CORVALLIS — Jessica Hull’s first race in a month was a grind, but it was still a win.
The Oregon junior all-American got back on the track Saturday afternoon and rode a pair of tired and heavy legs to an easy win in the women’s 800-meter Invitational heat during the OSU High Performance meet at the Whyte Track and Field Center.
“I think I underestimated how rough it was going to feel,” Hull said with a smile after her finish in 2 minutes, 7.88 seconds. “I had a pretty high goal today and we had (teammate Susan Ejore) come up and help (pace) me out a bit and about 200 meters in I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is really hard.’ But that was what I needed.”
Hull’s last race was her outdoor season-opening 5,000 at the Stanford Invitational on March 29 when she ran 15:34.93, a time that remains third fastest in the NCAA this season.
Since then, Hull has been in training mode as the reigning conference and national champion in the 1,500 prepares to defend both titles starting with the Pac-12 championship meet May 11-12 in Tucson, Ariz., and then the NCAA Outdoor championships in Austin, Texas, June 5-8.
“It was fun to break out of the training and come out and do a race on pretty tired legs,” Hull said. “I’ve been putting some really hard work in so it felt really hard today, but that’s OK. It’s OK to feel like you’re working really hard at this time of year. As we lighten up toward championship season, hopefully the legs will start to feel good.”
Hull is entered in the 1,500 at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Stanford next week when the competition increases and the race gets much faster. Second place in Saturday’s 800 was Western Oregon’s Olivia Woods in 2:09.74.
“We’ve had a really long, solid training block so it was a good rust-buster,” Oregon associate head coach Helen Lehman-Winters said. “The pace was probably a little hot for her right now, but we just wanted to get something in before we go down for Payton Jordan next week.
“She hasn’t done anything on the track since the 5K at Stanford so she needed to turn her legs over a little bit.”
Hull’s victory was one of eight for the Ducks on Saturday.
Khadejah Jackson put herself into position to make the Ducks’ Pac-12 championship squad in the 400 hurdles after running a 59.48, a time that puts her in the top 10 in the conference. Jackson also won the 100 hurdles in 13.87.
Men’s sprinter Julius Shellmire won the 100 (10.43) and 200 (21.46), and women’s thrower Kiana Phelps picked up her second win of the weekend with a victory in the shot put at 50 feet, 5½ inches. Phelps also won the discus Friday.
Other winners were Carly Kleefeld in her section of the women’s 800 in 2:15.37, and Rachel Vinjamuri in the women’s 200 in 25.40.
Oregon State also got a pair of wins as Destiny Dawson won the javelin in 161-0 and Ann Wingeleth won the high jump in 5-6½.
Lane Community College men’s high jumper Aidan Acord won his event with a clearance of 6-8.
Gillespie sets Oregon record in the 200
TUSCON, Ariz. — On a night when multiple Ducks set multiple personal-records, Cravon Gillespie still stood out.
The senior sprinter set the Oregon school record in the 200 meters at the Desert Heat Classic with his win in 20.23 seconds, replacing Kyree King’s record of 20.27 from 2017.
Gillespie also won the 100 in 10.11 to move into a tie for second all-time at Oregon with Don Coleman. King owns that record at 10.0.
Gillespie’s previous PRs were 20.61 in the 200 and 10.12 in the 100.
Oregon’s two freshman hurdlers also had standout performances, as Eric Edwards Jr. won the 110 hurdles in a PR 13.63 to move into fifth all-time, and Emily Sloan ran a PR 13.22 in the 100 hurdles to place third and become the Ducks’ No. 3 all-time performer.
In the men’s 400 hurdles, Jonathan Harvey won in a PR 50.05, third-fastest at Oregon, and Brianna Duncan won the women’s 100 in 11.38.
Sprinter Oraine Palmer was second to Gillespie in both the 100 and 200. His 20.68 time in the 200 was also a PR and eighth all-time at Oregon.