Past and present Ducks showed up and out at the Oregon Twilight.
With 17 former and 44 current Ducks, Oregon track and field athletes and alumni took first in 15 events, including men’s discus, triple jump and hammer, women’s long jump and shot put, and men’s and women’s 100-meter dash, 400 meters and 1,500 meters, at the Oregon Twilight on May 4 in the last regular season meet at Hayward Field.
Oregon alumni Mike Berry and Raevyn Rogers dominated in the men’s and women’s 400 meters. Berry, who holds both the Oregon (44.75 seconds) and Twilight Meet (45.56) records for the 400, finished in 46.62 seconds, just over a second-and-a-half before second-place finisher Chris Polk of George Fox.
Rogers, a five-time NCAA champion in the 800 meters, crossed the finish in the 400 at 52.06 seconds, a personal and meet record. Nike OTC Elite runner Francine Niyonsaba trailed Rogers, taking second and finishing in 53.48 seconds.
Berry waited for Rogers to finish the 400 meters before running his victory lap so the two former Ducks could take the lap together.
“We are alum and we love competing here,” Berry said. “We have a lot of Olympians, a lot of world champions and we just want to keep that legacy going. … A meet like this, it brings everybody back home.”
Last summer, Rogers chose not to return for her senior season at Oregon, opting instead to turn professional and run for Nike. Twilight was the former Duck’s first time back at Hayward since turning professional.
“I’m cherishing my moments here,” she said. “I feel like it was my professional debut in Hayward in the front of the home crowd.”
She continued, “I felt a little bit of pressure, like I had to win cause I have to do my victory lap in front of the home crowd.”
Another Oregon alumnus, Devon Allen, won the 110-meter hurdles and the 100-meter dash, finishing in 13.42 and 10.29 seconds, respectively.
In the 100, Allen was joined by current Duck freshman Myles Webb and former Duck turned Nike runner Kyree King. The three finished first, second, third; Webb followed Allen’s 10.29 seconds with a 10.42-second finish of his own, and King took third, finishing in 10.48 seconds.
Webb also finished second in the 200 meters in 21.26 seconds, following another former Duck Marcus Chambers who took first, finishing in 20.99. Webb set personal bests in both the 100 and the 200.
Webb, who was trying to record a Pac-12 Championship qualifying time, didn’t anticipate beating King, but started well and the pressure to earn his spot motivated him to finish hard.
“You’re not really supposed to look to the side, but its a habit,” Webb said. “So I saw where [King] was and I was excited so I just kept going.”
Rogers and Allen will be back at Hayward for Pre Classic on May 26. Rogers will return to the 800 meters, while Allen will race in the 110-meter hurdles. Multi-Event Pac-12 championships begin tomorrow in Stanford, California, and next weekend, Oregon will travel to Stanford for the 2018 Pac-12 Championships.
Follow Sierra Webster on Twitter @WebsterSierraE