UO at NCAA Track Championships
UO release – AUSTIN, Texas – Micah Williams turned in a qualifying effort on day one of the NCAA Championships and will run for a national title Friday night in the 100 meters. Additionally, UO freshman Rafael Raap posted a pair of season bests in the decathlon. Williams, back on the track from relay duties in the first event of the evening, posted a season best of 10.03 to secure a lane in Friday’s 100-meter final. The UO junior was third in the final heat to grab the first of two on-time qualifiers. Williams will be making his third-career appearance in the NCAA final of the 100 meters. The Portland, Ore., native lines up for a national title Friday at 6:52 p.m. (PT) on ESPN2. Williams was seventh last season and ran to a bronze finish in 2021. Raap posted two season bests Wednesday with his efforts in the long jump (7.18m/23-6.75) and high jump (1.92m/6-3.5). Through the first five events of his NCAA debut, he has 3,915 points which is just two points off his day-one score at the Pac-12 Championships. Raap sits in 16th place overall after the first day in Austin. The decathlon continues Thursday with the 110-meter hurdles at 10:30 a.m. (PT). The final day of the 10-event competition also includes the discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500 meters. The final event will go off at 7:56 p.m. as part of the ESPN2 broadcast window. In a bittersweet result, the 4×100-meter relay of Williams, Ryan Mulholland, Xavier Nairne and PJ Ize-Iyamu Jr., combined for a season-best time of 38.93 but did not advance to Friday’s final. The quartet became the fifth to dip under 39 seconds in program history and moved from eighth to fifth on the all-time UO list. The team began the day with a previous best of 39.08 from the Desert Heat Classic in late April. Teams needed to run 38.67 or faster in the semifinal round to qualify for the nine-team final. Running in the first of two heats in the steeplechase, Alex Slenning went from ninth to sixth over the final lap to grab one of the two at-large spots with one race to go. The Pac-12 bronze finishes passed two runners after the final barrier, crossed the finish in 8:44.60 and then sat through heat two to see whether the time would stand up. Unfortunately for the Portland native, the second heat got out to a faster pace which resulted in both on-time qualifiers to come out of that race. The second at-large crossed in 8:43.18 to push Slenning down to 13th overall, one spot out of qualifying. In the Ducks’ last semifinal, UO sophomore Matthew Erickson recorded a time of 1:49.42 in the third heat of the 800 meters but did not advance. He finished sixth in his heat and 16th overall. Erickson was making his debut at the national meet. Up next: Day two of the NCAA Championships will mark the beginning of the women’s competition and the last five events of the decathlon. The Women of Oregon will have scoring opportunities Thursday in the long jump (Alysah Hickey), shot put (Jorinde van Klinken, Jaida Ross) and hammer (Shelby Moran). The Ducks’ schedule will also include semifinals in the 200, 800, 1500, 400 hurdles and both relays. All semifinals will air on ESPN2 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Field events and the decathlon will be streamed on ESPN+ event-specific links.
OSU Women at NCAA Championships
OSU release – AUSTIN, Texas – Oregon State will have three opportunities to secure the school’s first individual national championship since 1975 this Thursday and Saturday. Kaylee Mitchell and Grace Fetherstonhaugh open the weekend in the 3,000-meter steeplechase prelims on Thursday at 6:02 p.m. PT. The top five finishers in each heat, as well as the next two best times advance to Saturday’s finals at 6:24 p.m. PT. Jade Whitfield is in the second of two discus heats with an estimated start time of 6:30 p.m. PT. If any of the three earns a national title, it would be OSU’s first in the NCAA and first women’s track and field title since Robin Blaine, Kathy Costello, Kristin Trom and Kathy Weston brought home the AIAW National Championship in the two-mile relay in 1979. Joni Huntley is Oregon State’s last individual national champion with high jump and long jump victories in 1975.