June 11, 2016
by Rob Moseley
Photo: Eric Evans
What to watch at Saturday’s session of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field. In the second year of the meet’s new format, this final day of the championship will feature the last session of women’s events, with the team title and 15 event finals on the line, including the conclusion of the heptathlon.
Live stream: ESPN3, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Broadcast window: ESPN, 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
THE SCHEDULE (Oregon entrants)
11:30 a.m.: Heptathlon, long jump
12:45 p.m.: Heptathlon, javelin
3 p.m.: High jump
3:05 p.m.: Discus
3:30 p.m.: Triple jump
3:32 p.m.: 4×100 relay (Oregon)
3:41 p.m.: 1,500 meters (Annie Leblanc)
3:54 p.m.: 3,000 steeplechase
4:12 p.m.: 100 hurdles (Sasha Wallace)
4:22 p.m.: 100 meters (Ariana Washington)
4:32 p.m.: 400 meters
4:47 p.m.: 800 meters (Raevyn Rogers)
4:57 p.m.: 400 hurdles
5:07 p.m.: 200 meters (Deajah Stevens, Washington)
5:13 p.m.: Heptathlon, 800 meters
5:25 p.m.: 5,000 meters (Alli Cash)
5:51 p.m.: 4×400 relay
Big Stories for the Ducks: For the Ducks to have a chance at challenging Arkansas for the team title, nearly all of Oregon’s entries Saturday need to have a shot at winning — and that’s exactly the case. A critical one-hour stretch for the UO women begins when the gun goes off for the 100-meter hurdles. Sasha Wallace ran a school-record 12.95 seconds in prelims, and wouldn’t have to be much better than that to challenge for a victory. The next race on the track will be the 100, in which freshman Ariana Washington was the top qualifier Thursday. Two races later, defending NCAA Outdoor and NCAA Indoor 800-meter champ Raevyn Rogers runs for yet another national title. And two races after that, less than an hour after Wallace runs in the hurdles, Deajah Stevens joins Washington in the 200, after they went 1-2 in their preliminary Thursday. Their margin for error is small, but the Fighting Ducks are in the battle.
Not to be overlooked: The uncertain status of Hannah Cunliffe makes Oregon’s 4×100 entry tough to project. At full strength, the Ducks are as good as anybody in the field. If nothing else, they’re guaranteed to contribute to the team score, in which every extra point is critical. After the 4×100, Annie Leblanc runs in the 1,500 final. The senior is in an NCAA championships final for the first time after coming up just short a couple of times, and no doubt eager to make the most of the opportunity. And later, Alli Cash races in the 5,000, another chance to pick up points that the Ducks can’t afford to squander.
What to watch elsewhere: After jumping out to the early lead with 26 team points Thursday, the Arkansas juggernaut kept rolling Friday with three women in position to score in the heptathlon. The Razorbacks have two potential scorers in the 3,000 steeplechase, led by Jessica Kamilos, and the favorite in the 5,000, Dominique Scott. The Razorbacks also are guaranteed points in the 400 and the 4×400. Along with Oregon, Texas A&M is looking to play spoiler to Arkansas. The Aggies will field the defending NCAA Outdoor champion in the discus (Shelbi Vaughan) and the 400 hurdles (Shamier Little), and they also have a 4×100 entry.