Inside Track


Midnight marathon – the ultimate test

DOHA, Qatar – The mantra of long-distance runner Carrie Dimoff’s team, the Bowerman Track Club Elite, is “Not professional, but not unprofessional.”

After a 13th place performance in the women’s marathon at the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019 on September 27 (and September 28), it would be hard to consider Dimoff anything other than a world-class professional athlete.

A mother of two and a full-time employee at Nike, where she works as a Footwear Innovator, the 36-year-old Dimoff may not have had the fastest seed time or the accolades of some of her competitors. What she did have, however, was …

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Price claims historic gold in hammer throw at Doha 2019

By Jessi Gabriel / TrackTown USA

DeAnna Price knew coming into IAAF World Championships Doha 2019 that she had a good shot at the podium in the women’s hammer throw.

But knowing that and executing on it are two different things. Crazy things happen at championship meets and the form-charts don’t always pan out. So even though Price came into the event with the year’s world-leading mark (78.24m – the American record, set at the 2019 USATF Outdoor Championships), nothing was guaranteed.

“It’s never a sure thing,” said Price. “You just have to go in and give yourself the best …

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Alexi Pappas: Gaining perspective at MacLaren marathon

For many runners, from professionals to enthusiasts, our sport becomes something to complain about. We moan about the weather, crowded trails, old shoes, aching muscles, past injuries – it’s easy for us to focus on the negatives rather than relish in the positives. It’s only natural. After all, running is a sport that attracts perfectionists – we are always striving to improve ourselves – and it’s our instinct to focus on what we want to change and improve. It’s easy to blame external circumstances for poor performances or bad workouts, but the truth is, for most of us, the only …

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TrackTown Tuesday Season Finale Looks Toward the Future

The last TrackTown Tuesday of 2019, held at the Downtown Athletic Club on June 4, looked toward the future of track and field in the community.

OTC Elite’s Sally Kipyego headlined the event, showcasing her vivacious personality to the crowd. Kipeygo, a prolific distance runner with a 2012 Olympic silver medal in the 10,000m to her name, has since made the transition to the marathon. That journey has brought both triumphs and challenges. One of those successes was a runner-up finish at the 2016 New York Marathon.

“I remember crossing the finish line in New York and coming in second …

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OTC Elite veterans highlight TrackTown Tuesday

Long-time teammates and Oregon Track Club Elite stars Ben Blankenship and Hassan Mead headlined TrackTown Tuesday at the Downtown Athletic Club on May 7.

The duo shared stories and laughs with the crowd. They discussed their recent successes as well as detailing how they have grown throughout their professional careers.

Since joining OTC Elite in 2012, Blankenship is still evolving as a runner. He pointed to his victory at the 2018 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships as an example of this evolution.

“I just wanted to go out there and enjoy running,” said Blankenship. “Every day we step out …

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TrackTown Fitness concludes most successful season

EUGENE, Ore. – The final TrackTown Fitness session of 2019 was held along Pre’s Trail on Easter Sunday morning.

Now in its fifth year, the free community program had its most successful season ever with a total attendance of 1,707 over 13 weeks for an average of about 130 runners and walkers each session.

With Hayward Field currently under construction, TrackTown Fitness utilized three different venues this year: Autzen Stadium, the Moshofsky Center, and Pre’s Trail. In addition, PeaceHealth enhanced the program with its weekly “Run with the Doc” initiative in which runners and walkers were encouraged to chat about a …

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Alexi Pappas: Be a good teammate to yourself

With the track and field championship season coming up, hand-in-hand with final exams for high school and college athletes, it’s important to remember to be as kind to ourselves as we are hard on ourselves.

High school and college are hard enough. Studying for finals, competing in championships, memorizing your lines for the school play – all of these tasks are “hard enough” on their own. We’ve all heard the advice about how to best tackle multiple goals: make a to-do list, stay organized, plan ahead, and so on. But what I’m here to tell you is to remember to …

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Bowerman Track Club Stars Headline TrackTown Tuesday

The April 2 edition of TrackTown Tuesday featured Olympians, UO student-athletes, and hometown entrepreneurs in front of a near-capacity crowd at the Downtown Athletic Club.

Bowerman Track Club teammates Shelby Houlihan and Colleen Quigley anchored the show, sharing stories not only of their accomplishments but also of their connection as teammates. Houlihan described the competitiveness of being a professional athlete on the BTC squad.

“The team sets a high level of expectation,” said Houlihan. “We had 7 of 8 women on the Olympic team. I was the one who raced last. I saw all my teammates line up and make …

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Alexi Pappas: On the benefits of racing below peak fitness

After racing the 2018 Chicago Marathon, I was proud that I had made major strides since my injury a year earlier, but I also knew that I had a ways to go before I would be ready to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

Building up my fitness meant toeing the line at races I knew I wouldn’t win. I don’t like losing, but racing is a very motivational training tool for me, so skipping out on races until I was “fit enough” wasn’t an option. So after Chicago, my coach and I signed me up for a track race in early …

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Coach Cristobal headlines star-studded TrackTown Tuesday

An impressive lineup of Oregon-based talent headlined TrackTown Tuesday in front of a crowd of 150 at the Downtown Athletic Club on March 5.

Oregon head football coach Mario Cristobal started the night by reminiscing on the lessons he learned from his time as an athlete at the University of Miami and as an assistant working under Alabama coach Nick Saban. He also walked the crowd through how his staff built one of the best recruiting classes in the country.

“The number one thing is: it’s Oregon. It sells itself,” Cristobal said. “People ask what do you do that’s different? …

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Family dynamic on display at TrackTown Fitness

EUGENE, Ore. – As 2019 rolls on, TrackTown Fitness continues to bring together runners and walkers of all backgrounds on Sunday mornings.

One family, in particular, illustrates the pervasive sense of community that has become the program’s defining characteristic. On Feb. 3, Jim Johnson and his son, Eric, worked to follow the quick pace of Eric’s young son, Holbrook.

“This is me and my wife’s third year of coming here,” Jim Johnson said. “We try to maintain a good base of fitness. She is a master’s track runner, so this fits in really well.”

Jim Johnson’s wife, Mary, was a UO …

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Alexi Pappas: Good idea to embrace invisible tradeoffs

A family member passed away recently and I needed to fly to the east coast with two days notice for the funeral. This is tough news for anybody, but for an athlete, traveling is doubly challenging: when your job is your body, intensive travel takes on a whole new level of costs. I needed to get from remote Mammoth Lakes in California to the east coast, which is not easy in the middle of winter.

For an athlete, traveling doesn’t just mean you’re sleepy the next day, it can potentially throw your entire training cycle off balance, and possibly even …

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TrackTown Tuesday Features Oregon Student-Athletes, OTC Elite and Eugene Civic Alliance

Athletes and advocates alike took the stage at the first TrackTown Tuesday of 2019 in front of a crowd of 150 at the Downtown Athletic Club on Feb. 5.

The night started with a touching tribute to Barbara Kousky, who passed away last December. Kousky was an important figure in the Oregon Track Club and had a long and distinguished career in track and field management.

UO senior and 2018 NCAA outdoor 1,500-meter champion Jessica Hull was joined by her Duck teammate Jonathan Harvey, a hurdler and member of the men’s 4x400m relay. Harvey, a California native, explained his journey …

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TrackTown Fitness kicks off 2019 at Autzen Stadium

EUGENE, Ore. – The 2019 TrackTown Fitness program started its 13-week journey on a foggy morning at Autzen Stadium last Sunday. An estimated 200 runners and walkers came prepared and eager to set their fitness goals for the year.

Andy Trouard, one of three OTC Elite athletes in attendance, was impressed by the big turnout for the first meeting.

“You don’t get the title ‘TrackTown USA’ for no reason,” Trouard said.

With Hayward Field under construction, TrackTown Fitness is now held at Autzen Stadium. The route along the concourse and perimeter of the stadium stretches 700 meters. The trees mixed …

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UO heads to Razorback Invitational; OTC Elite eyes Seattle

EUGENE, Ore. – After a solid start to the indoor track and field season at the UW Preview, the Ducks are looking ahead to the Razorback Invitational on Friday and Saturday, in Fayetteville, Ark. Oregon head coach Robert Johnson is bringing a full team to Arkansas for their second meet of the year.

“It’s a step up in competition for us,” Johnson said. “We’re taking a full contingent…all of our cards and everyone we have will be competing.”

Johnson discussed the shortness of the indoor season and what it means for the Ducks to improve every meet.

“Season starts in …

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Alexi Pappas: On the Importance of Dynamic Movement

I never knew quite how important dynamic movement was to my health as a runner until after my first major injury when I had to regain all my fitness from scratch. For me, “dynamic movement” refers to exercises that force my body to move and gain strength in non-running ways – specifically, side-to-side and up-and-down movements that don’t strengthen naturally with running alone. While dynamic movement doesn’t directly make you a faster runner, high dynamic strength can be a helpful factor on an uneven cross country course or in a rough track race, and most importantly, having a dynamically strong …

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Alexi Pappas: Why I love Turkey Trots

I was introduced to the tradition of running “Turkey Trots” later in life. At first, the idea of running a race on Thanksgiving morning did not excite me: I’ve always been resistant to running on holidays, especially the one where I am meant to eat, take a nap, and then eat again. But now I’m hooked on the Turkey Trot tradition and it has become an indispensable part of what I look forward to when I think of Thanksgiving.

I ran my first Turkey Trot in the fall of 2016, shortly after the Rio Olympics. This was a large Turkey …

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Alexi Pappas: Lessons learned from my first marathon

Since I ran my first race, a 5k fun run attached to a larger marathon in Napa, Calif., I have understood the marathon to be the most classic distance race. I remember watching my dad cross and collapse across the finish line of the marathon later that day with a time of just over 4 hours, and I remember how proud but tired he looked.

When I had the honor of sitting in the lead car for the New York City Marathon, I had the chance to see thousands of people cheering for loved ones alongside the course. …

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Alexi Pappas: A good coach will help you love your sport

Running is a sport where the athletes are driven by love: at some point along our athletic journeys, we fell in love with the sport. This love can strike at any stage in life, but for many of us, it was first sparked by a coach – sometimes later in life, but often in high school.

