TUCSON, Ariz. — Weather was certainly a factor Saturday night during the opening day of the Pac-12 Track & Field Championship meet.
But it wasn’t due to the stifling desert heat.
A lightening storm rolled through Tucson midway through the meet causing a 3-hour, 30-minute delay beginning just after 7 p.m.
Preliminaries in the 200 meters, 800 and 400 hurdles were cancelled, finals in the 3,000 steeplechase didn’t start until after 11 p.m. and the women’s 10,000 — the final event of the night — didn’t begin until after midnight.
The Oregon men, winners of 12 straight Pac-12 titles, were in second place with 51 points with plenty of scoring opportunities to come on Sunday. UCLA was leading with 58 points after dominating the throws as expected and getting a win in the 10,000 from Robert Brandt.
The Ducks got a 21-point boost from the long jump as Tristan James won the conference title, Spenser Schmidt was the runner-up and freshman DJ Henderson placed sixth.
James jumped 24 feet, 11 inches on his third attempt to win the championship. Schmidt jumped 24-9 1/3 and Henderson went 24-3 1/2.
The Ducks also got points from Jackson Mestler with his third-place finish in the steeplechase in 8:52.10. John Nizich (231-2) and Jackson Van Vuran (217-6) went 3-7 in the javelin, and Max Lydum was seventh in the hammer at 209-8.
Defending champion Cravon Gillespie led four Oregon qualifiers in the 100 with the top preliminary time of 10.10. Orwin Emilien also had the top qualifying time in the 400 at 46.61.
The Oregon women are in third place with 16 points.
Amanda Gehrich finished third in the steeplechase in 10:16.44 for six points. The Ducks got six more in the 10,000 thanks to a fourth-place finish Carmela Cardama Baez (33:40.88) and eighth-place finish from Phillippa Bowden (34:29.91), and Alexis Rigmaiden was sixth in the javelin at 155-2 for 3 points. The Ducks also qualified two individuals in the 1,500, 100, 400 and 100 hurdles during the prelims.
Defending champion USC has yet to score but the Trojans loaded up on qualifiers during the sprint and hurdle prelims.
Colorado was in the lead with 40 points, followed by Washington with 36 and Stanford with 23.