Ducks have a shot at winning national track title at home

Ducks have a shot at winning national track title at home
Hayward Field is ready for this week's NCAA Division I track and field championships

EUGENE, Ore. - The Oregon Ducks men head into the NCAA track and field championships ranked No. 1 in the nation by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Oregon has won eight straight Pac-12 titles and claimed the NCAA indoor championship, but the team hasn't won an outdoor title since 1984.

Second-ranked Florida and third-ranked Texas A&M were the co-champions last year, when the outdoor championships were also held at Hayward Field.

On the women's side, Texas is ranked No. 1 by the USTFCCCA, followed by Texas A&M. The third-ranked Ducks, coming off their sixth straight Pac-12 title, have not won an outdoor team title since 1985. Kansas is the defending women's team champion.

IF YOU GO

Tickets are still available, and officials expect to see upwards of 10,000 spectators each day. 

A free shuttle will be available from Autzen Stadium. More info: Event schedule | Spectator guide


Matchups to watch: Oregon vs Arizona go the distance

Arizona senior Lawi Lalang hopes to add to his already impressive list of accomplishments at this week's NCAA track and field championships.

He's got seven NCAA titles to go with six Pac-12 championships heading into the meet that starts Wednesday at Oregon's Hayward Field.

Lalang, the defending national champion in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, will be the only athlete to double up in the 1,500 and 5,000 this season.

"I'm really confident. I'm going to go there and do my best, I know I'm in great shape," he said following the NCAA West Regional in Arkansas.

Lalang will once again battle Oregon freshman Edward Cheserek, this time in the 5,000. The two have developed quite a rivalry this season.

At the Pac-12 championships, Lalang defeated Cheserek in 3 minutes, 36.34 seconds in the 1,500 meters, breaking his conference record in the event with the fastest time in the country this season. Cheserek finished in a personal-best 3:36.5 seconds, the fourth-fastest in Oregon history.

Lalang also took first place in the 5,000 final at the Pac-12 championships with a finish of 13:41.44, the best time this season.

But Cheserek bested Lalang at the NCAA indoor championships earlier this season.

The two will compete against Texas Tech's Kennedy Kithuka, setting up one of the most anticipated races of the meet.

Cheserek will double up in the 10,000, in a field dominated by Ducks with seniors Trevor Dunbar and Parker Stinson.


Oregon's Roesler favorite to win 800m

Oregon's Laura Roesler is the favorite on her home track in the women's 800 meters. She's got a 2:00.23 personal best, 2 seconds faster than any other runner in the field.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press