SACRAMENTO — The Oregon women soared through the opening day of the NCAA West Preliminary Track & Field meet on Thursday, as they began to build the team that will defend their national title in less than two weeks.
The Oregon men, however, didn’t make it through the opener at Hornet Stadium unscathed.
Damarcus Simpson earned his spot in the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship meet at Hayward Field on June 6-9 with the best finish in the men’s long jump on Thursday.
One year after failing to make it out of the preliminary meet in the long jump, Simpson qualified with a wind-aided (+3.5) mark of 26 feet, 11 3/4 inches.
But Simpson, a second-team all-American in the 100 meters last season, didn’t qualify for the quarterfinals after running 10.46 to finish sixth in his first-round heat.
The Ducks also lost Pac-12 runner-up James West in the 1,500 after the redshirt junior, who owns the fifth-fastest time in the NCAA this season, was sixth in his heat in 4:01.97.
Oregon also took a hit when Pac-12 runner-up Tanner Anderson, who was 13th at the NCAA meet last season, couldn’t finish the 10,000.
It was a different story for the Oregon women, who advanced three to the NCAA championship meet, including freshman Keira McCarrell in the javelin. She threw 171-1 to set a personal-record by more than 16 feet.
Sophomore Rhesa Foster will also compete in the NCAA long jump for the second straight season after qualifying with a mark of 20-4 1/2.
In the 10,000, redshirt senior Alli Cash advanced to the finals in Eugene, though redshirt senior Samantha Nadel missed out by one spot with a 13th-place finish. Losing Nadel, who had the ninth-fastest time in the NCAA this season, was the one misstep of the day for Oregon.
Besides McCarrell, the Ducks got PR performances from Venessa D’Arpino in the 400 (52.78) and Jasmin Reed in the 100 (11.26) as Oregon advanced to the quarterfinals 12 of the combined 13 runners it had entered in the first rounds of the 100, 400, 800 and 1,500.
The Oregon State women’s team will also be represented at the NCAA championships as junior Destiny Dawson finished 12th in the javelin at 163-9. Nicole Goecke also advanced to the quarterfinals in the 800.
Colorado senior Erin Clark, a South Eugene High School grad, earned a trip home to Eugene after advancing in the 10,000.