Home | Contact Us | IAAF World Championships | U.S. Track & Field | Community News, Features & Profiles | Links | About Steve

Ashton Eaton Sets His Sights on Defending Olympic Title in 2016
IAAFWC, Beijing - Centrowitz Takes 8th in 1500 Final at World Championships
IAAFWC, Beijing - Eaton Has Record-Setting First Day in Decathlon; Centrowitz Advances to 1500 Finals
IAAFWC, Beijing - Eaton Does It Again – Sets New World Record in the Decathlon
IAAFWC, Beijing - The next best thing to seeing a world record performance?
IAAFWC, Beijing - Day Five, Evening Session
IAAFWC, Beijing - Day Five, Day Session
IAAFWC, Beijing - Day Four, Evening Session
IAAFWC, Beijing - Former Duck Phyllis Francis Surges to 400 Finals at Worlds
IAAFWC, Beijing - Day Three, Evening Session
IAAFWC— Beijing - Infeld Snatches Bronze Medal at the Finish in World 10K
IAAFWC—Beijing - Day Two, Morning Session
IAAFWC—Beijing - Day One, Farah Wins Again While U.S. Gets Off to a Strong Start in World Championships
IAAFWC—Beijing – Day One, Morning Session
Dispute Knocks Symmonds Off U.S. Team for Worlds
USATF - Symmonds Does It Again in the Stretch
USATF - No Worries for Nick Symmonds at U.S. Nationals
USATF - Wild Card for Worlds Prompts Eaton to Go with Bread and Butter
The Surprising Saga of Steeplechaser Kimber Mattox
NCAA - Prandini’s Toughness Sets the Tone for Victorious Duck Women
NCAA - Cheserek and Oregon Distance Runners Dominate Again at NCAA Meet
NCAA - Ladies’ Night at the NCAA Championships
NCAA - Dendy Keeps Gators in Contention Through NCAA Meet First Day
NCAA - Bid for More Fans Inspires NCAA Meet Changes
Superlative Performances On and Off the Track Highlight Pre Classic
Eugene Awarded 2021 World Championships in surprise IAAF vote
OSU Women Cap Historic Day with Big Dual Meet Win Over Utah

Oregon Twilight Meet Brings Back Memories
By Steve Ritchie
May 5, 2012

University of Oregon's Andrew Wheating
EUGENE - Back in the previous heyday of track and field - the 1970s and 1980s - the Oregon Twilight Meet was all about the Twilight Mile. A generation of Oregon track fans were weaned on watching Duck distance runners go after sub-4 minute mile times in what was always the final event in this early May meet.

I remember getting off work on a Saturday afternoon when I was in college, and jumping in my VW bug to make the hour-plus drive from Salem to Eugene to see Steve Prefontaine, Mark Feig, Scott Daggett and their Duck teammates go after fast times in what was basically a team time trial.

I don't remember being disappointed at driving that far to see basically one race, as the rest of the meet was over by the time I got there. In the days when a sub-4 mile was a significant achievement - not to mention quite rare for college runners - it was thrilling to see three, four, five, or even more runners, usually all Ducks, dip under that time.

Times have changed.

The Oregon Twilight now involves a number of local pro runners who are just beginning their competitive seasons, as well as a horde of good athletes from local small colleges. Many Duck athletes do compete, but, seemingly, nearly as many sit out the meet, or have their competition limited to pacing duties in a distance race.

This is probably for the best.

Why go all out in a hard effort one week before the biggest meet of the season to date - the Pac-12 championships, which will be hosted by Oregon at Hayward next weekend. Better to use the meet as a low-key tuneup for the Pac-12s, a meet the Ducks men have won five consecutive times and the Duck women three consecutive times. Coach Lananna has shown he is willing to go to great lengths to win the conference title, so better to go into it with fresh troops.

There was no mile at this year's Twilight, but there was a good men's 1500 (though many in the record crowd of 7,011 were here to see football star De' Anthony Thomas make his sprinting debut for the Oregon team). The main point of interest in the 1500 was former Duck Andrew Wheating's return to racing after a long eight month hiatus from competitive running, most of which was due to an uncooperative hamstring which troubled Wheating last summer and continued to be a problem through the fall and into the winter.

Finally healthy and rounding into form for the upcoming Olympic Trials, Wheating pulled away on the last lap to win in a relatively pedestrian time of 3:44.97, roughly equivalent to a 4:02 mile. It evidently didn't tax him too much, as Wheating returned to the track in the final event, the men's 3000. He ran 2400 meters before stepping off the track, as apparently instructed by Coach Lananna. It all had the appearance of a good workout, which is certainly appropriate aat this point in the season.

Fittingly, perhaps, another former UO standout, Jordan McNamara went on to win the 3000 in 8:03.44. McNamara, who was primarily a miler when he ran for the Ducks, looked like he could have definitely run a sub-four mile on this night, and I found myself feeling a little nostalgic for my youth and the excitement of seeing a sub-four.

The excitement of the Pac-12 meet in a fewq days will, I am quite certain, overcome the brief feeling of nostalgia.

Featured archived articles:
Nick Symmonds Takes 6th Place in Berlin 800 Final

Nick Symmonds was in perfect position with 100 meters to go in Sunday's 800 meter final at the World Track & Field Championships... (more)

Mt. Angel Woman Helps Keep Olympic Hopefuls On Track in Eugene

What does it take to be an
Olympic athlete? For most
athletes who reach that elite
level, it takes years ...

More Women Running - Going the Distance

No one participating in or
cheering on runners at the
Homer's Classic 8K on August
8, will be surprised that there are women running in the ...

Ian Dobson Races to Third Place at Trials and Makes U.S. Olympic Team

Pacific University Library Director Marita Kunkel was in the stands
at Hayward Field in Eugene last Monday night... (more)

Nick Symmonds Advances to 800 Final at World Championships

A major deluge hit Olympic Stadium in Berlin an hour before Nick Symmonds was scheduled to run his semi-fina... (more)

©2015. All Rights Reserved . No part of this site may be reproduced without express written permission. Web design by IrishLemons.com

create counter