The era of Hayward Field came to a story book finish if a less than desired conclusion for the home town Ducks.
The Women of Troy claimed the women’s crown on the last event of the meet when Kendall Ellis anchored USC’s 4X400 relay team and nipped Purdue’s Jahneya Mitchell at the wire after making up a 20 yard deficit down the home stretch with a blazing 50.049 closing 400m.
The 10 points gave USC a total 53 for the meet, one more than second place Georgia and two more than third place Stanford.
Oregon’s defense of their national title faltered early and often in the rain. Jessica Hult provided one bright spot with a win in the 1,500m with a time of 4:08.75. The Ducks finished with 39 points, good for seventh place.
Which was better than the men. Georgia ran away from the field to claim the men’s championship with 52 points. The Ducks posted their worst finish in more than two decades, finishing tied for 35th with eight points.
“Tough day for the Ducks; tough meet for the Ducks,” said U of O coach Robert Johnson. “Not what we’re accustomed to. We need to evaluate how we can do better. This is the crown jewel of our season; not to do better is disheartening.”
Disheartening as well is the fact for the next two seasons the Ducks will be without a home venue as Hayward Field is rebuilt in preparation for the 2021 IAAF World Championships. The NCAA championships will be held in Austin, Texas for the next two season but are anticipated to return to the new facility upon its completion.