It is not always our choice what coach we might have in high school, but the lucky ones get someone who is selfless, energetic, and thoughtful. A great coach, I observe, turns “I” into “We” and gives athletes permission to believe in …

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TRACKTOWN USA ANNOUNCED AS HOST FOR 2020 OLYMPIC TRIALS

USA Track & Field just announced that TrackTown USA will be the host for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials! The event will serve to select Team USA for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. We are excited that USATF and the U.S. Olympic Committee have placed their trust in us, and we are confident that we will provide an ideal atmosphere for the athletes to perform at their very best. 

This opportunity would not have been possible without the extraordinary environment that you have all helped to create – from a Eugene-Springfield community that continually supports …

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Alexi Pappas: Nothing routine about summer training

My college coach once told me that a solid fall season is made in the summer. At the time, this didn’t make sense to me, but now I understand that summer is the time to rejuvenate, prepare, and grow in a different way than is possible during the school year. Over the summer, we grow on our own terms.

So what does it actually look like to transition from the team season and school year to the summer time when we must fend for ourselves? The biggest change is in the routine. Routine is very important for a …

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USC claims NCAA title with spectacular finish

The USC Trojans won their second team outdoor championship title on Saturday at the 2018 NCAA Women’s Track and Field Championships.

The Trojans were all smiles on the podium as they hoisted their trophy in the midst of a downpour at Hayward Field.

But their fairytale finish didn’t come easy.

USC secured the team title with 53 points after trading spots back and forth throughout the day with Georgia and Stanford, who finished second and third, respectiverly, with 52 and 51 points. 

“I wanted it for the team. We wanted this so bad all season, …

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Georgia, USC men celebrate record-breaking NCAA meet

The University of Georgia Bulldogs won their first-ever national team title at the 2018 NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Friday, but they were far from the only team celebrating.

USC finished fourth with 34 points, but they climbed onto the awards podium in spectacular fashion with three collegiate records.

Georgia built a 34-point lead after a solid opening day performance, and never dropped from first place throughout the two days of competition. The Bulldogs tallied a winning total of 52 points in front of the 11,644-person crowd at Hayward Field.

Two-time defending champion …

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2018 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Outdoor T&F Championships - DAY FOUR

Five Things to Watch

Women’s Triple Jump (3:40 p.m.)

Georgia senior Keturah Orji may have lost her American record to Tori Franklin last month, but her collegiate record remains intact after soaring 47 feet, 11 ѕ inches (14.62m) at the SEC Championships this year. She has won three straight NCAA outdoor titles – to go along with three indoor crowns – and she owns the top 12 marks in collegiate history. After winning the long jump on Thursday, Orji is poised to add another title her impressive resume.

Women’s 400 meters (4:32 p.m.)

USC senior Kendall …

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ASU’s Ewen wins shot put for third NCAA title

Maggie Ewen continues to add NCAA championships to her collegiate resume.

The Arizona State senior captured the third NCAA title of her collegiate career with a mark of 62 feet, 10 ѕ inches (19.17m) in the shot put at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Women’s Track & Field Championships before a crowd of 9,702 at Hayward Field on Thursday. 

“It felt great,” Ewen said. “The hammer didn’t go the way we wanted it to, so to be able to come out and win the shot put made up for it.” 

A 2017 finalist for The Bowerman, Ewen …

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2018 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Outdoor T&F Championships - DAY THREE

Five Things to Watch

Men’s 4x100m relay (5:32 p.m.)

This is always one of the most exciting races of the entire meet, and it is likely to set the tone for the team championship race. Florida and Houston were the top qualifiers in Wednesday’s semifinal and they rank 1-2 in the team projections compiled by Track & Field News. The Gators, who are seeking a third straight NCAA men’s outdoor title, clocked the fastest time at 38.49, while the Cougars were a step behind at 38.53.

Men’s 1,500 meters (5:42 p.m.)

New Mexico junior Josh Kerr …

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Georgia’s Comenentia claims NCAA crowns in hammer, shot put

Denzel Comenentia had never won a national championship title. 

Until Wednesday, when he won two on the opening day of competition at the 2018 NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships in front of 9,767 fans at Hayward Field. 

Comenentia, a junior from Georgia, won the hammer throw and came back four hours later to capture the shot put. The sweep of the two events makes him only the third competitor to do so at the NCAAs, matching the accomplishments of Cal’s Jack Merchant (1922) and Auburn’s Cory Martin (2008).

“It feels amazing,” Comenentia said. “It …

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2018 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Outdoor T&F Championships - DAY TWO

Five Things to Watch

Women’s Pole Vault (4:30 p.m.)

If you’re wondering what happened to Arkansas twin sisters Lexi and Tori Weeks, fear not. The Razorback duo placed second and sixth, respectively, at last year’s NCAA meet, and both return to Hayward Field after getting married last summer. Lexi Jacobus is the favorite this year, with Tori Hoggard projected to place third. Other top contenders include Virginia Tech’s Lisa Gunnarsson and Rachel Baxter, plus reigning champion Olivia Gruver of Kentucky.

Women’s Javelin (5:15 p.m.)

Three-time Pac-12 champion Mackenzie Little of Stanford is the collegiate leader with …

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2018 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Outdoor T&F Championships - DAY ONE

Five Things to Watch

Men’s Hammer Throw (2 p.m.)

After placing second at NCAAs last year, Kansas sophomore Gleb Dudarev comes in as the favorite after improving his personal best by 12 feet this season (256-0/78.02m). Top challengers are Georgia junior Denzel Comenentia (250-3/76.28m) and Rutgers senior Rudy Winkler (242-3/73.84m), the 2016 Olympic Trials champion

Men’s Long Jump (6 p.m.)

Florida sophomore Grant Holloway placed second last year to his teammate, senior KeAndre Bates. Both of the Gators will be pushed by Oregon senior Damarcus Simpson. Holloway, the reigning NCAA 110m hurdles champion, and …

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TrackTown Tuesday honors Dellinger, Deal

There was no better way to wrap up the 2018 TrackTown Tuesday series than to honor legendary Oregon coach Bill Dellinger in his TrackTown Tuesday debut.

Dellinger was accompanied by three of his former athletes – Rudy Chapa, Mary Slaney and Pat Tyson – and the show also paid tribute to hammer throw extraordinaire Lance Deal.

Dellinger, 84, was welcomed to the Hayward Field track in front of the West Grandstand with a standing ovation from the crowd of 350 people as Slaney helped guide him to his chair.

To start his segment, those in attendance …

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Jager places third in steeplechase at Pre Classic

When Evan Jager entered his final race at historic Hayward Field in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2018 Prefontaine Classic, he came relaxed and free of expectations.

“I was focused on staying relaxed and tried not to think about anything all race,” Jager said.

Jager, the American record-holder in the steeplechase at 8:00.45, finished third with a time of 8:11.71, only  two-thousandths of a second behind runner-up Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya. Despite the result, Jager felt positive about his outcome.

“I felt pretty good,” he said. “I felt like I was in a great rhythm. I knew the race wasn’t …

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Rogers returns to Hayward Field for first Pre Classic

When Raevyn Rogers stood at the starting line during the 2018 Prefontaine Classic, she felt a sense of calm come through her mind. In only her second outdoor meet as a professional athlete, Rogers absorbed the atmosphere at historic Hayward Field, one of the places that helped shape her accomplished collegiate track and field career.

However, this time she found herself racing against some of the world’s best 800-meter runners.

Rogers finished seventh in the women’s 800m at Pre with a time of 1 minute, 59.36 seconds, six spots behind South Africa’s Caster Semenya, who clocked a world-leading time of …

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UO jumpers, OTC Elite athletes headline TrackTown Tuesday

TrackTown Tuesday welcomed a series of accomplished guests in front of an audience of 150 at the Downtown Athletic Club on May 1.

The show featured Prefontaine Classic Meet Director Tom Jordan, five members of the University of Oregon jumps crew, and Oregon Track Club Elite athletes Francine Niyonsaba, Shea Collinsworth and Hanna Green. Those in attendance were given an insiders’ glimpse into the upcoming Prefontaine Classic, and a preview of the competition that will be showcased at the Oregon Twilight meet on May 4.

The UO contingent included three reigning Pac-12 champions in senior Damarcus Simpson (long jump), junior …

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Alexi Pappas: Olympic runner shares pre-race tips for Eugene Marathon

With the glory of the 122nd Boston Marathon behind us, many of you might be thinking about running a marathon yourselves. Or, with the 12th Eugene Marathon just around the corner, hopefully many of you reading this article are just days away from toeing the line in Tracktown, USA! What the Eugene-Springfield community has to offer in the world of marathon running is very special – whether you’re from the area or not, the Eugene Marathon is an amazing way to celebrate the place where running was born. This is where I feel I grew up as an Olympic runner, …

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Jon Hendershott: 1946 - 2018

11 April 2018

We woke up this morning to the sad news of the passing of noted sports journalist Jon Hendershott.

For more than a half-century, Jon worked tirelessly to tell the stories of track and field, this sport we love that benefits tremendously from those who give it a voice. He was a regular fixture at Hayward Field, covering meets in rain or sunshine, regardless of the scale of competition. He even volunteered his talent to TrackTown USA when he helped craft the language honoring the Heritage Athletes at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Jon’s positivity, passion …

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UO indoor champions, Nike pioneers headline TrackTown Tuesday

EUGENE, Ore. – TrackTown Tuesday welcomed a slate of accomplished guests for its April show before a crowd of 150 fans at the Downtown Athletic Club. Those in attendance were treated to appearances from UO Running Club member Justin Gallegos, Nike pioneers Jeff Johnson and Nelson Farris, and five Oregon athletes who won national titles at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

The Ducks included 800-meter champion Sabrina Southerland and the triumphant Distance Medley Relay (DMR) team of Jessica Hull (1,200m), Venessa D’Arpino (400m), Susan Ejore (800m) and Lilli Burdon (1,600m).

Oregon’s DMR finished with the fourth-fastest time in …

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RIP Stewart Togher: ‘The best hammer coach in the world, bar none’

EUGENE, Ore. – Stewart Togher, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the hammer throw and a longtime throws coach at the University of Oregon, passed away at the age of 80 on March 28 after a long battle with leukemia.

Togher, a former Scottish weightlifting champion, came to the U.S. in the early 1980s to be a part of the Olympic development program for American hammer throwers.

