Women came to the rescue for the Pac-12 Conference at the NCAA Track and Field Championships on Saturday.
For the third straight year, Pac-12 women performed well at the collegiate nationals while the men virtually disappeared.
Saturday marked the close of this year’s four-day event at Austin, Texas, and four Pac-12 women’s teams finished among the Top-10: USC was second, Oregon fifth, Colorado ninth and Stanford tied for 10th. The Trojans might have won the team title except for a fumbled baton in the 4x400 relay.
Pac-12 women claimed seven event titles, beginning with Cal sophomore Camryn Rogers’ victory in the hammer throw on Thursday.
Other Pac-12 women’s winners:
— Samantha Noennig, Arizona State, shot put
— Mackenzie Little, Stanford, javelin
— Anna Cockrell, USC, 400 hurdles
— Anglene Annelus, USC, 200 meters
— Dani Jones, Colorado, 5,000 meters
— USC 4x100 relay
Pac-12 men could not keep up.
Friday featured most of the men’s finals, and the outcome wasn’t pretty. Pac-12 men won just one event, a victory by Stanford’s Steven Fahy in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
The Cardinal, which also got second- and third-place points in the 5,000 meters, wound up fifth in the men’s team standings. No other Pac-12 school was among the Top-10. Texas Tech, Florida and Houston went 1-2-3.
Traditional power USC, which owns 26 NCAA men’s track titles, finished in a tie for 37th place with six points. Pac-12 teams combined to score just 83 points (Texas Tech scored 60 by itself), and even that’s a marginal improvement over the previous two years.
In 2018, Pac-12 teams totaled 81 points, and in 2017 they managed just 64.5 points, with only one team (Oregon) among the top 19 finishers.
Schools from the SEC and Big 12 now dominate the meet, which the Pac-12 has won 47 times over the past century, and as recently as 2015 when Oregon went back-to-back.