FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — With six individual wins and one team title Saturday, the leader of the Oregon track and field program was feeling pretty good about the Ducks' weekend away from home.
“We’re proud of the guys to come here into the heart of SEC country and show them the Conference of Champions is the real deal,” said Oregon coach Robert Johnson with a big smile for the SEC Network cameras.
Eric Edwards Jr., Cooper Teare and Charlie Hunter won their individual events Saturday during the Razorback Invitational, helping the No. 17 Oregon men win the team title with 116 points, ahead of No. 2 Florida (115), No. 12 Arkansas (74) and No. 4 LSU (62).
Edwards, a freshman off to a great start to his collegiate career, won the 60-meter hurdles in 7.69 seconds, a personal-record that moved him into fourth-place all-time at Oregon.
“My coach told me in warmups, ‘Be the first one to the hurdle and you’ll win the race,’” Edwards told the SEC Network as a replay of his quick start was being aired. “So I just kept that in mind.”
Teare, a sophomore distance standout, also set a PR by winning the mile in 3:59.21 — a step faster than his previous best of 3:59.29.
In the men’s 3,000, Hunter, a middle-distance sophomore, moved up in distance and still came away with the victory thanks to some patient running during a slow race.
He moved from sixth to fourth with 400 to go, then took the lead with 200 left and sprinted to a 7:59.88 finish.
“I stayed comfortable and tried to relax,” Hunter said. “I had a few extra gears there at the end and it paid off.”
The No. 10 Oregon women didn’t win the team title, finishing second to No. 1 Arkansas — 145 1/2-101— but they did set a couple of school records.
In the mile, senior Jessica Hull reset her school record with a win in 4:31.0 in the first individual race of the season. Her previous mark had been 4:31.76.
In the triple jump, senior Chaquinn Cook broke her previous record by more than a foot, jumping 44 feet, 7 1/2 inches to get the win. Her PR had been 43-0 1/4.
Junior Hannah Waller won the 400 in 52.54, just off her PR of 52.44.
“This tells me really good things about my fitness, where I’m at mentally and physically,” Waller said. “This just inspires me to be better.”
Nike Oregon Project's Kejelcha sets Ethiopian mile record
BOSTON — Nike Oregon Project runner Yomif Kejelcha set an Ethiopian national record in the men’s mile Saturday during the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix.
Kejelcha won in 3 minutes, 51.70 seconds to highlight a solid day at the Reggie Lewis Center for the Portland-based NOP, which had three event winners.
In the men’s 800, Donovan Brazier and training partner Clayton Murphy finished 1-2 with Brazier crossing in 1:45.91 followed by Murphy in a personal-record 1:45.94.
Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen coasted to a win in the women’s 5,000 in 15:15.80.
Former Oregon stars Raevyn Rogers won the women’s 600 in 1:27.31, and Edward Cheserek was second in the men’s 3,000 in 7:42.93.
Also in the men’s mile, former Duck Sam Prakel, in his first professional season, was third in a PR 3:56.60.
OTC Elite has two individual winners at UW Invitational
SEATTLE — Eugene-based Oregon Track Club Elite had two runners come away with wins Saturday during the UW Invitational at the Dempsey Indoor facility.
Hanna Green won the women’s invitational mile in 4 minutes, 35.20 seconds, and Neil Gourley won the men’s invitational mile in 3:58.12.
OTC Elite’s Drew Piazza was also sixth in the men’s mile in 3:59.67, and Harun Abda was ninth in the men’s 400 in 49.07.