He served as the U.S. national hammer coach for 10 years, and spent 15 seasons as the UO throws coach from 1983 to 1997. Four of the top five men’s hammer throwers …

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Alexi Pappas: What a Summer Olympian learned from Winter Olympic athletes

When I competed in my first Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in the summer of 2016, it was exactly that: a first. I had only competed in an international competition twice in my life before, and never on a stage as big as the Olympics.

In Rio, I was razor focused on my 10,000-meter track race. I wanted to run a personal best and break a national record. I wanted to finish in the top half of the best in the world. Thanks to my focus and my training, I accomplished all of these goals.

My days were structured. In …

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Alexi Pappas: On Going to the Olympics as an Artist

This February, I went to the Olympics in South Korea – not as an athlete, but as an artist. I was selected for the new Olympic Artist In Residence program, an effort by the IOC to reconnect athletics with the arts. Historically, the Olympics have had a strong tie to the arts and this Artist in Residence program, which started in Rio 2016, reignited this once strong tie.

As an athlete and artist, it has always been of the upmost importance that my athletics and my arts stand on their own—that is, I wanted to qualify and compete in the …

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Patrignelli inspires health, confidence at TrackTown Fitness

EUGENE, Ore. – It’s a chilly Sunday morning in February as Megan Patrignelli prepares for her weekly workout at Hayward Field. The air is crisp and clouds loom overhead, yet Patrignelli seizes the early wake-up call to work out with more than 100 recreational walkers, joggers and runners from the Eugene-Springfield area.

The crowd gathers in the East Grandstand to hear the morning’s training regimen laid out by 2016 U.S. Olympic Coach Vin Lananna. This is the beginning of TrackTown Fitness, where Patrignelli volunteers her Sunday mornings to help community members achieve their fitness goals.

“You can relate to …

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Olympic silver medalist highlights TrackTown Tuesday

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Track Club Elite’s Nijel Amos, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 800 meters, made his TrackTown Tuesday debut before a crowd of 150 at the Downtown Athletic Club on March 6.

Amos, appearing alongside OTC Elite teammates Harun Abda and Tom Farrell, closed the show, which also featured a step back in time with an appearance by four of legendary Oregon coach Bill Bowerman’s sub-4-minute milers, plus a glimpse into the future from four young Duck throwers.

Joining OTC Elite just last year, Amos is the fourth-fastest all-time performer in the 800m with a personal …

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Melissa Stockwell: A Paralympic type of daring

Melissa Stockwell had been stationed in Baghdad, Iraq for three weeks. She was 24 years old, living out her dream of serving in the United States Army.

However, on April 13, 2004, a roadside bomb resulted in her losing her left leg.

For Stockwell, it didn’t take long until she got back on her foot and reclaimed her life through becoming a Paralympic athlete.

“While my story has some tragedy behind it,” Stockwell began. “My story is not a tragic one. It’s an example of tragedy turned into triumph and it’s an example that we all have the power to …

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TrackTown Tuesday Honors Andrew Wheating

EUGENE, Ore. – Track and field fans were treated to a special edition of TrackTown Tuesday on Feb. 6 when a crowd of 200 gathered at the Downtown Athletic Club to honor a slate of distinguished guests.

For many, the night will be remembered as a farewell celebration for two-time Olympian and five-time NCAA champion Andrew Wheating, the former University of Oregon standout who recently announced his retirement from the sport.

Wheating was greeted with a standing ovation as he reminisced about his storied four-year career in Eugene. As a UO student-athlete, he set school records in the mile, indoor …

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TrackTown Tuesday Starts off 2018 with Star-Studded Show

EUGENE, Ore. – The 2018 season of TrackTown Tuesday got off to a rousing start before a crowd of 200 at the Downtown Athletic Club on Tuesday night.

The star-studded guest list included the Lane Community College men’s cross country team, three members of the Oregon women’s team (representing each national title of their historic Triple Crown), Oregon Track Club Elite newcomer Luke Puskedra and former UO standout Raevyn Rogers, the 2017 female recipient of The Bowerman.

First-year head coach Bill Steyer, who guided the LCC team to a second consecutive Northwest Athletic Conference Championship this past fall, opened the …

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Alexi Pappas: When role models exceed expectations

There’s a saying that you should never meet your idols in person because they can never live up to your expectations.

I’ve found that to be true sometimes: when I met Serena Williams in Rio, she spent our whole interaction complaining about the food in the Village dining hall. I was disappointed – I wanted to get some morsel of advice for my upcoming Olympic debut, but instead, I thought twice about the quality of the chicken I ate in the dining hall that night.

Or, sometimes, you outgrow your idols: in middle school I idolized one of my friend’s …

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Stanford men, Colorado women claim Pac-12 cross country titles

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Stanford’s Grant Fisher was all smiles as he used a strong kick to win the men’s individual 8,000-meter race at the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships at Springfield Golf Club on Friday.

But he was even more stoked when he turned around after crossing the finish line.

For the first time since 2010, #NerdNation ran past them all! It was a total team effort to earn @stanfordxctf a #Pac12XC championship. pic.twitter.com/gfa5WFAW4g

— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) October 27, 2017

Fisher, the reigning NCAA outdoor track and field champion in the 5,000 …

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Oregon plays host to Pac-12 Cross Country Championships

EUGENE, Ore. – The University of Oregon will play host to the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships for the first time since 2008 – and only the third time in history – at Springfield Golf Club on Friday.

The women’s 6,000-meter race begins at 11:10 a.m., followed by the men’s 8,000-meter competition at 12:10 p.m. There is no admission charge. The awards ceremony will be held after the conclusion of the men’s race. The meet will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network for the first time.

Two. Days. Away. On Friday, the Men and Women …

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Growing Pains

As a runner, few things are more impressive than watching an elite athlete crushing a workout at the peak of his or her fitness. I’ve had so many moments just stretching on the sidelines of Hayward Field or the South Eugene High School track where I look at my peers in awe. But especially after my recovery from an injury last spring, I’ve also come to deeply appreciate, respect, and admire athletes who have come back from an injury and re-built their fitness from scratch. The journey from 0 to 1 on the fitness scale is just as awe-inspiring to …

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Richard Reske: 'The epitome of a volunteer'

EUGENE, Ore. – Hayward Field holds a special place in the hearts of thousands of track and field fans across the world, but only one of them – outside of Bill Bowerman – has a building named in their honor at the iconic stadium.

The “Reske Center,” an equipment shed on the southeast corner of the track, was built as a tribute to the countless hours of volunteer service logged by longtime Oregon Track Club member Richard Reske. The shed is used to store all of the equipment utilized by the OTC to support its numerous events.

Reske, who was …

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31 athletes with ties to Oregon set for 2017 World Championships

EUGENE, Ore. – The state of Oregon will have a robust presence at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London this week.

A total of 31 men’s and women’s track and field athletes with ties to Oregon are set to compete in the 10-day meet which begins Friday at Olympic Stadium, the site of the 2012 London Olympics.

While most of those athletes (19) will compete for Team USA, there will be six athletes wearing the uniform of Canada, plus one each from Australia, Botswana, Burundi, Great Britain, Jamaica and The Netherlands.

The University of Oregon will have one current …

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Portland fans, athletes embrace TrackTown Summer Series

GRESHAM, Ore. – One thing was certain at the second stop of the 2017 TrackTown Summer Series – this is a completely different experience for track and field fans. It’s more informal, more intimate and a more streamlined competition with only nine events.

Start with the day’s first elite event at Mt. Hood Community College, the combined men’s and women’s shot put, which took place before any of the track events started. Hundreds of fans gathered on the side of the shot put venue to watch two athletes from each team compete, with the combined best throws of the two …

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Athletes boost team concept at TrackTown Summer Series

STANFORD, Calif. – An estimated 2,000 fans filled Cobb Track and Angell Field at Stanford University on Thursday night to watch and experience the first of three meets in the expanded TrackTown Summer Series.

Four coed teams made up the competition – the San Francisco Surge, New York Empire, Portland Pulse and Philadelphia Force. The Surge lived up to its nickname, coming out on top by overtaking Portland in the final event to finish with 90 points. The Pulse placed second with 86, followed by the Empire with 84 and the Force at 69.

Coming less than a week after …

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Olympic gold medalist Michelle Carter joins TrackTown Summer Series

EUGENE, Ore. – It was a dream come true for American shot putter Michelle Carter at the 2016 Rio Olympics last summer.

On her sixth and final throw of the competition, she let loose with a personal best of 67 feet, 8 ¼ inches (20.63m) to clinch the gold medal, narrowly edging Valerie Adams, the two-time reigning Olympic gold medalist from New Zealand.

With that single momentous heave, Carter became the first U.S. woman in Olympic history to win a gold medal in the shot put. Her mark also stands as the American record and it …

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Polar, Hyperice partner with TrackTown Summer Series

EUGENE, Ore. – TrackTown USA is pleased to announce that it has formed exciting new partnerships with Polar and Hyperice to continue to provide the best services, amenities and cutting-edge products for athletes competing in the 2017 TrackTown Summer Series.

Polar, the leader in wearables sports and fitness technology, will be on hand with Polar M430, the ideal tool for runners aiming to reach their personal best at all three TrackTown Summer Series events this summer.

The dates of the meets are as …

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Oregon women make history with NCAA Triple Crown

EUGENE, Ore – Needing a victory in the 4×400-meter relay to clinch the first “Triple Crown” in collegiate women’s history, Oregon proved it was up to the task on Saturday at the NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

With 12,992 fans at Hayward Field on their feet, cheering wildly, UO junior Raevyn Rogers turned in a superb anchor leg of 49.77 seconds to hold off USC for the win – 3:23.13 to 3:23.35.

Both times bettered the previous collegiate record of 3:23.75 set by Texas in 2004.

The Ducks’ stirring triumph in the 4x400m relay allowed them to complete …

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​Rogers' anchor leg keys Oregon's record-setting 4x400m relay

By Romaine Soh / Tracktown USA

EUGENE, Ore. – It was all or nothing for the Oregon women as they toed the line for the 4×400-meter relay, the final event of the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

With just one event to go before the championship concluded on Saturday at Hayward Field, the Georgia women were leading with 62.2 points. Oregon had 54.

