Oregon Twilight

Greg Skipper of Oregon Skipper placed second in a field of collegiate athletes in the Hammer with a heave of 228-06.   His best throw was his first, as rain made conditions slippery and difficult as the meet went.   Officials took time to remove water from the launching area but the rain only seemed to increase in intensity after that.   Skipper had fouls on two throws that were well longer to wet the appetite fans but one impressive thing was that all of his throws were over the 200 mark.

Hannah Cunliffe, a freshman prep sprinter from Federal Wa.  & representing the Seattle Speed, placed second in the Women’s 200 Meter Dash with a time of 24.37.   Hannah had as trying a day as anyone, as she was caught in traffic on I 5 on her way from Federal Way, north of Tacoma, to Eugene.    She was forced to get out of the car and jog the last half mile to the track only arriving as the women’s 100 Meter Dash, her intended first event, was lining up on the track.   She winced, when she saw the winning time of over 11 seconds posted on the message board.   There would be no winces after her 200 meter Dash, however, after she placed second sandwiched between a pair of University of Oregon runners Chizoba Okadogbe & Alexandra Davidson.    Hannah is no longer attending & running for Decatur HS but is being home-schooled & running for the Seattle Speed.

J J Juilfs of Sheldon, competing unattached, finished fourth in the Pole Vault with a mark of 15-09.25.   Due to inclement conditions the vault was actually contested indoors.

In an exciting Girls Middle School 1600  Sara Tsai of Spencer Butte, an 8th grader, nipped  Chloe Pigg of Jacoby  Creek, a 7th grader, at the wire to win with a time of 5:00.34 to 5:00.38.  Sara broke the meet record of Paige Rice, set last year, of 5:02.    Jean Baptiste Tooley won the boys’ version of the race in a time of 4:43.82.   Daniel Book placed 2nd in 4:45, while Reilly Bloomer took third with 4:48.

     Reigning NCAA 3K Steeplechase Champion, now running for the Oregon Track Club, made her seasonal debut in the event memorable with a facile victory in that event.   Breaking away early with only the rain drops staying with her, Bridget raced home alone to win in a fine 9:56.59.   Her time was barely off the meet record for the event.

     Brie Felnagle showed once again that her return to the northwest was a good one, as she pulled away from the field in the final 300 Meters two win the  1500 by  over two seconds over Jackie Areson of Nike & Anne Kesselring, who did most of the pace duty, of the University of Oregon.   The former Bellarmine Prep star is now racing for Adidas and training under the tutelage of her former prep coach Matt Ellis.  

      As the date for the ground-breaking for the new Oregon State track facility nears, Beaver fans had even more to cheer about yesterday as Abby Chesimet of OSU won the Women ‘s  B Heat of the 1500 Meters in a time of 4:32.42.   Tonya Turner of Whitworth placed second in 4:32.90 and then was followed by a swath of Orange-clad runners, when Krista Stengel placed third (4:33.80) to lead a parade of OSU runners, who secured the third through sixth positions.   Audry Botty ran 4:34.26 & was followed in turn by Jennifer Macias (4:35.62) & Olivia Poblacion (4:35.80).  Marsha Lampi & Erin Jones also represented OSU.

     In other races Latavia Thomas of Nike ran 2:04.66 to in the 800 Meters defeating Laura Roessler (2:045.66) of Oregon & former Duck Zoe Buckman (2:05.72), who ran unattached.  Christie Gordon won the 100 Hurdles in 13.76 & Liga Velere of the University of Idaho won the 400M with a 59.89 clocking.   Dana Lyon of the Air Force claimed the Javelin title with 174-06, Maggie Pietka of Oregon annexed the  Triple Jump with 36-11.5 & Amy Skofstad, also a Duck, took the long Jump with 18-08.

