The distance runners for top-ranked Oregon have been the stars of the indoor season this winter.
Now they’re heading to nationals and taking a whole lot of teammates with them.
The Ducks have entered 17 athletes and two relay teams in 20 events at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship meet, scheduled for March 11-13 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Among them are Cooper Teare in the 3,000 meters, Cole Hocker in the mile and 3,000, Charlie Hunter and Luis Peralta in the 800, Reed Brown in the mile, and the men’s distance medley relay team — a group that collectively set two collegiate records and owns three No. 1 times and two No. 2 times in the NCAA this season.
Teare, a senior, is heading to his third NCAA meet after a regular season in which he broke the collegiate record in the mile at 3 minutes, 50.39 seconds and ran the anchor leg of the record-setting DMR (9:19.42).
Teare and Hocker also have the No. 1 and No. 2 times in the 3,000 and 7:46.10 and 7:46.44, respectively.
Hocker’s mile time of 3:50.55 is also second to Teare for both this season and all-time.
Hocker, a sophomore, qualified in the mile last season.
The condensed meet schedule this year has made doubling in the individual distance and middle distance races tougher than normal.
To prevent a crowded area, the men’s and women’s meets will take place separately but on the same day, meaning the competition window is much smaller. The men will go each morning and the women will compete in the evening.
Hunter, a redshirt junior, qualified for his third NCAA Indoor meet and Peralta, a sophomore, is in his second.
Hunter has the top time in the 800 at 1:45.59, which set the Oregon record is ranked fifth on the collegiate all-time list. Peralta owns the fifth-ranked time this season with his personal-record of 1:47.61.
Hocker, Hunter and Peralta were on the DMR as well.
Brown is entered in the mile for the third time. He ran a PR 3:56.61 in February.
Not to be outdone, freshman sprinter Micah Williams is the school record-holder, NCAA leader and the No. 7 performer collegiately all-time in the men’s 60 at 6.49 (adjusted to 6.53 for altitude for NCAA Indoor seeding).
Gaston Bouchereau and Rieker Daniel are also entered in the 60.
Oregon’s other freshman standout, triple jumper Emmanuel Ihemeje, broke the school record in his debut with a mark of 53 feet, 10 1/4 inches.
Sophomore heptathlete Max Vollmer is entered for the second year after scoring 5,734 points in the first meet of the year.
Vollmer and Ihemeje are each ranked sixth in their events.
The No. 11 Oregon women have seven individual qualifiers as well as the No. 2-ranked DMR team.
Sprinters Kemba Nelson and Brianna Duncan are in the 60. Nelson, a junior transfer in her first season, is ranked fifth nationally with a PR of 7.19. Duncan, a senior who was an NCAA qualifier last season, is ranked 12th at 7.24.
Sophomore Mathilde Rey is ranked fifth in the pentathlon with 4,182 points — the No. 2 all-time mark at Oregon.
Junior Emily Sloan is in her first NCAA meet and is ranked seventh in the 60 hurdles with a PR of 8.06.
Sophomore Dominique Ruotolo hit 43-10 3/4 in the triple jump to earn a spot at nationals for the first time.
Aneta Konieczek’s time of 4:35.88 in the mile is ranked 12th nationally, and Hannah Reinhardt made the 5,000 with a time of 16:01.67.
Konieczek, Reinhardt, Megan Bolton and Mia Morck made up the DMR team that ran 10:56.79 earlier this season.
Oregon State redshirt sophomore Grace Fetherstonhaugh also qualified in the 5,000 with a time of 16:00.93
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Oregon’s NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship meet entries
60 — Micah Williams, Gaston Bouchereau, Rieker Daniel
800 — Charlie Hunter, Luis Peralta
Mile — Cole Hocker, Reed Brown
3,000 — Cooper Teare, Cole Hocker
Relays — DMR
Triple jump — Emmanuel Ihemeje
Heptathlon — Max Vollmer
60 — Kemba Nelson, Brianna Duncan
Mile — Aneta Konieczek
5,000 — Hannah Reinhardt
60 hurdles — Emily Sloan
Relays — DMR
Triple jump — Dominique Ruotolo
Pentathlon — Mathilde Rey