With Georgia having scored all the possible points they could, the Ducks had to win the 4×400-meter relay to gain the 10 points needed to propel them past the Bulldogs, lest they miss the title …

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Houston sets Hayward Field record in 4x100m relay

By Kylee O’Connor / TrackTown USA

EUGENE, Ore. – Rainy conditions led to slower-than-expected times  throughout the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday, but that didn’t stop the Houston men’s 4×100-meter relay team from cruising to victory in record-setting fashion.

The Cougar team of John Lewis III, Mario Burke, Jacarias Martin and Cameron Burrell won in a blazing 38.34 seconds. That time is not only a school record, but a Hayward Field record, as well.

“We knew that as long as we got our stick around we’d be fine, because realistically we have the most speed out of everyone,” Burke said. “We finally got …

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Florida narrowly wins second straight NCAA men’s crown

EUGENE, Ore. – With a seven-point lead over SEC rival Texas A&M heading into the final event of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships before a crowd of 11,448 at Hayward Field on Friday, Florida’s mission was clear.

Finish fifth or better in the 4×400-meter relay and the Gators would clinch their second straight national title.

As it turned out, they did one better than that.

With freshman Grant Holloway running a 43.89-second anchor leg, Florida placed fourth in the relay to clinch the NCAA crown by a mere two points over the Aggies – 61.5 to …

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Arizona State's Ewen sets collegiate record in hammer throw

By Romaine Soh / TrackTown USA

EUGENE, Ore. – All the little cues Maggie Ewen had been working on for the whole year finally came together on Thursday.

The Arizona State junior hurled a lifetime best of 240 feet, 7 inches on her third attempt in the hammer throw to break the collegiate and meet record at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

“I finally got it,” said Ewen with a smile.

Ewen, who placed ninth at last year’s U.S. Olympic Trials, said she felt so excited that she couldn’t quite “make anything work again” on her subsequent throws, …

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Five things to watch at the 2017 NCAA Championships on Day 2

#1 – Hammer throw

Maggie Ewen of Arizona State is projected to score in three throwing events at the NCAA Championships, but the hammer ring is where she seems most comfortable. Her PR of 238-10 is #2 on the all-time collegiate list and is 11 feet better than her closest NCAA competitor. Princeton’s Julia Ratcliffe was the 2014 champion before taking last season off in a bid to make the New Zealand Olympic team.

#2 – Pole vault

Fans can be forgiven if they think they’re seeing double on the pole vault runway today. Sophomore twin sisters Lexi and Tori Weeks of Arkansas …

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Coleman blazes to 100m collegiate record at NCAAs

By Kylee O’Connor / TrackTown USA

EUGENE, Ore. – Day One of the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships featured six event finals, but it was Christian Coleman in the 100-meter semifinals who stole the show in front of 9,717 fans at  Hayward Field on Wednesday.

Coleman, a junior out of Tennessee, ran a collegiate record of 9.82 seconds (+1.3) to lead a strong field into Friday’s final. Coleman was the NCAA  leader coming into the meet with a time of 9.96, set at the East Preliminary Round in late May.

“I came across the line and I saw the time,” …

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Five things to watch at the 2017 NCAA Championships on Day 1

#1 – Decathlon:

Texas A&M’s Lindon Victor, the reigning NCAA champion,  has already broken the collegiate record twice this season, arriving at Hayward Field with a PR of 8,539 points. He will be challenged by Georgia’s Devon Williams, the NCAA Indoor heptathlon champion, who stands sixth on the all-time collegiate performers list with a PR of 8,345.

#2 – Pole vault:

South Dakota freshman Chris Nilsen is favored to follow up his NCAA Indoor title with the outdoor crown. Nilsen, who set the national prep record last year, has a personal best of 18-9 1/2. He is coached by …

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Top athletes sign contract extensions for 2017 TrackTown Summer Series

Seven of the world’s best track and field athletes have agreed to contract extensions with their respective teams in the highly acclaimed  TrackTown Summer Series.

The elite men and women who have signed on for a second season of competition with teams representing the cities of New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco are as follows:

NEW YORK:

Brittney Reese (long jump) Emma Coburn (1500m) Queen Harrison (100m hurdles)

Note: Queen Harrison has been traded to New York. In exchange, Portland will receive one of New York’s first-round draft picks.

PHILADELPHIA:

Ben Blankenship (1500m) Phyllis Francis (400m) Brenda Martinez (800m)

SAN …

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PAC-12 Day Two Recap

EUGENE, Ore. – The Oregon men’s and women’s track and field teams put the finishing touches on a decade of dominance at the Pac-12 Championships before a crowd of 6,778 at Hayward Field on Sunday.

The UO men claimed its 11th consecutive conference title – and 18th overall – with a total of 175 points. The Duck women, meanwhile, rolled to their ninth straight crown with 189 points.

Both win streaks, including nine Pac-12 sweeps in a row, are unprecedented in league history.

The Duck men were unmatched in the sprints, notching a victory in the 4×100-meter relay, followed by …

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PAC-12 Day One Recap

EUGENE, Ore. – There were few surprises on the first day of competition at the 2017 Pac-12 Track & Field Championships before a crowd of 5,002 at Hayward Field on Saturday.

On the women’s side, while Oregon and USC are currently tied for fifth place in the team standings with 24 points apiece, both squads are in prime position to make a serious run at the league title on Sunday.

It promises to be an epic showdown between two of the best women’s teams in the nation.

The Ducks, who are aiming for a ninth consecutive conference crown – which …

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Alexi Pappas: Community support inspires Tracktown movie

EUGENE, Ore. – Just like elite running, which takes the support of coaches, loved ones, massage therapists and teammates to bring an athlete to his or her highest peaks, an indie film also requires an entire network of support to reach its audience. Now that my movie, Tracktown, is being released into the big world, I find myself reflecting on the real-life town that inspired it.

“everyone was eager to help see the film come to life in their own backyards.”
– Alexi Pappas

Tracktown was filmed entirely in Eugene and Springfield – it was homegrown with support from …

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Cheserek, Rowbury, Osagie wow TrackTown Tuesday crowd

Cheserek, Rowbury, Osagie wow TrackTown Tuesday crowd

By Romaine Soh / TrackTown USA

EUGENE, Ore. – At Tracktown Tuesday’s final appearance of the season at the Downtown Athletic Club, there were familiar faces like Prefontaine Classic meet director Tom Jordan, 1,500-meter Olympian and U.S. record-holder Shannon Rowbury, Oregon senior distance star Edward Cheserek and his coach, Andy Powell.

The newest face on stage was Oregon Track Club Elite’s Andrew Osagie, a native of Great Britain, who was part of the “greatest 800-meter race in history” at the 2012 London Olympics when Kenyan David Rudisha set …

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Q&A With NASDAQ Chairman & TrackTown Summer Series Investor Bob Greifeld

With the guidance and investment of renowned business leaders, the TrackTown Summer Series has gone from nascent concept to actualized circuit. This is just the beginning of something bigger, and better, for the sport of track and field in the United States.

The acumen, credibility, and insights the investors bring to the endeavor provide an ideal foundation for the Series to flourish.

Jonathan Gault of Letsrun.com explored this theme in his insightful Q&A with one of the TrackTown Summer Series investors: Bob Greifeld.

Greifeld, the chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange, is a lifelong track and field fan. He has …

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Beynon Sports Surfaces announced as presenting sponsor of 2017 TrackTown Summer Series

EUGENE, Ore. – TrackTown USA announced today that Beynon Sports Surfaces will continue as the presenting sponsor of the TrackTown Summer Series, now in its second year.

Beynon Sports Surfaces has a long history of providing optimal conditions for world-class performances, most notably as the surfacing choice at historic Hayward Field. A recent example of Beynon’s innovative contributions to the sport was the dazzling green track at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland.

After a highly acclaimed debut at Hayward Field last summer, the 2017 TrackTown Summer Series returns with three …

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TrackTown Summer Series General Managers Announced

EUGENE, Ore. – TrackTown USA announced today that four of track and field’s most celebrated athletes have signed on as General Managers of the four teams set to compete in the expanded TrackTown Summer Series this season.

The newly hired General Managers are Allyson Felix, Bernard Lagat, Sanya Richards-Ross and Nick Symmonds. As a group, they bring widespread public recognition and global star power to each of the franchises in the 2017 TrackTown Summer Series – New York, Portland, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Felix, a six-time Olympic gold medalist, will serve as …

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Alexi Pappas: Missed Race leads to Lessons Learned

EUGENE, Ore. – With running, it is better to be like pasta: slightly undercooked. Sometimes, we learn this lesson the hard way by “overcooking” our training and pushing our bodies beyond their ideal ranges. Overcooked pasta falls apart. Overtrained bodies get injured.

After the New Year, I began gearing up for my first ever half marathon, the New York City Half. It was intended to be my first big peak following the Rio Olympics, and my first steps into marathon territory. When I was in New York City to race the 5K Dash to the Finish line this past November, I …

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UO Stars Shine Bright at TrackTown Tuesday

EUGENE, Ore. – A two-time Olympic qualifying father-son duo, three NCAA indoor national champions and the most recent addition to the Oregon football family headlined a star-studded TrackTown Tuesday event.

Former Oregon track stars Matt Centrowitz Sr. and Matthew Centrowitz Jr. capped off the free town hall gathering at the Downtown Athletic Club on Tuesday as emcee Sasha Spencer Atwood asked about the Rio Olympics, the father-son dynamic and their experiences at Oregon.

“I gave [my dad] a thumbs up and that reassured him that I was kind of loose.”
– Matthew Centrowitz

When Centrowitz Jr. was …

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Olympic hurdler Allen announces Nike deal at TrackTown Tuesday

EUGENE, Ore. – The last time hurdler Devon Allen raced at Hayward Field, he was wearing the yellow and green Nike uniform of the University of Oregon.

The 22-year-old dual-sport athlete, who announced his decision to turn professional in track and field last November, is targeting a return to the track on May 5 at the Oregon Twilight Meet, where he will still be donning the swoosh – minus the “O” in the center.

“I wanted to announce that I have officially signed with Nike.”
– Devon Allen

“I wanted to announce that I have …

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Schwarzman Makes $2.5 Million Gift to USATF Foundation in Support of Elite Track & Field Athletes

NEW YORK CITY – The USA Track & Field Foundation today announced that Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone, has made an unprecedented $2.5 million donation in support of elite athletes. The gift will provide financial support to the most promising track & field athletes as they train for the World Championships and Olympic Games.

