The NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships wrap up Saturday and Oregon has a chance to send Hayward Field off into the sunset with one last title at its soon-to-be demolished home stadium.
The Ducks will start the day with no points and not favored to win a second-straight — and fourth overall — team title, but they should be right in the middle of a tight race that feature as many as five teams.
According to The Register-Guard form chart, Kentucky and Stanford are both on track to score 51 points, followed by Georgia with 49, Oregon with 46 and USC with 42. LSU, which is currently scoreless, could also be in he fix if its sprinters outperform projections.
The Cardinal open the day in the team lead with 25 points, Georgia is third with 14, Kentucky is eighth with 10 points and USC has one point.
Here’s how the Ducks are predicted to score on Saturday:
4x100 — Third place for 6 points
1,500 — 5th Jessica Hull, 4 pts
100 hurdles — 4th Alaysha Johnson, 5 pts
400 — 3rd Makenzie Dunmore; 7th, Briyahna DesRosiers (this spot was originally reserved for Hannah Waller, but she didn’t make the final and DesRosiers did so they were swapped on the form chart), 8 pts
800 — 1st Sabrina Southerland, 10 pts
5,000 — 8th Lilli Burdon; NS, Samantha Nadal, 1 pt
4x400 — First place for 10 points
Triple jump — 7th Chaquinn Cook, 2 pts
Oregon will have opportunities to add to that projected total, however.
The Ducks will automatically get some unprojected points from Ariana Washington in the 100. Washington won the NCAA title in 2016 and was a World Outdoor Championships qualifier last summer after finishing third at the U.S. Outdoor meet. On Thursday she ran a season-best 11.08 for the third-fastest time in the semifinals.
Hull feels underprojected in the 1,500. She dominated the Pac-12 championship race and looked superb in the semifinals on Thursday when she ran a PR 4:10.09 — fourth-fastest all-time at UO — finishing only behind New Hampshire’s Elinor Purrier by .01 seconds.
The 4x100 team ran 42.95 on Thursday in the semifinal despite a rough second exchange. It was the second-fastest time after LSU’s meet record 42.09. The Ducks probably won’t catch the Tigers, but if they can finish ahead of projected No. 2 USC, that’s an additional two points. Of course, another bad exchange or a dropped baton and the Ducks could be out of contention before the meet really gets going.
Chaquinn Cook is projected to finish seventh in the triple jump despite having the fourth-best mark in the NCAA this season. But Cook will have the advantage of competing at home with the crowd behind her. Could that be worth a bump or two in the standings? The Ducks hope so.
Meanwhile, Kentucky has the favorites in both hurdle races with Sydney McLaughlin (400H) and Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (100H), as well as a pair of top-3 relay teams. Stanford has, among others, two potential point scorers in the 1,500 and a top contender in the discus, and Georgia has triple jump favorite Keturah Orji and Lynna Irby in the 400 and 200.
The meet will be televised starting at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2 and then switch over to ESPN at 4.
You can find the meet schedule and live results here.