Senior athletes who lost their spring seasons due to the coronavirus have the opportunity to return in 2021 for a do over.
That doesn’t mean all of them will.
The Oregon track and field program officially announced on Twitter earlier this week, the departure of 10 seniors, as well as two redshirt juniors, including Pac-12 champion and record-setting women’s sprinter Makenzie Dunmore, men’s sprinter Oraine Palmer and women’s middle distance standout Susan Ejore, as the Ducks’ roster for next season becomes a little more clear.
The departure of Dunmore isn’t a surprise. An injury forced her to miss her junior outdoor season in 2019 and she was scheduled to miss the 2020 season after giving birth to her son in the spring with boyfriend Troy Dye, the former Oregon linebacker who was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in April’s NFL draft.
Dunmore’s first two seasons as a Duck, however, were impressive.
The Georgia native ran a leg on the collegiate record-setting 4x400-meter relay team at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships helping the Oregon women secure the triple crown with its team titles in cross country and indoor and outdoor track that school year.
Earlier in the season, Dunmore was also part of the NCAA record-setting 4x200 team.
As a sophomore Dunmore won the Pac-12 outdoor title in the 200 and in 2019 she ran a leg on the Ducks’ distance medley relay team as they won their second straight indoor title in that event.
Beyond her 4x400 record of 3:23.13, Dunmore is also a member of Oregon’s top 4x100 team (42.12) and is ranked No. 2 all-time outdoors in the 400 (50.63), No. 6 in the 200 (22.53) and No. 10 in the 100 (11.25).
Ejore was one of seven redshirt seniors on then women’s team who are leaving, along with distance runners Weronika Pyzik and Isabelle Brauer, sprinters Kerissa D’Arpino and Rachel Vinjamuri, javelin thrower JoJo Ananouko and high jumper Ashlyn Hare.
Ejore was a junior college all-American before joining the Ducks as a sophomore in time for the 2017 cross country season. She was a member of Oregon’s back-to-back DMR national championship teams in 2018 and 2019 and also placed fourth in the 800 at the 2019 NCAA outdoor meet.
Joining Dunmore and Ejore on the 2019 DMR team was senior Amanda Gehrich, who came to Oregon from Utah as a sophomore in 2018. She transitioned from the 1,500 to the steeplechase last spring and immediately moved into No. 4 all-time at Oregon at 10:00.25
Also leaving the women’s team are redshirt junior throwers Maddie Rabing and Alexis Rigmaiden.
Palmer, a redshirt senior from Jamaica, was the only member of the men’s team who announced his departure.
Palmer transferred to the Ducks from St. George College as a redshirt junior in 2019 and had a solid debut season. Indoors he posted the fourth-fastest time in school history in the 200 (20.96) and fifth-fastest in the 60 (6.65). Outdoors, he is No. 3 all-time in the 200 (20.37) and a member of the record-setting 4x100 team, which placed fourth at the NCAA meet.
Palmer was the runner-up in the 100 and 200 at 2019 Pac-12 championship meet, following teammate Cravon Gillespie across the finish line.
Almost more notable than who is among those leaving the Oregon program, is who wasn’t listed.
The door appears open for the return of high-level performers such as 2020 redshirt senior men’s middle distance star James West and women’s distance standout Carmela Cardama Baez, as well senior long jumper Rhesa Foster, sprinters Brianna Duncan and Hannah Waller, and men’s senior distance runner Jackson Mestler, among others.
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