“Steve’s generous gift will ensure that the very best American track & field athletes, regardless of circumstances, will have the time and resources necessary to train and compete in the most elite global competitions,” said USATF Foundation Chairman Bob Greifeld. “It’s a …

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Oregon splits efforts to continue qualifying athletes into the NCAA Indoors

EUGENE, Ore. – Divide and conquer is the name of the game this weekend for the University of Oregon indoor track and field programs.

The Ducks will try to capitalize on their last two meets of the indoor season to qualify as many athletes as they can in a bid to defend both of their men’s and women’s national titles at next month’s NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in College Station, Texas.

This weekend, the UO distance runners and throwers head north to the Husky Classic in Seattle, while the sprints, jumps and hurdles crews travel …

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Alexi Pappas: I'll see you at practice

EUGENE, Ore. – On the days when my team has no organized practice, the most challenging thing for me is deciding which moment to step out the door. If I haven’t scheduled a time to run with someone, I often find that I linger longer than I should.

I’ve always loved organized practice and strict “ready to go” times. One of the things I look forward to most each week is receiving my e-mail from Coach on Sunday night explaining our training plan for the days ahead. The e-mail doesn’t divulge the specific details of my workouts, but it does …

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Fans Bid Farewell to Team Eaton at TrackTown Tuesday

EUGENE, Ore. – A capacity crowd of 300 fans gathered in the Downtown Athletic Club to bid a happy retirement to two of Eugene’s favorite Olympians, and look towards the future of two current University of Oregon standouts.

Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton headlined February’s TrackTown Tuesday event. The former Oregon Ducks talked about their Olympic experiences and were honored with videos of friends and fans from all around the world who shared pre-recorded video messages. The videos included anything from a favorite memory with the Eatons, to a simple “thank you.” 

Some of the most notable …

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Financial Investors For TrackTown Summer Series Announced

TrackTown USA announced today that Bob Greifeld and Franklin “Pitch” Johnson, Jr. will continue their roles as chief financial investors of the TrackTown Summer Series, continuing decades of work to elevate the sport of track and field in the U.S. and create opportunities at home for American athletes.

The two financial investors share a lifelong passion and commitment to the sport, and they will continue to provide a guiding vision for the growth and development of the TrackTown Summer Series as members of the Board of Directors. Greifeld and Johnson provided the financial resources which helped launch the TrackTown Summer …

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Alexi Pappas: On adaptation in winter

EUGENE, Ore. – This winter in Eugene has more resembled the New Hampshire winters of my Dartmouth days than a typical Oregon winter. We’ve had ice storms, snowstorms and freezing rain in all combinations. Eugene is not used to winter and it shows: each day, it’s a roll of the dice whether the roads will be run-able (there are only a few snow plows), whether we will have electricity (wires are falling), or whether too many trees will have toppled across the trails to allow access to runners. I’ve worn hand warmers for the first time since I can remember.

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TrackTown Summer Series expands to three meets in 2017

EUGENE, Ore. – After a highly acclaimed debut last summer, the TrackTown Summer Series returns in 2017 with two additional meets and a renewed commitment to provide top American track and field athletes with fun and innovative competitive opportunities on U.S. soil.

The 2017 TrackTown Summer Series has been expanded to three meets with regional competitions in San Francisco and Portland and a championship meet – televised live on ESPN – in New York City.

The dates and venues are as follows:

– June 29 in San francisco (Stanford University)
– July 2 in Portland (Mt. …

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A tribute to John McNichols

EUGENE, Ore. – The sports of track and field and cross country lost one of its giants last month with the passing of legendary Indiana State coach John McNichols at the age of 66 due to complications from a stroke.

McNichols, who spent 34 years at the helm of the Sycamores’ track and field and cross country programs, first arrived in Terre Haute, Ind., in the fall of 1983 as a 33-year-old head coach. He immediately sparked a renaissance in those sports, not only for Indiana State and the local community, but for the entire nation.

A gifted technician, innovator …

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Marra wins 2016 IAAF Coaching Achievement Award

Longtime decathlon guru Harry Marra has been named the recipient of the 2016 IAAF Coaching Achievement Award, it was announced Friday at the annual IAAF Athletics Awards Gala in Monaco.

Harry Marra wins IAAF Coaching Achievement Award after guiding @AshtonJEaton to second Olympic decathlon gold & @btheiseneaton to Rio podium pic.twitter.com/n1IhpVRtVK

— IAAF (@iaaforg) December 2, 2016

Marra currently serves as the combined events coach for Oregon Track Club Elite, a post-collegiate training group of professional track and field athletes based in Eugene, Ore.

He is best known …

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Alexi Pappas: On staying put in TrackTown USA

EUGENE, Ore. – In a race, it’s important to focus on running the mile we’re in, rather than worrying about mile 9 when we’re in mile 3. Likewise, it’s important to focus on the running-season we’re in and fully commit to it rather than worrying too much about the future.

Generally, I don’t plan my life more than one year in advance. With a career as a professional runner and filmmaker, it’s hard to know what one year or five years ahead might look like. I’ve never planned a subsequent racing season before the current one was over. With an …

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TrackTown achieves something better than gold

EUGENE, Ore. – We did it!

Already recognized as a global leader in producing sustainable sporting events, TrackTown USA, Inc. achieved a huge milestone in 2016 when two separate events were awarded Evergreen certification by the Council for Responsible Sport.

Evergreen Status is the highest level of certification granted by the Council, which assesses and certifies events much like the LEED certification process for buildings. Only three events have reached that pinnacle since new standards were implemented in 2014.

And now, TrackTown USA has delivered two of them – the IAAF World Indoor Championships …

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Alexi Pappas: On the best women's 10K race of all-time

My anticipation for Rio felt similar to the anticipation of meeting a role model I’ve looked up to for my entire life. It was equal parts nervous-fear and excitement. There was the hope that The Olympics would be everything I dreamed of and more, and there was also the fear that it would fall short of my expectations.

Before leaving for Rio, I met several athletes who had varying experiences at past Olympics— some life changing-ly good and some epically disappointing. I wanted my experience to mean something to me, but I knew I couldn’t know until the thing was …

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State of Oregon stands alone in 2016 Track & Field competition rankings

EUGENE, Ore. – The final results for 2016 have been tallied, and when it comes to staging world-class indoor and outdoor track and field meets, no other region on the globe can match the state of Oregon.

According to rankings compiled by All-Athletics.com – the official data partner of the IAAF Diamond League – five of the top meets in the world this past year were held in Oregon. The rankings are based on actual results and the level of performers at each meet with a bonus for world records.

So, without further ado, here …

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Rio Olympics an awe-inspiring experience

RIO DE JANEIRO – On the long trip back home, I had a chance to reflect upon the wonderful experience I had at the Rio Olympics. Team USA’s medal count was outstanding and the men’s and women’s track and field team will be remembered as one of the most accomplished ever.

We saw balanced efforts in all events areas with a slew of gold medals, gutsy performances, national records, season bests and personal bests. 

Yet, what I will recall best is the people.

We had a hard-working and dedicated coaching staff that worked together every day from …

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Message From Rio 2016 - Day 16

Future is bright as Team USA exits Rio with 32 medals

RIO DE JANEIRO – My time in Rio has come to a close with the final night of festivities. I thought the Games were awesome. The citizens of this beautiful city are warm and friendly; the thousands of volunteers were kind and helpful; and the competition was intense and awe inspiring.

Team USA had a spectacular 10 days of competition, capped off by Galen Rupp’s brilliant bronze medal run in the men’s marathon – bringing the total U.S. medal count to 32. Rupp became the first American …

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Message From Rio 2016 - Day 15

Centrowitz leads Team USA with 1,500-meter gold

RIO DE JANEIRO – My time in Rio is coming to a close, but this event has been nothing short of spectacular. Incredible performances by our team defined the final session of track and field at these Olympic Games.

For the first time since 1908, an American won the gold medal in the men’s 1500 meters. In a perfectly executed tactical race, Matthew Centrowitz controlled the pace of the final and crossed the line ahead of several previous Olympic champions. With a look of disbelief, Centrowitz grabbed the American flag for his …

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Message From Rio 2016 - Day 14

Team USA makes its case as world’s best

RIO DE JANEIRO –  Last night, Team USA had the great privilege of witnessing a historic moment inside the Engenhão stadium – three American women, full of pride, stood on the awards podium and all listened to their national anthem being played. All three 100m hurdlers were honored in that moment, not just the winner. Awards ceremonies have a way of connecting us all in a fundamental way. Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin showed us what can be achieved with discipline, talent and hard work; they showed us …

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Message From Rio 2016 - Day 13

Team USA veterans mentor rising stars in Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO – One of the most rewarding aspects of these Olympics for me has been the juxtaposition of the performances of first-time Olympians with the consistency of, and often, the mentoring by, veterans like Ashton Eaton and Michelle Carter. 

To see this balance of experienced athletes and new blood reminds me that the kids are all right, and our future is in good hands. As years pass, there is inevitably a changing of the guard, and this team has shown how impressive both sides of that transition can be. …

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Message From Rio 2016 - Day 12

Women’s hurdle sweep highlights huge day for Team USA

RIO DE JANEIRO – One of the most critical components of a successful team performance at an event like the Olympic Games is the medical staff involved in the caring for and treatment of the athletes. 

Team USA pole vaulter Sam Kendricks put it best when he posted on social media that the medical personnel “are the heroes that give us as athletes the edge needed to push our limits and grow. I know I was at my best with you all behind me in my ‘village’.”  

The …

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Message From Rio 2016 - Day 11

Volunteer spirit lifts athletes in Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO – Rio de Janeiro is a big place, but no matter where I have gone in this city, I have been helped and greeted by the incredible volunteer workforce that helps run the enormous undertaking of the Olympic Games.

None of these events are possible without a unified vision and the extraordinary number of hours that volunteers give of themselves.  

Whether it’s the person directing crowds in a busy metro station, or the person welcoming athletes at the Olympic Village, each plays a role in ensuring the success …

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Message From Rio 2016 - Day 10

Team USA collects more medals, records

RIO DE JANEIRO – The Olympic spirit is alive and well in Rio.

As I ride the bus each day and hear the languages of the world, I am reminded that sport is a universal language. There are many examples to cite where the power of sport has been utilized to resolve conflicts and create good will.

