Even though there wasn't a raindrop in sight around Franklin Field on Friday, it was a good day to be a Duck at the Penn Relays.
An Oregon Duck, that is.
The Ducks' women set carnival records in winning the 4x100-meter and the sprint medley relays. The Oregon men captured the distance medley relay even without 17-time NCAA champion Edward Cheserek, who was given the weekend off from competition.
Enjoying a sun-splashed sunny day reminiscent more of late June than late April, a crowd of 38,598 also saw a dominating performance by Villanova's Siofra Cleirigh Buttner, who outkicked Stanford's Elise Cranny to give the Wildcats their second victory of the week, this in the 4x1,500. It marked the eighth relay championship in the career of 'Nova's Angel Piccirillo, most by a woman in carnival history.
It was the Ducks, however, who stole the show. Their women, who won the NCAA indoor championship last month, were timed in 42.35 seconds in the 4x100, shattering the relays record of 42.59 set by Louisiana State in 2008, behind a foursome of Alaysha Johnson, Deajah Stevens, Makenzie Dunmore, and Ariana Washington.
About five hours later, Dunmore and Stevens (200-meter legs) joined Hannah Waller (400) and NCAA champion Raevyn Rogers (800) to crush the carnival record in the sprint medley relay. The Ducks broke the tape in 3 minutes, 39.05 seconds, well under Tennessee's old mark of 3:41.78 set in 2004, with Rogers closing in 2:02.6.
"Man, those are fantastic records," Oregon coach Robert Johnson said. "The people that held those records are pretty well-known in track and field. So for us to be able to come here and get both of them in one weekend is fantastic.
"Penn has such a great tradition, and we're glad to be a part of this. So the records are a true testament to the girls going out there and executing the plan that the coaches give them."
The sprint medley time also appeared to be an American college record, but Texas A&M ran one tick better, 3:39.04, Friday at the SEC Relays in Baton Rouge, La.
Johnson also watched his men's distance medley relay team of Blake Haney, Marcus Chambers, Mick Stanovsek, and Sam Prakel outrun a well-bunched field and win in 9:32.61, the Ducks' third win in the event in the last four years.
Cheserek, who won his 16th and 17th NCAA titles at last month's NCAA indoor meet, was a part of the previous two victorious relays, but Johnson decided to rest him this weekend. Prakel, a redshirt junior, assumed the anchor role and navigated his way out of an eight-team pack to give Oregon the win by three meters over Indiana.
"I think we've been prepared for this," Prakel said. "Last year we had to run a couple of DMRs without Ed, and then this year at indoor nationals we ran the DMR without Ed. I think we see the success in those relays, and know that it helps to have Ed push us in practices and to kind of set the standard for greatness on our team."
The women's 4x1,500 was a tense competition that came down to Villanova's Buttner and Stanford's Cranny on the last lap. Buttner, who stayed on Cranny's outside shoulder for much of the leg, kicked with 200 meters to go and won by 10 meters going away. The team's time was 17:25.85.
Other Championship of America relay winners were G.C. Foster in the men's sprint medley in 3:16.15, San Diego State in the women's shuttle hurdles in 54.34, and East Stroudsburg in the men's shuttle hurdles in 58.63.