STANFORD, Calif. — A winning streak that began in 2007 at Stanford didn’t end there this weekend.
The Oregon men won their 12th consecutive Pac-12 Track & Field Championship on Sunday, wrapping up the meet at Cobb Track and Angell Stadium with individual victories by Sam Prakel in the 1,500 meters, Cravon Gillespie in the 100 and Braxton Canady in the 110 hurdles.
The Ducks finished with 174 points to 125 for second-place Stanford.
“I don’t really look at the predictions but I know a lot of people predicted us to win,” Gillespie said. “But you still have to come here and get the points.”
Oregon didn’t struggle in that regard, getting their first victory of the day in the second event on the track as Prakel, a redshirt senior, won his first career title with an unbreakable last-lap surge.
He finished in 3 minutes, 40.20 seconds.
“It felt incredible,” Prakel said. “I’ve been right there the last two years. I wanted to give it my best shot and maybe use my age and my seniority to show that strength at the end. I was decisive at 300 and I’m glad that was enough.”
He crossed the finish line with just enough time to turn and see teammate James West come across in second place in 3:41.67. Those 18 points — along with the eight earned by the Ducks’ second-place finish in the 4x100 relay — gave Oregon 24 points in a span of 10 minutes, and the ball was sent rolling towards a 131-point day.
“The men have gotten used to this thing, so they know what it takes to win,” Oregon coach Robert Johnson said. “Sometimes it’s harder to have a feeling or know what you’re supposed to do when you’re predicted to win and then to actually go out there and do it. So the men did a great job executing in all phases today.”
Prakel and West weren’t the only duo to finish 1-2 in their event.
Gillespie and Damarcus Simpson also grabbed the top two spots in the 100, with Gillespie finishing in a wind-aided 10.05, followed by Simpson in 10.14.
It was the second straight runner-up finish for Simpson, a senior who also won his second consecutive long jump title on Saturday.
But for Gillespie, it was a coming-out moment for the first-year junior transfer who had a decorated junior college career at Mount San Antonio College in California.
“It feels great,” Gillespie said. “You know, I came in here and had the fastest qualifying time, but all that is out the window. You have to come here, you have to perform, you have to do it with these guys next to you, so it was great to come out and execute my race right and get the victory.”
Gillespie was also second in the 200 in a wind-aided 20.26 to USC sophomore sensation Michael Norman, who won in 19.84.
Canady also came into the meet as the favorite with a season-best time of 13.79. He took advantage of a strong wind at his back to run 13.57 in his victory on Sunday — the only race of the weekend in the 110 hurdles — moving up a spot after finishing second as a freshman in 2017.
“Yesterday we didn’t have a prelim so I was kind of thrown by that,” Canady said. “But going into today I felt like I had nothing to lose. I came in second last year so I wanted to go out and run my own race.”
Prakel returned to finish third in the 800 in 1:50.59, two spots ahead of teammate Mick Stanovsek, who was fifth in 1:50.74.
But by then the Ducks were in firm control of the team standings and en route to another first-place trophy.
“If we had this conversation earlier this week I would’ve said there was a lot of pressure (coming into the meet),” Prakel said. “I didn’t want to be a senior who led my team to a second-place finish at Pac-12s. There was some pressure. That’s why I was excited to double and get as many points as possible and do my part.”
Lots of others did their part as well, including Ben Milligan, who finished second in the high jump, clearing 7 feet, 1 1/2 inches. Tristan James, who was second in the long jump, took third in the triple jump with a mark of 51-3 1/2.
The 4x400 team of Jonathan Harvey, Orwin Emilien, Rieker Daniel and Cameron Stone also finished second.
It all led to one more team title for the Ducks.
“When you talk about a dozen years of anything that’s an awful long time,” Johnson said. “It’s one of those experiences that we’ll cherish.”