Closest to home, Team USA has been impressive on the track and in the field with outstanding results. American swimmers and gymnasts have motivated us to aim high.

Our coaches, medical and support …

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Message From Rio 2016 - Day 9

Team USA makes history in women’s marathon

RIO DE JANEIRO – Team USA made history, set records and kept advancing on Sunday.

For the first time in Olympic history, three Americans finished in the top 10 of the women’s marathon. In hot conditions, Shalane Flanagan, Desi Linden and Amy Cragg dug deep and inspired many with their outstanding performances.

Then it was back over to the filled-to-capacity track stadium for the evening session. Team USA’s 400-meter women dominated the semis as Allyson Felix, Phyllis Francis and Natasha Hastings advanced to the final with three of the top-five …

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Message From Rio 2016 - Day 8

Team USA marches on, snags gold in long jump

RIO DE JANEIRO – Saturday’s morning session was all about advancement. All the American steeple women went through, all the U.S. men qualified through to the semis in the 100 meters, and the U.S. had its first woman qualify through to the final of the triple jump since 1996.

It is easy to sit back and think these are automatic or simple things, but rounds can take their toll and eliminate incredibly talented people; yesterday Team USA did its job and prepared well for the rounds to come.

During …

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Message From Rio 2016 - Day 7

Women’s 10,000m final makes Olympic history

RIO DE JANEIRO – Today, the Engenhão Stadium saw fireworks in the very first track and field final of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana shattered the world record in the women’s 10,000 meters to the cheers of a crowd who couldn’t believe the splits they were seeing on the big screen. Behind Ayana, Team USA’s Molly Huddle ran an incredibly gutsy race to break the American record and finish in sixth place. She made her country very proud today.

There were other good performances as many athletes advanced …

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Message from Rio 2016 - Day 6

Team USA ready to roll at Rio Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO – It is the night before the first day of track and field at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and I am very ready for the meet to begin.

The athletes have been a joy for our coaches and medical team to work with each day. They are excited, positive and prepared to compete.

For me, it has been a pleasure to work with U.S. Olympic women’s head coach Connie Price-Smith and the rest of the men’s and women’s coaching staff. Even though we come from different backgrounds and …

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Alexi Pappas: The night before my first Olympic Games

RIO DE JANEIRO – In middle school physical education, I was very good at the typical PE class sports. We rotated between the classics: kickball, softball, soccer, etc. I was good at those things. When it rained, though, things were different. My middle school, like many, was the type where PE class was moved inside when it rained. Often, this meant a movie day. But I remember one day in particular when our teacher decided we would sumo wrestle instead. It was, after all, PE class.

She arranged us in descending height order and had the two smallest girls wrestle first. …

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TRACKTOWN SUMMER SERIES MAKES SPARKLING DEBUT

2016 RESULTS   2016 TEAM ROSTERS

By Steve Ritchie / TrackTown USA

EUGENE, Ore. – Historic Hayward Field has hosted many memorable track and field meets over the years, but it is safe to say the venerable stadium has never seen anything quite like Friday evening’s inaugural TrackTown Summer Series meet.

Combining a fun atmosphere with a quality, pre-Olympic tune-up for the 23 athletes headed to Rio, the meet featured a coed 4×400-meter relay with the team title on the line, pockets of fans on the field getting close-up views of …

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TrackTown Summer Series adding coed 4x400m relay and exhibition hurdle race

Need two more reasons to head to Hayward Field on Friday night to enjoy the inaugural TrackTown Summer Series, a scored four-team competition featuring 22 Olympic athletes?

How about this:

Oregon’s Devon Allen, the reigning Pac-12, NCAA and U.S. Olympic Trials champion in the 110-meter hurdles, will go head-to-head against former Duck Johnathan Cabral in an exhibition match at the meet. Cabral, a member of the 2016 Canadian Olympic team, and Allen’s training partner, has a PR of 13.35 in the 110m hurdles, while Allen set his lifetime best of 13.03 in becoming the first collegian to win the 110m …

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Athletes battle for prize money, team titles at TrackTown Summer Series

EUGENE, Ore. – The 2016 TrackTown Summer Series presented by Beynon Sports Surfaces was designed to provide top American track and field athletes with an opportunity to compete on U.S. soil in the summer months.

The inaugural meet will be held at Hayward Field on Friday, July 29 with a new start time of 6:30 p.m.

On top of enhancing one’s own brand in a unique four-team competition televised live on ESPN, the meet promises a handsome cash payout for the participating athletes. In each of the 20 scheduled men’s and women’s events, prize money will be …

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U.S. Olympians excited to return to Hayward Field for TrackTown Summer Series

EUGENE, Ore. – Seventeen American athletes who punched their ticket to the Rio Olympics at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials plan to return to Hayward Field next week to compete in the inaugural TrackTown Summer Series.

The TrackTown Summer Series, presented by Beynon Sports Surfaces, is designed to provide top American track and field athletes with a unique opportunity to compete on U.S. soil during the summer months.

The meet will be held at Hayward Field on Friday, July 29 at 7 p.m. It will be televised live on ESPN.

The scored competition features …

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Thank You From TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna

Dear Citizens of TrackTown USA:

Two weeks ago, as I walked into Hayward Field before the opening ceremony of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, I was struck by a number of remarkable sights and sounds. 

First of all, the stadium and surrounding area has never looked better to me. The field of play was immaculate, the stands were filled and the spectators were buzzing with anticipation. The Fan Festival was rife with activity, from kids lining up at the Starting Block to those sampling multiple food and beverage options while preparing to watch the …

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Hammer at Hayward a big Deal to throwers at U.S. Olympic Trials

EUGENE, Ore. – For the first time in history, the men’s and women’s hammer throw is coming to Hayward Field.

And nobody is happier about that development than Lance Deal.

Deal, one of only two Americans to earn an Olympic medal in the hammer throw over the past 60 years, designed and built the new hammer cage that will be used to stage the event on the infield of the iconic venue on Wednesday, July 6 during the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field.

Deal, of course, spent most of his professional athletic career living and training …

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U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials: Go big or go home

EUGENE, Ore. – On an overcast evening 36 years ago, with leaden skies setting off the lush green of the infield at Hayward Field, the great Al Oerter stepped into the discus ring for one last throw in an attempt to make his fifth Olympic team.

No matter that President Jimmy Carter had called for a U.S.-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics and America would not be sending its best athletes to the Russian capital.

Oerter, along with every other athlete competing in those 1980 Olympic Trials, showed up to compete, to try to make a team that would …

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TrackTown Radio to be sold at U.S. Olympic Trials

For the first time, TrackTown USA is selling portable radios to interested spectators at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field. Each radio will have four channels providing expert commentary on the field events final. The radios will be sold at the kiosks selling programs (located at the entrances to the fan festival) and at the Eugene Cascades Coasts Booth on the corner of 15th Ave and Agate. The cost of a TrackTown Radio is $10.

Tracktown Radio Event Schedule

July 1:
5:40 PM – Men’s Shot Put Final

July 2:
10:45 AM – Women’s …

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'TrackTown' Oregon premiere coming to TrackTown USA

EUGENE, Ore. – I am so excited for the Eugene premiere of my movie “Tracktown,” which will be held at the McDonald Theater on July 5 during the rest day of the US Olympic Trials.

The experience of having the world premiere at the LA Film Festival earlier this June was special, but I know that bringing “Tracktown” back to TrackTown USA will be a whole other magical experience entirely.

Our world premiere in Los Angeles felt like the joining of two worlds I am passionate about: running and film. Co-director Jeremy Teicher and I were thrilled to introduce the …

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Donate your Olympic Trials Tickets

If you’ve already purchased tickets to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, but won’t be able to attend every session, please consider donating your extra tickets to boys and girls who would otherwise be unable to attend.

All you have to do is drop off your extra tickets at the TrackTown USA booth in the “replica East Grandstand” which is located in the Fan Festival behind the West Grandstand at Hayward Field. Everyone who donates tickets will receive a receipt for their tax-deductible contribution.

For more information, contact Curtis Anderson at curtis@gotracktownusa.com.

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Hometown sweep in 800m lives on at U.S. Olympic Trials

EUGENE, Ore. – Somewhere in the ether, the roar that erupted on the evening of June 30, 2008 must surely still exist as a palpable entity for the passion it represented from thousands of fans that day at Hayward Field.

In what turned out to be the signature event of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, three men with Oregon ties made a spirited dash down the final straight to earn their way onto the U.S. Olympic team for Beijing. It was an 800-meter run for the ages.

As Nick Symmonds, Andrew Wheating and Christian Smith drove toward …

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Historic athlete draft kicks off TrackTown Summer Series

EUGENE, Ore. – The first athlete draft in track and field history was a resounding success on Saturday.

Team representatives of four competing squads – Portland, San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York City – chose a total of 64 athletes, split evenly between men and women, through an eight-round draft to begin filling out rosters for the inaugural TrackTown Summer Series on July 29 at Hayward Field.

The rest of the team rosters will be filled via free agency with the addition of 80 athletes to be announced on July 16.

The meet, which …

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Historic Athlete Draft to Kick off TrackTown Summer Series

EUGENE, Ore. – On June 25, history will be made in the sport of track and field.

By all accounts, for the first time ever, there will be a professional athlete draft to populate the rosters of four U.S. teams – representing the cities of Portland, San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York City – that will compete in the inaugural TrackTown Summer Series on July 29 at Hayward Field.

Each squad will carry 36 athletes on its roster, split evenly between men and women, with competitors battling for prize money and additional benefits in excess of a …

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Opening ceremony to highlight T&F greats from past Trials

EUGENE, Ore. – Here’s some friendly advice for all those holding tickets to the first day of competition at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field on Friday, July 1 at historic Hayward Field.

Don’t be late!

Before the athletes begin chasing their Olympic dreams, spectators will be treated to a spectacular Opening Ceremony in which we celebrate the most memorable moments from previous editions of the U.S. Olympic Trials in TrackTown USA.

The in-stadium presentation begins at 3 p.m. and it will feature a parade of some of the greatest U.S. track …

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Oregon Track Club's All-Comers Meet

If you really want to experience what the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials are all about at the grass-roots level, call a friend and come out to the free Oregon Track Club’s All-Comers meet immediately after the hammer throw competition on Wednesday, July 6 at Hayward Field.

