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Track World Championships

When the IAAF World Championships get underway in Beijing on August 22, eight Ducks—including three current students—will be among the international superstars aiming to bring gold medals home to the United States.

Joining the likes of Allyson Felix and Justin Gatlin at the Bird’s Nest will be Ashton Eaton (decathlon), BA ’10; Galen Rupp (5,000m, 10,000m); Jenna Prandini (200m); Matthew Centrowitz (1,500m); English Gardner (100m); Jasmine Todd (100m, long jump); Phyllis Francis (400m), BS ’14; and Marcus Chambers (4x400m relay pool).

The USATF Championships, held June 25–28 at Hayward Field, were good to the Ducks, with three current or former students winning their events outright. Rupp took home the 10,000m title, Centrowitz the 1,500m, and Prandini got the Hayward Field crowd to its feet in the 200m, winning the title just two weeks after winning the NCAA championship on the same track.

“I’m thrilled,” said Prandini. “I couldn’t be any happier, and I’m excited to go to Beijing.”

Reigning Olympic champion and world record holder Ashton Eaton sat out the decathlon, qualifying automatically for the IAAF World Championships after winning the 2013 title.

Prandini’s win is just another step in a huge year for the redshirt junior. In addition to breaking the 200m school record at the World Championships trials, she won national titles in the indoor long jump and outdoor 100m (the second and third NCAA championships of her career), and is a semifinalist for the Bowerman Trophy. Three Ducks have won the Bowerman Trophy in its six years, including last year’s women’s winner Laura Roesler, who did not qualify for the trials as she rehabs from an Achilles injury.

Among international Ducks, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who finished second at the 2013 World Championships and the 2014 World Indoor Championships, qualified automatically for Canada as the national record holder and will join husband Ashton Eaton in Beijing.

The IAAF World Championships will run from August 22–30, and will be broadcast in the United States on the Universal Sports Network.