A number of teams jumped straight into the NCAA indoor season on Friday, running some lightning quick distance medley relays on the first day of major competition on the collegiate scene.
For the women, Georgetown and Oregon set the tone for the rest of the season with a pair sub-11 minute minute efforts.
The Hoyas built upon the momentum from their NCAA cross country title with a time of 10:55.95 at the Penn State National Invitational that included strong efforts by 1200 meter leg Rachel Schneider and anchor Emily Infeld.
Penn State, behind senior standouts Caitlin Lane and Kara Millhouse, ran 11:05.16 on their home track but just missed the NCAA automatic qualifying standard of 11:03.50.
Another duel took place at the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge where Oregon and Tennessee duked it out all the way through the final 1600 leg. In the end, Jordan Hasay broke away from Brittany Sheffey to claim the win for the Ducks in 10:56.31.
Tennessee in second with a time of 11:02.74 also achieved the auto mark. Florida was third in 11:04.53, just missing that standard.
The distance medley will be wide open at the national championships with defending champion Villanova losing Shelia Reid to eligibility.
No auto standards were run on the men’s side, but Penn State and Oregon both ran both efforts that indicate potential for later in the season.
With freshman sensation and new NCAA 1000 meter record holder Robby Creese on anchor, Penn State won their home meet in 9:35.24 but held out half miler Cas Loxsom for a later relay attempt.
Oregon also had a strong performance putting up a mark of 9:36.88 with Trevor Dunbar running a 4:00.86 anchor in his first race in the Oregon singlet. The Ducks also have potential to do better as top middle distance men like Mac Fleet yet to compete.