It promises to be a memorable evening with fun for the entire family. There will be a special TrackTown 16 t-shirt giveaway as long as supplies last, the chance to participate in three events – 60m dash, 100m and mile – plus an all-ages victory lap on the most revered …

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King Estate Winery to host Heritage Athlete Celebration with TrackTown USA

EUGENE, Ore. – TrackTown USA, the local organizing committee for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field, is pleased to announce that it has formed a partnership with King Estate Winery for a distinctive dual role this July.

King Estate Winery has partnered with TrackTown USA to be the official wine sponsor at the Fan Festival throughout the Trials, July 1-10, at historic Hayward Field.

In addition, the picturesque organic vineyard, located 22 miles southwest of Eugene, will host the Heritage Athlete Celebration in which 27 former track and field greats will attend a …

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Free transportation options available during U.S. Olympic Trials

EUGENE, Ore. – Track and field fans who want to avoid parking hassles near Hayward Field during the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field will have plenty of transportation options to choose from this year.

Thanks to an ongoing partnership between TrackTown USA and two local bus companies – MTR Western and Lane Transit District – fans can attend the meet or Fan Festival at Hayward Field without driving.

And it’s all free!

Similar to the past two U.S. Olympic Trials, a Park & Ride service will be offered at two large parking lots: …

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High jumping a family affair for the Cunninghams

EUGENE, Ore. – As parents, Randall and Felicity Cunningham did not so much have children as they did bouncing bundles of fast-twitch fibers and spring-loaded muscles. It could hardly have been otherwise.

For 16 years Randall Cunningham was the most athletic NFL quarterback of his era, at times resembling a 6-foot-4 version of the comic book superhero “Plastic Man” for the positions he could put his body in to frustrate defenders. When he met his future wife, Felicity De Jager was a professional ballet dancer.

Together, they gifted their children, Randall II, Vashti and Grace, with an impressive set of …

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Beynon Sports to sponsor TrackTown Summer Series

EUGENE, Ore. – TrackTown USA CEO Michael Reilly is pleased to announce that Beynon Sports will be the presenting sponsor of the inaugural TrackTown Summer Series on July 29 at historic Hayward Field.

The TrackTown Summer Series will bring together four teams of drafted athletes representing the cities of Portland, San Francisco, New York and Philadelphia for a fast-paced, two-hour track and field meet to be televised live by ESPN.

“Beynon Sports is proud to partner with TrackTown USA to showcase some of America’s finest athletes at Hayward Field,” said John Beynon, President of Beynon Sports. “Hayward …

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20-kilometer race walk kicks off U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials

SALEM, Ore. – Similar to the men’s and women’s hammer throw being staged on the Nike campus in Beaverton four years ago, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field will expand its footprint this year.

Only this time, the destination is Salem.

The first event of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials will be contested in downtown Salem on June 30 with the combined men’s and women’s 20-kilometer race walk set to begin and end in front of the steps of the Oregon State Capitol on Court Street.

The race is free to the …

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2016 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS!
THEY ARE YOUR 2016 NCAA TRACK & FIELD WOMEN’S TEAM CHAMPION!

FINAL RESULTS

EUGENE, Ore. – The Arkansas women built an early lead and never let up at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field on Saturday.

Led by senior distance runner Dominique Scott, who swept the 5,000- and 10,000-meter titles, the Razorbacks fought off a late challenge by host Oregon to claim their first NCAA outdoor women’s title.

Arkansas finished with 72 points, followed by the Ducks at 62 – three more than they scored in winning …

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Florida dominates final day to win NCAA men's championship

EUGENE, Ore. – One month after placing sixth at the SEC track and field championships, unheralded Florida put on a show in front of a record crowd of 12,244 at the 2016 NCAA Men’s Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field on Friday.

The Gators scored an astonishing 51 points on the final day of competition, including individual NCAA titles from Eric Futch in the 400-meter hurdles and Arman Hall in the 400 meters, to finish atop the awards podium with a total of 62 points.

It was Florida’s third outdoor national title after tying Texas A&M for the NCAA crown in …

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Five things to watch at today's NCAA men's championship

110-meter hurdles (6:12 p.m.) – Oregon junior Devon Allen, who set the NCAA meet record of 13.16 seconds in winning the title as a freshman two years ago, is the prohibitive favorite. He came into the meet with the NCAA’s leading time of 13.32, and backed it up with the fastest qualifying time of 13.38 in Wednesday’s semifinals. LSU’s Jordan Moore had the next best time of 13.57.

800 meters (6:47 p.m.) – The NCAA meet record of 1:44.70 set by Mark Everett in 1990 could be in jeopardy after Texas A&M freshman Donavan Brazier clocked one of the fastest …

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Five women to watch at NCAA Championships & Olympic Trials

EUGENE, Ore. – Shamier Little has never lost a 400-meter hurdles competition at Hayward Field. If she keeps that streak alive in 2016, the Texas A&M junior will end the season as a three-time NCAA champion — and a first-time U.S. Olympian.

Little, who enters the meet ranked first in the NCAA and fifth in the U.S., boasts a remarkable record of success in Eugene. In 2014, Little won her first NCAA title here in a personal-best and school-record time of 55.07 seconds. Since then, Little has racked up Hayward Field victories at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, the …

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From NCAA Outdoors to Team USA: Five men to watch

EUGENE, Ore. – Two years ago, University of Oregon junior Devon Allen, then a freshman, hosted a coming out party on Hayward Field’s west straightaway.

Only three months removed from his collegiate 110-meter hurdles debut at the Oregon Preview, where he failed to break 14 seconds, Allen torched over the hurdles in a meet-record 13.16 seconds to win the NCAA crown and lead the Ducks to their first men’s outdoor team title in 30 years.

This week, Allen will aim to return to the NCAA winner’s circle after missing the 2015 season due to a knee injury suffered in the …

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Georgia triple jumper seeks to defend title, chase U.S. record

EUGENE, Ore. – With one impressive dash down the runway, Georgia’s Keturah Orji cleared up some clutter in the women’s triple jump, at least regarding what the collegiate record is and who has it.

As of today, she does.

Before Orji’s showing at the NCAA East Preliminary Round, two women could claim to be the collegiate record-holder in what used to be known as the hop, step and jump. LSU’s Suzette Lee reached 46 feet, 9 inches (14.25m) indoors in 1997, a mark equaled outdoors by Florida State’s Kim Williams in 2011.

However, that tie was swept away by Orji …

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TRACKTOWN SUMMER SERIES OFFERS UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY & BIG PAYDAY

EUGENE, Ore. – What happens when innovation and aspiration intersect with the sport of track and field?

It’s called the TrackTown Summer Series.

The new professional track and field league will provide top American athletes with a unique opportunity to compete on U.S. soil during the summer months; a rare chance to build their individual brands in front of American fans; and finally, the prospect to earn a substantial paycheck.

And it will all be televised live on ESPN!

The TrackTown Summer Series makes its highly anticipated debut on Friday evening, July 29 at Hayward Field with an exciting …

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McBride seeks to close out collegiate career in style

EUGENE, Ore. – The story of how middle distance runner Brandon McBride made it from his Canadian home in Windsor, Ontario, to the Deep South destination of Starkville, Miss., is a simple one.

His mother gave it her approval.

It turned out to be one of the best recruiting visits Mississippi State coach Steve Dudley ever made.

“Coach Dudley flew up to see me and my family,’’ McBride recalled of Dudley’s 2013 visit. “My family loved him and really trusted him. That was a big deal for my mom and dad. They want to trust the coach. My mom was …

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Texas A&M's Little has big plans for NCAAs, Olympic Trials

EUGENE, Ore. – Although she is among the best in the world in the 400-meter hurdles and has an excellent chance of making the U.S. Olympic team for Rio de Janeiro this summer, Shamier Little did not harbor five-ring dreams while growing up in Chicago.

“No, it wasn’t something I paid attention to,’’ the Texas A&M junior said. “I was focused on my little AAU meets. The Olympics was never a dream of mind when I was little.’’

Little is no longer little. She’s 21, with a growing list of accomplishments on her resume that include a

2015 World Championships …

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Vin's blog: Community engagement key to successful events

(This is the second of a series of monthly blogs written by TrackTown USA President and U.S. Olympic men’s track and field head coach Vin Lananna. The topics reflect his positions on subjects of critical interest to the local, national and global track and field community. May’s theme: the importance of community engagement.)

The 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field are almost upon us.

In less than two months, for the third consecutive Olympiad, and the sixth time in history, the athletes who represent the U.S. at the Olympic Games will be chosen at historic Hayward Field.

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Lawson ready to soar at NCAAs, Olympic Trials

EUGENE, Ore. – It’s fair to say Arkansas got its full scholarship value out of track and field star Jarrion Lawson at last year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Fans at Hayward Field saw plenty of Lawson in 2015 as he ran a leg on the school’s winning 4×100-meter relay team, took second to Florida’s Marquis Dendy in the long jump, ran a personal best 10.04 seconds in the semifinals and went on to finish third in the 100 meters, and as a final act, summoned the energy for duty in the 4×400 relay. With that yeoman’s work, the Razorbacks were able to …

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Ceremonies take Center Stage at UO Twilight Meet

EUGENE, Ore. – We have had a few days for all of the stellar performances from the Oregon Twilight meet to fully sink in, but as we look back, it’s the moments outside of the competition that make the meet special.

Two of the ceremonies at Hayward Field last week were especially touching, including the recognition of the seniors and the honoring of several meet officials.

For the Oregon athletes, Senior Night was celebrated in front of 5,583 fans as 19 Ducks were recognized for their years of commitment to the program just prior to taking one final victory lap …

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History of the Oregon Twilight Meet

BUY TICKETS

By Curtis Anderson / TrackTown USA

EUGENE, Ore. – The Oregon Twilight Meet was born of tragic circumstance.

It was a benefit hastily thrown together by Oregon track and field coach Bill Bowerman to raise funds for injured UO long jumper Bob Woodell, who had been paralyzed from the waist down when a float he was helping his fraternity brothers carry overturned and fell on him, crushing his first lumbar vertebra.

Bowerman visited Woodell in the hospital and asked if he could put on a fund-raiser to help with Woodell’s medical expenses. Still heavily sedated, …

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Tracktown Movie to make World Premiere at Los Angeles Film Festival

I am thrilled to announce that Tracktown will be having its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival June 4th, 2016! Tickets will go on sale on May 10th on the Los Angeles Film Festival website — there is only one screening, be sure to grab your tickets before they sell out!

