The Pac-12 Conference Meet Begins Today At Mt.SAC; Oregon’s 15-Year Run Of Men’s Dominance In Serious Jeopardy; Women’s Team Race Comes Down To Oregon, USC
By Doug Binder, DyeStat Editor
Oregon’s 15-year men’s winning streak at the Pac-12 Conference Track and Field Championships was already in serious trouble this season, but then the startlists were revealed this week.
The Ducks are the lone school among the 10 have men’s teams that will not be sending a 4×400 relay to the starting line.
By that point in the meet, it likely won’t matter for them.
Instead, Washington, California, USC and UCLA may all still have a chance going into Sunday’s final event at Hilmer Lodge Stadium at Mt. SAC in Walnut, Calif. Or perhaps, the Huskies will be preparing to dawg-pile after a 95-year wait to celebrate a conference track title.
It’s Washington, whose coaches Maurica and Andy Powell were part of the Oregon coaching staff from 2005-2018, that is looking to make history.
It was the Huskies who enjoyed a night in January when eight men ran sub-four minutes for the mile together in the same race. And yes, Washington is loaded in this weekend’s 1,500 meters, but the team is also counting on big points elsewhere: In the 400-meter hurdles, where Cass Elliott is the conference leader; in the javelin, where Chandler Ault is the top seed; in the 800 with Sam Ellis and in the 5,000 with Brian Fay.
California hasn’t won the conference title since 1923! And if things break right for the Golden Bears, they could win the men’s crown for the first time in 100 years.
Cal is field-event heavy, with collegiate discus record holder Mykolas Alekna, multi athlete Hakim McMorris, and pole vaulters Tyler Burns and Skyler Magula factoring heavy into the equation.
USC and UCLA are also factors in the team race. The Trojans could add big points in the 110-meter hurdles with Omotade Ojora and Johnny Brackins expected to go 1-2, and the long jump, with Brackins and CJ Stevenson; the Bruins are the top team in the 4×400 and have conference leader Jalyn Jackson in the triple jump.
The defending conference champion in the men’s hammer, Trey Knight, has transferred from USC to Cal State-Northridge.
The Ducks still have one of the meet’s brightest stars in Micah Williams, who was fourth at the USATF Outdoor Championships last June in the 100 meters. He has dealt with an injury this spring and race sparingly, but apparently will try to defend his conference title in the 100 and…
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