Sunday, June 11, 2017

Feldmeier's third place finish and personal best helps Ducks win NCAA team title...

EUGENE—While the meet had a bizarre ending with a number of protests holding up the national championship trophy presentation to the Oregon Ducks on a wet Saturday afternoon, one of the key cogs to Oregon’s victory in front of the home crowd at Historic Hayward Field was the third place performance by Olympia native Brooke Feldmeier, who ran a personal best of 2:01.54 in the 800 meters.

Feldmeier crossed the halfway mark in 58.77, positioned in fourth, then made a move down the backstretch to pass BYU’s Shea Collinsworth, and then made a move to chase down Virginia Tech’s Hanna Green, but fell short, as Green ran 2:01.32 for second behind Oregon’s Raevyn Rogers, who won her third national title in 2:00.02 to give the Ducks 16 valuable points in that event.

"This is like a dream come true," said Feldmeier, a junior who transferred to Oregon from Ole Miss after qualifying for this meet two years ago. "I came to Oregon to run really fast. It's taken a while, but the coaches just told me to be patient. That when it comes together, it's gonna come quick."

After a series of protests from both USC and Georgia after Oregon’s apparent win in the 4 x 400 was denied, the Ducks got the triple crown, having won the national cross country and indoor track titles earlier in the academic year. 

Oregon, which came into the meet as heavy favorites, despite an injury to Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe, and the failure of its national-record setting 4 x 100 relay team to qualify for the national finals, scored 64 points to beat runner-up Georgia by 1.8 points

Washington State’s Alissa Brooks-Johnson, the two-time Pac-12 champion, finished sixth in the heptathlon with a two day score of 5658 points, a 20-point personal best, beating her previous mark set in winning the Pac-12 title last month in Corvallis. 

Brooks-Johnson, who was 12th at the break with 3251 points, went into the second day with three of her strongest events ahead.

In day 2, she long jumped a personal best 19-2.5 (5.85m), then fell short of another personal best in the javelin, throwing 145-0 (44.21m), and then finished her day with a clocking of 2:17.70 in the 800 meters.

“I opened day two with a long jump PR and carried that momentum into javelin where I was close to a lifetime PR on my first throw. I moved into sixth after javelin and knew I was in contention to be first team All-America. The 800 has always been a strong event for me and I just went out and ran my race and battled all the way through the finish line."

Georgia senior Kendell Williams won yet another NCAA title in the event, scoring 6265 points to dominate the field. Kansas State freshman Nina Schultz, who is a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, was second with 5959 points.

Washington junior Amy-Eloise Neale finished eighth in the 1500, running 4:14.89 in a tactical race that saw her positioned towards the back of the pack through the first 1000 meters.

Neale was in contention through most of the last lap, moving to fourth coming off the final turn, but faded over the last 50 meters.

Michigan’s Jaimie Phelan was a mild upset winner of the race, running 4:13.78.

NOTE:  The NCAA, the University of Oregon, the University of Washington, and Washington State University contributed to this report.

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