        In men’s action former Duck Jordan McNamara, now running for the OTC, won the 3k with a time of 8:00.49 edging Ben Bruce of the OTC, who ran 8:00.90.    The first heat of the 1500 saw Oregon freshman Boru Guyota break out with a victory in a time of 3:47.47.   The race was very tight all the way to the finish & Jared Bassett of the University of Portland placed second with 47.88.  Right behind him was Trevor Palmer of the Bowerman AC, who ran 3:3789.   Oregon senior Kenny Klotz somehow managed to zip home a close fourth 3:48.29.   Klotz’ run was gravely impeded at the 250 mark on the back stretch when a runner all but stopped & then swerved as he dropped out of the race.  Not only did Klotz have to break & swerve, but he was also spiked in the process.   Had that event Kenny Klotz might well have triumphed.    Heat two of the 1500 saw Daniel Winn of Oregon win with a  3:49.39 clocking as he topped Stefan Radfield of Willamette & Elliott Jantzer of Oregon (3:50.30).

       Donny Roys of Ohio State was victorious in the  Steeplechase with his time of 9:01.85.   Matt Walters of Windsor, Ontario placed second in 9:09.52 and the Western Oregon University duo of Brandon Snook (9:11.11) & Ryan Chapman (9:12.74) garnered third & fourth.  Former Springfield  prep Tim Costin, now running for Oregon, finished  seventh in the event  with 9:17.    Robert Novack of the NYAC claimed the 800M with 1:48.92 besting Jesse Jorgenson of the Spokane AC, who ran 1:49.88..

     Jordan kent of the OTC won the 100 Meter Dash in 10.53, as he edged Markus Wheaton of Oregon State, who ran 10.73.  Dakarai Kongela of George Fox & Kenyan Parker of OSU took 3rd & 4th.   Ashton Eaton, yet another former Duck running for the OTC, won the hurdles in  13.52 and came back to score in the Long Jump with 25-07.5.   In the latter event Trevor Ferguson, running unattached,  placed second with 22-10 & Kyle Lane of Western Oregon finished third (21-03).   Ferguson later secured a victory in the Triple Jump with 46-09.5.   Kent also was victorious in the 40 with a time of 47.00, as Oregon’s Bryan Harper came in second with 47.78.

      Western Oregon University gained first place points as  Jason Slowey won the shot put  in 52-06 and then placed second in the discus behind Drew Ulrick, unattached 178-10), with a mark of 168-08.    Jeremy Scott won the Pole Vault with 17-11 and Michael Mai of Army won the Hammer with 237-07.  Oregon State footblall player Obum Gwacham  , garnered the High Jump  title with a leap of 6-10.   

       The last event of the day featured a stirring battle in the distance medley.   Olympian Nic Symmonds led off in the 1200 meter portion of the event with a brisk 2:51, yet was forced to follow University of Oregon star Matt Centrowitz at the hand off.   Mike Berry of Oregon ran the 400M & padded the lead a bit in spite a solid run by Ashton Eaton.   Tyler Mulder of OTC brought his team back against Elijah Greer, and Greer ran 1:46 & change, leaving the stage to Olympian Andrew Wheating, who faced Oregon All-American A J Acosta.   The victory went to OTC, which set a meet record of 9:26.07.   Oregon followed with 9:28.01 to break the school record.

      The Oregon Twilight has long been a fan favorite, because it offers so much beyond quality running.   There is a 400 meter run for youngsters, which is always a joy to watch and there is also a portion of the event to honor the volunteers, who have been on hand for many years.  This year one of the long-time volunteers was Bill McChesney Senior:  the father of the great Bill McChesney Junior.   Look closely & you will see that Bill Junior broke every Oregon record, which had been set by Steve Prefontaine.   There is no need to say anything more!      Another long-standing tradition is the honoring of the departing seniors, who take a last victory walk around the track and are then announced.    Although there were too many to list on hand were Kenny Klotz, Danny Mercado & Claire Michel, although I did note that Alex Kosinski was not on hand & assume she was racing elsewhere.  Given her contributions to the school we know she will be missed as well.    This year there was an unique addition as Hoolywood star Sam Elliott was on hand to take part In the premier of his tribute to Bill Bowerman  “Builderman”, which was shown on the large screen.    There was truly something for everyone save good weather.