EUGENE, Ore – Needing a victory in the 4×400-meter relay to clinch the first “Triple Crown” in collegiate women’s history, Oregon proved it was up to the task on Saturday at the NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
With 12,992 fans at Hayward Field on their feet, cheering wildly, UO junior Raevyn Rogers turned in a superb anchor leg of 49.77 seconds to hold off USC for the win – 3:23.13 to 3:23.35.
Both times bettered the previous collegiate record of 3:23.75 set by Texas in 2004.
The Ducks’ stirring triumph in the 4x400m relay allowed them to complete the final leg of the Triple Crown – national titles in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track in the same academic year – by just 1.8 points over runner-up Georgia.
Final score: Oregon 64, Georgia 62.2.
Amazingly, Georgia scored all of its points in the field to shatter the previous field-only record of 45 set by Arizona State in 1985. The Ducks, on the other hand, tallied all of their points on the track.
Rogers was the lone individual NCAA champion for Oregon with her third consecutive outdoor national title in the 800 meters. She hit the tape in 2:00.02 with UO teammate Brooke Feldmeier adding six crucial points in third at 2:01.54.
The dramatic finish was set up by Oregon’s misfortune in the 200m.
UO junior Deajah Stevens, a 2016 Olympian, was tied for the lead with Florida’s Kyra Jefferson with less than 15 meters left in the race when she crashed hard to the track. Stevens was unable to finish the race, while Jefferson went on to win with a collegiate record of 22.02. UO sophomore Arianna Washington placed second at 22.39.
To her credit, Stevens came back to run the second leg on the title-clinching 4x400m relay. UO freshman Makenzie Dunmore ran the lead-off leg and Duck senior Elexis Guster handled the third leg. Stevens also placed second in the 100m at 11.04, while Washington was fourth in 11.09.
The other UO points came from freshman Katie Rainsberger in the 1,500m (4th, 4:14.20); sophomore Alaysha Johnson and senior Sasha Wallace in the 100m hurdles (4th 12.72; 6th, 12.81); Guster in the 400m (6th, 52.25); and senior Samantha Nadel in the 5,000m (8th, 15:48.93).
The four-day 2017 NCAA Men’s & Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships drew a total attendance of 44,061 to Hayward Field, second only to the 2010 meet which drew 45,847.
4x100m relay: Kentucky, 42.51 (Hayward Field record)
1,500m: Jaimie Phelan, Michigan, 4:13.78
3,000m steeplechase: Allie Ostrander, Boise State, 9:41.31
100m hurdles: Tobi Amusan, UTEP, 12.57
100m: Mikiah Brisco, LSU, 10.96
400m: Chrisann Gordon, Texas, 50.51
800m: Raevyn Rogers, Oregon, 2:00.02
400m hurdles: Sage Watson, Arizona, 54.52
200m: Kyra Jefferson, Florida, 22.02 (collegiate record)
5,000m: Karissa Schweizer, Missouri, 15:38.93
4x400m relay: Oregon (Makenzie Dunmore, Deajah Stevens, Elexis Guster, Raevyn Rogers), 3:23.13 (collegiate record)
High jump: Madeline Fagan, Georgia, 6-3 1/4
Discus: Shadae Lawrence, Kansas State, 201-4
Triple jump: Keturah Orji, Georgia, 46-10 ¾
Heptathlon: Kendell Williams, Georgia, 6265
TEAM SCORES – Oregon 64, Georgia 62.2, USC 43, Kentucky 40, Florida 39, Arkansas 38.2, Texas 32, LSU 32, Kansas State 25, Arizona State 21.