Oregon Twilight bids farewell to 26 seniors competing at Hayward for final home meet

Oregon seniors Mike Berry, Phyllis Francis and Chizoba Okodogbe race to the finish line during the recognition ceremony for University of Oregon seniors. The University of Oregon hosts the Oregon Twilight at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. on May 9, 2014. (Ryan Kang/Emerald)

Oregon seniors Mike Berry, Phyllis Francis and Chizoba Okodogbe race to the finish line during the recognition ceremony for University of Oregon seniors. The University of Oregon hosts the Oregon Twilight at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. on May 9, 2014. (Ryan Kang/Emerald)

Posted by Justin Wise and Christopher Keizur on Friday, May. 9 at 10:13 pm.

In an event highlighted by the ceremony acknowledging the 26 seniors, the Oregon Track and Field team produced its final showcase at the Oregon Twilight as it prepares for the Pac-12 Championships next week.

The seniors were recognized by the coaches in front of the west grandstand before an announced crowd of 4,044. Then the seniors took one last victory lap around the track.

For the meet it was the 800 that proved to be the featured event as both the men and women’s field was loaded with current and former Oregon athletes.

The men’s race featured Oregon’s Sam Prakel, Austin Collins, Jordan Latt, Russell Hornsby and Alec Smith. Joining them were Nike OTC Elite runners Elijah Greer and Charles Jock. Greer is a former Oregon runner.

The pace was substantiated by Greer who was running as the pace setter. He dropped out at the final 300.

The winner was Oregon Track Club’s Harun Abda, who narrowly beat out Cas Loxsom with a time of 1:47.33. Loxsom finished second with a time of 1:47.47.

“Charles is my roommate and Elijah is my teammate, so yeah, it kind of gives me bragging rights,” Abda said. “For one week maybe they will make me breakfast or something.”

On the women’s side, Oregon’s Claudia Francis was the lone current Duck racing alongside two alums, Becca Friday (running for Rogue AC/Adidas) and Anne Kesselring (Oregon Track Club).

In another competitive race, it was Katherine Katsanevakis of Australia who won with a time of 2:03.63. Kesselring finished fifth, Francis finished seventh and Friday finished eighth.

The Oregon throwers continued their strong season with another impressive performance at the Twilight.

Senior Laura Bobek won the women’s discuss with a final mark of 50.43 while Ryan Hunter-Simms finished second in the men’s discuss with a throw of 153-03.

In the women’s hammer it was Oregon alum Britney Henry who won the event (216-03) while Oregon’s Jillian Weir finished second (197-00).

The best performance from a thrower came via unattached athlete and former Duck Cyrus Hostetler, who shattered the Twilight meet record with a top throw of 263-05. He beat the previous mark set by Brian Crouser that stood since 1989.

Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton made appearances as well Friday night. Eaton competed in the men’s 110 hurdles and the 4×400 relay while Theisen-Eaton took part in the women’s high jump and javelin.

Eaton finished first in both of his events. He was able to beat freshman Devon Allen with a time of 13.47 in the 110-meter hurdles. That mark beat his own Twilight record he set in 2011. Then the 4×400 team cruised to a first place finish with a final time of 3:08.03.

Theisen-Eaton was able to win the high jump with a final jump of 5-10 and finished sixth in the javelin with a throw of 142-05.

“It wasn’t that great of a day to be honest,” Theisen-Eaton said. “I don’t like to use the weather as an excuse so I’m not going to. I have a few weeks to iron it out, so it should get fixed hopefully.”

While Theisen-Eaton was unhappy with her result in the javelin, Oregon’s Liz Brenner was very pleased. The sophomore multi-sport athlete finished second in the event with a final throw of 159-04.

Freshman Brittany Mann continued her strong outdoor season with another victory, as she won the women’s shot put with a distance of 53-06.50. The throw was only half an inch short of her personal record.

Oregon’s Ashante Horsley made her imprint on the meet. First she won the women’s 400 with a lifetime best time of 54.58. She followed that up with a third place finish in the women’s 200 with a time of 24.70.

The final two events of the night were the women’s 1500 and the men’s 1500 invite.

The women’s race was won by Lauren Johnson of Nike OTC Elite as she crossed the line in 4:16.97. Right behind her was Oregon sophomore Annie Leblanc with a time of 4:18.05.

The conclusion of the Twilight featured a strong field in the men’s 1500 invite, including Mac Fleet, Trevor Dunbar, Jeramy Elkaim and Daniel Winn of Oregon as well as former Ducks Matt Miner and A.J. Acosta.

The finish was as close as they come as the race was decided in a photo finish. Ben Blakenship came in first (3:39.33), followed by Jordan McNamara (3:39.40) and Fleet (3:40.00).

Click here for an entire list of results from all of the events at the Oregon Twilight.

The next meet on the schedule for Oregon will be the Pac-12 Championships in Pullman, Wash. starting Saturday, May 17.

Follow Justin Wise on Twitter @JWISE25

Follow Christopher Keizur on Twitter @chriskeizur