A Crowning Moment For Rogers In 2017
In a collegiate career filled with incredible, awe-inspiring moments, it would be hard to pick just one that defined Raevyn Rogers’ time at Oregon. So why not pick an entire day?
Let’s rewind three years and 20 days to Saturday, June 10, 2017.
It was on that day that Rogers not only became the first woman in the history of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships to win three 800-meter titles – but she also anchored the Ducks to a victory in the 4×400 relay that set a collegiate record, clinched the first Triple Crown by a women’s program in NCAA DI history and sent the home crowd at Hayward Field into absolute hysterics.
Rogers started the afternoon with a sensational effort in the 800. After a 58.34 opening lap where she sat right off the lead, Rogers turned on the jets to close in 61.68. Her final time of 2:00.02 sits sixth on the all-time collegiate chart, one of her three all-time top-10 marks outdoors (She also holds the collegiate record at 1:59.10 and the No. 5 time at 1:59.71).
One hour later, Rogers hopped on the track to take the hand-off from Elexis Guster with history in the balance.
Before the day began, Oregon had zero points to its credit in the team standings. That quickly changed as they put up 31 points in the sprints and hurdles alone and sat second with 54 points entering that fateful 4×400, 8.20 points behind the first-place Georgia Bulldogs. That meant in order to win the outdoor title and complete the Triple Crown, the Ducks had to win. Rogers had to be first across the finish line.
Oregon’s opposition was impressive, led by a stout quartet from Southern California. Just a few months earlier, the Women of Troy defeated the Ducks in the 4×400 at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships by 0.04 seconds, which produced two of the fastest times in collegiate history (3:27.03 for USC at No. 1; 3:27.07 for Oregon at No. 2).
“The 4×400 is all about heart,” Rogers would later tell Chris Hansen of The Register-Guard, Eugene’s local newspaper. “All of us are tired – it’s all about who has the most heart at the end of the day.”
— NCAA Track & Field (@NCAATrackField) June 30, 2020
The fascinating race was on record pace from the start, stoked by a stellar 50.8 second leg by Oregon’s Deajah Stevens, who earlier had fallen before the end of the 200 while leading and was DQ’d for illegal assistance (The winner, Florida’s Kyra Jefferson, broke the collegiate record with her time of 22.02).
Oregon held a slim lead as the anchor legs – Rogers and USC’s Kendall Ellis – prepared to repeat their indoor duel, but this time on Rogers’ home track.
Ellis edged ahead on the backstretch, but Rogers took control going into the final curve and held on for an astonishing finish that saw both teams go under the previous collegiate record of 3:23.75 set 13 years earlier. The Ducks won in 3:23.13 with Rogers clocking a 49.77 anchor, while the Women of Troy crossed in 3:23.35 with Ellis blistering a 49.63 split.
“I was hoping they didn’t catch me because my legs were going all over the place,” Rogers said. “I was just trying to get to the finish line.”
Later that year, Rogers won The Bowerman, collegiate track & field’s highest honor.
The NCAA and collegiate track & field will mark a momentous milestone in the spring of 2021 -- the 100th anniversary of the NCAA Championships and with that, the NCAA Track & Field Championships. In June 1921, the University of Chicago hosted the first track & field championships in NCAA history.
This point can’t be emphasized enough: Not only was the event the first for NCAA track & field, but the first championships for any sport under the sponsorship of the NCAA.
To celebrate, over each of the next 365 days, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) will celebrate moments, student-athletes, and coaches that have made a century’s worth of championships special. From humble beginnings to important historical milestones to the modern-day, collegiate track & field has evolved with the American society.
The 2021 edition of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships begin with preliminary round action on May 27-29 in Jacksonville, Fla., and College Station, Texas. The championships final site and culmination of the celebration is slated for June 9-12, 2021 at the newly rebuilt Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
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A Crowning Moment For Rogers In 2017
Back in 2017, Raevyn Rogers of Oregon dazzled at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a victory in the 800 and a sizzling anchor on the winning 4×400 relay.
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