance to qualify for the NCAA meet.

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