EUGENE — I thought I would like the new format for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, in which the men and women alternate days of competition (except for the multi-events), and I do.

It’s a more streamlined meet. There is less happening all at once on the track and infield, which makes it much easier to follow.

I think it’s a home run, maybe a grand slam.

There is some grumbling among coaches. Athletes have a tougher time doubling and tripling because of the compressed meet schedule. Some traditionalists in the fan base don’t like it.

But if college track & field ever wants to again be more than a sport run by and for participants, it has to take spectators into account, and not just spectators who already are immersed in the sport.

Locally, the most compelling first-day storyline was the way the Oregon men took care of business.

I think the Ducks are in strong position to successfully defend their 2014 men’s outdoor title. They had no significant first-day stumbles, and probably gained on most form charts by pushing Blake Haney, Daniel Winn and Johnny Gregorek through the 1,500-meter semifinals and into Friday’s final.

They appear to be within reach of 70-plus points, which should be enough to win.

Florida still is in the picture too. But Oregon is sitting on a boatload of points in Friday’s 5,000 final. Edward Cheserek and Eric Jenkins, who went 1-2 in Wednesday’s 10,000, are coming back in the 5k. Will Geoghegan and Jake Leingang of Oregon also are among the entries.

The women take center stage today. Oregon needs a monumental day from Jenna Prandini, entered in the 100 and 200 prelims, and the long jump final. It will be interesting to see if the Ducks run her in the 4×100 prelims. If they do, they are asking a lot.

Here is a link to the meet schedule. Here is the start list for today’s competition. You can find the results here. Here is the TV schedule; note the schedule times on the linked TV schedule are EDT.

Shifting gears, check out the entry lists for this weekend’s Portland Track Festival at Lewis & Clark College.

This meet is loaded. It’s unfortunate that it overlaps with the NCAA Championships.

Here is the schedule, and expect some intrigue in the women’s 5k if the entry lists hold.

Kara Goucher is pictured when she still was a Portland resident. She is scheduled to race for the first time since alleging unethical practices by the Nike Oregon Project on Saturday at Lewis & Clark College. 

Kara Goucher — who ran for both the Nike Oregon Project and the Bowerman Track Club while living in Portland — is entered in the Festival’s high-performance 5,000 on Saturday.

Goucher, who now resides in Boulder, Colorado, accused the Oregon Project of unethical practices last week in investigative reports into doping by the non-profit website ProPublica and the BBC. Also entered in the 5,000 is … the Oregon Project’s Jordan Hasay.

Hasay was not implicated in either the ProPublica or BBC reports. The Oregon Project’s Galen Rupp was, and he was entered in the men’s 10,000 on Sunday before scratching.

Rupp and Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar emphatically have denied the allegations.

OK, more links:

Oregon’s Edward Cheserek and Eric Jenkins close the first day of the NCAA Championships in a big way.

The Ducks jump in front of the men’s competition after the first day of the NCAA Championships.

LetsRun.com’s analysis of the men’s 10k final.

Cheserek edges Jenkins as the Ducks go 1-2 in the NCAA men’s 10,000.

In the end, Cheserek beats Jenkins by an eyelash in the 10,000.

Cheserek and Jenkins talk to reporters after their 1-2 finish in the 10k in this video from the UO athletic department.

The Crouser cousins have a bitter-sweet day while competing side-by-side at the NCAA Championships.

There was good news and bad news for the Crousers at the NCAA Championships.

Oregon’s Dakotah Keys has a good first day in the NCAA decathlon.

Here is what Keys had to say after the close of competition on Wednesday. Video by RunnerSpace.com.

Sam Crouser and Cheserek repeat as NCAA champions.

Cheserek wins his seventh individual NCAA title; the Pac-12 wrapup.

This time, Cheserek nips Jenkins at the line; so, what about Friday’s 5,000?

Jesse Squire reviews the men’s action on Day 1 and sets up the women’s competition on Day 2 in this comprehensive piece for the Daily Relay.

UO coach Robert Johnson was reasonably happy with way things went on Wednesday, as he explains in this RunnerSpace.com video.

Cheserek speaks softly and carries a big kick.

The Men of Oregon open with a 1-2 punch.

Marquis Dendy keeps Florida in contention, while Texas A&M and LSU fall off the pace in the team race.

Dendy talks about his big jump in this RunnerSpace.com video.

Oregon and Florida stay on pace, Texas A&M and LSU slip.

Baylor sprinter Trayvon Bromell is busy — and fast — at the NCAA Championships.

Bromell turns some heads in the sprint prelims.

Bromell talks to reporters after a sizzling first day in this video from RunnerSpace.com.

The experts at LetsRun.com break down the semifinal heats Wednesday in the 800, 1,500 and steeplechase.

USC’s Conor McCullough keeps the family tradition alive in the NCAA hammer.

Colorado’s Pierce Murphy earns All-America status at the NCAA Championships.

Prep sub-four miler Grant Fisher is the USATF athlete of the week.

LetsRun.com previews the Bislett Games in Oslo.

Genzebe Dibaba targets the 5,000 world record in Oslo.

LetsRun.com digs into what kind of penalties Salazar could face if the allegations made against him are proven.

British distance runner Hannah England praises Salazar, and cautions against jumping to conclusions about the allegations.

The House of Run guys have more to say about Mo Farah and the Oregon Project allegations in their latest podcast.

The front page for LetsRun.com.

The links package for Track & Field News.

Runner’s World’s daily wrap of racing news.

The USTFCCCA Daily roundup.

The links from Duck Sports Now.

— Ken Goe

[email protected]

503-221-8040 | @KenGoe

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