BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Oregon capped its first day at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships with its second straight national title in the women’s distance medley relay.
Jessica Hull anchored the Ducks into the lead in the final leg as they finished in 10 minutes, 53.43 seconds.
It was Oregon’s best time of the season and broke the facility record at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
The relay win, plus a fifth-place finish by Rhesa Foster in the long jump, has the Ducks in second place in the team standings with 14 points. New Mexico was the Day 1 leader with 17.
In the DMR, Amanda Gerhich had Oregon in sixth place after the 1,200-meter opening leg, with BYU leading.
Makenzie Dunmore followed with the fastest 400 leg in 52.89, and Susan Ejore ran the fastest 800 leg in 2:03.52 as Oregon climbed back into contention.
Hull then delivered the win with a 4:30.04 1,600 as the Ducks edged the Cougars, who took second place in 10:54.14.
“Considering I’d never run the DMR before this year and that I didn’t make it in any individual events, I told them ‘we’re gonna go and win because that’s what we do,'" Dunmore said. "I made sure to run my part and make sure everyone was good. We came together as a family and did what we had to do.”
With the victory the Ducks became the fourth program in NCAA history to win consecutive titles in the DMR.
“I’m going to be on a high (for the 3,000‐meter final)," Hull said. "Hopefully, get through some good recovery and be back tomorrow. I know these ladies may not be on the track with me tomorrow but they’re behind me and going to support me the whole way.”
In the long jump, Foster moved from ninth place to fifth on her final attempt, finishing with a mark of 20 feet, 8 1/2 inches.
“I was a little nervous going into my last jump," Foster said. "I was really aiming to win because nobody comes here to lose. I definitely did my best but didn’t quite come out on top today so there are those small things for me to work on going into the outdoor season.”
Oregon didn’t have much luck earlier in the day during the qualifying rounds, as sprinter Cravon Gillespie and distance runner Charlie Hunter were the only two to advance to Saturday’s finals
Gillespie moved on in the men’s 60, tying his PR with a 6.61 during his heat. Hunter will run in the men’s mile finale, advancing with a time of 4:07.54.
Blake Haney and Reed Brown didn’t advance in the men’s mile, nor did Ejore in the women’s mile, Hannah Waller in the women’s 400 or Braxton Canady in the men’s 60 hurdles. Tristan James also finished 13th in the men’s long jump and the men’s DMR team was ninth.