Tuesday, June 6, 2017

It's the final stretch for the nation's collegians as the NCAA champs start Wednesday in Eugene...

EUGENE—Wednesday marks the beginning of the end of the collegiate track and field season, as the NCAA Division I championships get underway at Historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon, and runs through Saturday.

Using the successful format initiated last year, the Wednesday and Friday sessions are devoted strictly towards the men’s competition, while the Thursday and Saturday sessions are for the women’s competition.

Washington State’s Brock Eager gets things started at 2 pm in the finals of the men’s hammer throw. Troy Fraley of Gonzaga will become the first male Bulldog to compete at the NCAA championships, as he goes in the semifinals of the 3000 steeplechase, where he could be a potential scorer. 

At 6 pm, Tacoma native Marcus Chambers (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the University of Oregon, an NCAA scorer the last few years, will go in the semis of the men’s 400.  This will potentially be his second race of the day, as he’s expected to run on Oregon’s 4 x 100 meter relay team, which kicks off the running portion of the Wednesday session at 4:32 pm.

Washington State’s CJ Allen will run in the semis of the 400 hurdles at 6:30 pm, as he looks to make the finals for the first time in his career.

Ten minutes later, Newport native Aaron Castle of Arizona will aim for a top-8 placing in the men’s shot put finals, to match his feat from the indoor season, where he finished eighth.

The Washington contingent finishes off competition at 7:08 pm when Spokane native Tanner Anderson of the University of Oregon runs in the finals of the 10000.

Seattle Prep grad Joe Hardy from Wisconsin and Colbert native John Dressel of Colorado will run in the men’s 5000 finals on Friday.

One notable school missing is the University of Washington, who failed to qualify on the men’s side for the first time in recent memory, as Pac-12 javelin champ Carson Fuller could not get out of the West regional qualifying round, and NCAA indoor All-American Colby Gilbert was shut down after the dual meet versus Washington State with a reported injury.

The women start their two days of competition on Thursday, as Washington’s Amy-Eloise Neale goes in the semis of the women’s 1500 at 4:46 pm.

At 5:00, Kristina Owsinski and Liz Quick of the Huskies, the last two Pac-12 champs in the pole vault, get underway in the finals, with both having hopes of scoring at the national championships.

One hour later, surprise qualifier Laura Anuakpado of the University of Washington hopes to continue her amazing late season surge in the 400 meter semis.

Olympia native Brooke Feldmeier of the University of Oregon runs her 800 meter semifinal at 6:14 pm, as she looks to make her second career final, having done so as a freshman at Ole Miss, before transferring to Oregon.

Australian import Izzi Batt-Doyle, who fought off the injury bug through the indoor season and the early part of the outdoor campaign, runs her third career 10000 final at 7:08 pm.

Closing off Thursday’s session is the University of Washington 4 x 400 relay team of Whitney Diggs, Imani Apostol, Darhian Mills, and Anuakpado, who set a school record of 3:35.65 two weeks ago in Austin to get the 12th and final qualifying spot to Eugene.

Mixed in with the men’s finals on Friday is the first four events of the women’s heptathlon, as Washington State’s Alissa Brooks-Johnson makes her second career NCAA championship appearance.  

The most notable athlete missing on the women’s side is reigning NCAA indoor 60 champ Hannah Cunliffe from Federal Way and the University of Oregon, who had a hamstring problem at the West Regionals two weeks ago.

The link to live results is available here, along with the start lists.

Here is the complete list of athletes with Washington ties competing in the championships along with their start times:


M Hammer (2:00 pm)—Brock Eager
M 4 x 100 semis (4:32 pm)—Marcus Chambers
M Steeple semis (5:02 pm)—Troy Fraley
M 400 semis (6:00 pm)—Chambers
M 400H semis (6:30 pm)—CJ Allen
M Shot Put finals (6:40 pm)—Aaron Castle
M 10000 finals (7:08 pm)—Tanner Anderson


W 1500 semis (4:46 pm)—Amy-Eloise Neale
W Pole Vault finals (5:00 pm)—Kristina Owsinski, Liz Quick
W 400 semis (6:00 pm)—Laura Anuakpado
W 800 semis (6:14 pm)—Brooke Feldmeier
W 10000 finals (7:08 pm)—Izzi Batt-Doyle
W 4 x 400 semis (7:48 pm)—UW (Anuakpado, Darhian Mills, Whitney Diggs, Imani Apostol)


W Heptathlon (12:30p first event)—Alissa Brooks-Johnson
M 5000 finals (7:25 pm)—Joe Hardy, John Dressel


W Heptathlon (3:00p first event)—Alissa Brooks-Johnson

The ESPN family of networks offers live coverage of the NCAA championships both over-the-air and online each day.  The television schedule is available below (all times listed are Eastern).

paulmerca.blogspot.com will be in Eugene to cover the NCAA championships.

NOTE:  Additional Friday and Saturday competitors will be updated after the semi-final rounds on Wednesday and Thursday.

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