Oregon junior Annie Leblanc finishes the women's 1500 meter run in first place. The University of Oregon hosts the annual Oregon Relays at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. on Friday, April 17, 2015. (Ryan Kang/Emerald)
Oregon track and field hosted day two of the Oregon Relays at Historic Hayward Field, concluding the multi-events and beginning the individual ones Friday afternoon.
The headline event was the women’s 1,500 meters, which featured Mary Cain of Nike Oregon Project. Cain is a professional runner, who became the youngest American athlete to compete for her country after appearing in the 2013 World Championships in Athletics. The meet was her season debut.
In addition, the field were Alexi Pappas of Nike OTC Elite and Oregon junior Annie Leblanc.
Cain started out strong, running behind the rabbit. Sticking with her were Pappas and Leblanc.
The group was bunched for most of the race until Pappas made a move at the bell. She shot out ahead, taking a big lead into the back straightaway. Cain began to fight back into the race, with Leblanc hanging on.
Down the final 100 Leblanc made one last move to claim the victory in 4:16.17. Cain finished second (4:17.91) and Pappas came in third (4:19.16).
“I was really happy that I was calm enough and had enough energy to finish strong,” Leblanc said. “I knew Mary Cain, she is amazing and she has a really strong kick, so I knew it was going to be a challenge.”
Leblanc has a tradition of writing on her hand before every race, reminding herself of what she needs to do. Today she had written ‘Fast, Relaxed, Hard’ — all of which she was able to accomplish to pick up the win.
Oregon’s Christian Brennan (23.92 (3.0)), Ashante Horsley (24.04) and Raevyn Rogers (24.56) finished 1-2-3 respectively in the women’s