Tracktown is inspired by my experiences and observations as a professional runner, and the story is a fictional patchwork quilt of personalities and encounters woven together to capture the real adventure of growing up chasing the Olympic dream in Eugene, Oregon.

I can’t …

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TrackTown USA teams up with Ninkasi Brewing

EUGENE, Ore. – Few things in life go together better than craft beer and running, especially in the state of Oregon.

The Eugene-Springfield community, also known as TrackTown USA, is home to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field, and a thriving craft beer community. When Ninkasi Brewing Company, an independent craft brewery, decided it was time to deliver a beer for runners, by runners, a partnership with TrackTown USA was a natural fit.

“We’re excited to partner with Ninkasi Brewing Company and its local wholesale partner Bigfoot Beverages,” TrackTown USA President …

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Alexi Pappas: Training with the boys at altitude

I grew up in a house of boys: it was my dad, my brother and me. I shared my Jack-and-Jill bathroom with my brother, Louis, and since he was four years older, I learned to accept his music choices, him showering first, and him telling my middle-school self that my body mist did not smell good. It actually smelled like a bad flower garden so I stopped wearing it which is why I will never (thankfully) smell like a Plumeria again.

Even the television at home was full of boys. I remember distinctly Chris Berman or Jerry Seinfeld’s voice on …

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Going green at every turn at Portland 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – Already a global leader in producing sustainable multi-day sporting events, TrackTown USA turned the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland last month into a showcase for “green” events that leave a lasting impact on participants and the community.

The Eugene-based non-profit company delivered on a variety of sustainable initiatives to make Portland 2016 not just a four-day meet, but a community celebration. For the fifth consecutive year, TTUSA will participate in the Council for Responsible Sport’s process of certification for social and environmental responsibility at sporting events.

The 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships were held at …

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Rainsberger seeks to inspire other runners - just like Mom

EUGENE, Ore. – Last Friday night at the Oregon Relays, Colorado high school superstar Katie Rainsberger introduced herself to the Hayward Field faithful in stellar fashion. En route to a top-15 all-time prep performance, Rainsberger took down a field of seasoned professionals and collegians in the women’s 1,500 meters. The future Duck took to the start line, positioned herself on the rail and kicked past 2012 Olympian Geena Gall with 250 meters to go, crossing the line in a winning time of 4 minutes, 17.52 seconds.

Rainsberger has gotten progressively better this season, becoming a mainstay atop the national high school …

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Vin's blog: Portland 2016 and the importance of innovation

(This is the first of a series of monthly blogs written by TrackTown USA President and U.S. Olympic men’s track and field head coach Vin Lananna. The topics reflect his positions on subjects of critical interest to the local, national and global track and field community. April’s theme: Portland 2016 and the importance of innovation in the sport.)

When Italian high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi arrived at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland to receive his gold medal in front of thousands of cheering fans at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships last month, he …

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TrackTown USA hits the mark at Portland 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – When TrackTown USA decided to expand its footprint to the city of Portland a few years ago by putting forth a bid to host the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships at the Oregon Convention Center, we did so with some ambitious goals in mind.

We wanted to grow the sport and create new fans. We wanted to inspire the next generation. We wanted to be innovative in our event presentation. We wanted to bring the world’s best athletes to U.S. soil. We wanted to give Team USA a long-awaited home field advantage.

By all accounts, not only …

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AN OPEN LETTER FROM VIN LANANNA

Thank you to the citizens of Portland and Oregon for welcoming over 500 track and field athletes from 144 countries to our city, our state and our country to experience the sport at its absolute best during the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships.

Thank you to our 1,200 volunteers, 100 competition officials, 39,233 spectators, our host hotels and our government agencies for making this event successful.

Thank you to Mayor & First Lady Hales and the Portland Commissioners for supporting the event.

Thank you to our Portland 2016 Steering Committee and the TrackTown USA staff for your countless hours of …

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Alexi Pappas: How I spend my Sundays

EUGENE, Ore. – When I was growing up, Sundays were always about sports. It was one of the following: organized soccer, organized running, organized softball, or on the rare occasion that there was nothing organized to play, there was something organized to watch. Sunday was all sunscreen and commotion: quick breakfast followed by the layering of combinations of cotton and mesh (must find the jersey first – if you’re lucky it’s in the dryer, if you’re not, you’ll wear the dirty jersey from last weekend) and the gathering of leather sporting tools such as gloves, balls and shoes. Hopefully, the …

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Portland Indoor Track Classic draws more than 500 athletes

EUGENE, Ore. – Over 500 high school track and field athletes representing 137 communities and five states will get the opportunity to perform in a world class venue on Friday and Saturday during the Portland Indoor Track Classic at the Oregon Convention Center.  

Portland is the host city for the 2016 USATF Indoor Championships and the Portland Indoor Track Classic, featuring top high school runners, jumpers, and throwers, is sandwiched into that meet.

The PITC will feature outstanding competition in all six events on the schedule. Stanford-bound Ella Donaghu, a local distance standout from Portland’s Grant …

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Alexi Pappas: Embracing change for growth

EUGENE, Ore. – It is with great pleasure and pride that I announce that I will hereby be representing Greece, where I am a dual citizen by birth, in international competition.

I am also proud to continue training in Eugene and continue representing Nike, TrackTown USA and the Oregon Track Club Elite as I compete in the Hellenic uniform. This is a decision I have made with the support of my family, my coach Ian Dobson and my sponsors, manager and role models in the sport, many of whom are Olympians themselves.

Taking big steps to grow has always expanded …

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Portland 2016 Pole Vault Competition

For the first time in 30 years, and only the second time in history, the IAAF World Indoor Championships will be contested in the U.S.

You can witness the opening session of this historic occasion with thousands of other fans at no additional charge!

More than 600 of the world’s greatest track and field athletes, representing 154 countries from around the globe, will participate in the four-day competition, March 17-20, at the Oregon Convention Center.

The meet gets off to a roaring start on Thursday, March 17 at 6 p.m. with the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Opening Ceremonies, immediately followed by …

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Oregon Track & Field Team Previews Millrose Games

By Jake Willard/ TrackTown USA

EUGENE, Ore. – The Oregon men’s and women’s track and field teams will take a break this week, with three notable exceptions.

UO junior distance runner Edward Cheserek, a 10-time NCAA champion and two-time finalist for The Bowerman, is scheduled to compete in a loaded field in the 3,000 meters at the 109th Millrose Games at the Armory in New York City on Saturday.

Cheserek, who clocked an NCAA-leading time of 13 minutes, 35.86 seconds in the 5,000 meters at last week’s Husky Classic in Seattle, will be racing against several familiar faces in New …

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Eugene runners ready for U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

EUGENE, Ore. – Whether it be a two-time Olympian looking to shine in his marathon debut or a University of Oregon graduate student looking to finish her competitive career with a bang, some of Eugene’s top distance runners will travel to Los Angeles to compete in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Saturday.

Galen Rupp highlights a field of local talent that includes Luke Puskedra, Brett Ely, Craig Leon and Dan Kremske, all hoping to represent the U.S. in the 2016 Rio Olympics in August. The top three finishers in a pool of 168 men and 202 women will qualify …

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Alexi Pappas: The longest run

EUGENE, Ore. – The 2016 U.S. Marathon Olympic Trials will take place on Saturday. I am lucky to have the chance to be in Los Angeles to watch, as I have the honor of being the “Resident Millennial” panelist for the Millennial Running Study unveiling at the annual Running USA conference the day before the marathon.

I’ve never run a marathon. I’ve paced half of the Chicago marathon, participated in one marathon relay in Mount Desert Island (I ran one-third of the race), and I was honored to view the New York City Marathon up close this fall when I …

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House of Track takes final bow

HOUSE OF TRACK     MEET #4 RESULTS

 

By Ben DeJarnette / TrackTown USA

PORTLAND, Ore. – The ad hoc indoor track arena at 2400 NW Front Avenue will return to anonymity on Tuesday night, when the 200-meter oval track it housed will begin to be broken into 1,400 pieces and then transported to the Oregon Convention Center for next month’s USATF Indoor Championships and IAAF World Indoor Championships.

But before blending back into its industrial surroundings in northwest Portland, the city’s rags-to-riches warehouse still has four days to call itself the House …

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House of Track rocking again for third High Performance meet

HOUSE OF TRACK     MEET #3 RESULTS

By Steve Ritchie / TrackTown USA

PORTLAND, Ore. – The House of Track in northwest Portland was rocking again on Friday night as the third of four High Performance meets unfolded in exciting fashion before 1,250 spectators.

Despite the heavy showers pelting down outside, the stands in the House of Track were packed once more. Fans were standing five and six deep along the outside of the stunning lime-green track, which was built in this warehouse and will soon be moved to the Oregon Convention Center, …

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Oregon Track & Field Team Previews Razorback Invite

By Ruben Garcia / TrackTown USA

EUGENE, Ore. – The Oregon men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams will venture to Fayetteville, Ark., on Friday and Saturday to compete in the 2016 Razorback Invitational.

The Ducks will be one of 15 teams competing, along with other powerhouses such as host Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Texas A&M, and Pac-12 rival UCLA. The UO men and women are both ranked fifth in the latest USTFCCCA computer rankings. Florida is the top-ranked men’s team, while Arkansas is the No. 1 women’s team.

UO junior distance runner Alli Cash will be competing in …

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House of Track earns rave reviews at Second High Performance meet

HOUSE OF TRACK     MEET #2 RESULTS

By Ben DeJarnette / TrackTown USA

PORTLAND – It has been eight years since a 20-year-old Andrew Wheating shook the Hayward Field grandstands with his remarkable second-place finish at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.

The Eugene pro has a few more races under his belt now, but on Friday night he cued up some of his old magic — and the home-state crowd responded with its full voice.

Racing the 1,500 meters at the “House of Track” in Portland, the two-time Olympian held off strong finishes …

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House of Track -
High Performance Meet #1

House of Track     MEET #1 RESULTS

PORTLAND – Shannon Rowbury of the Nike Oregon Project had more on her mind than simply shaking off the rust in her 2016 indoor track debut on Friday.

The two-time Olympian and U.S. record-holder in the 1,500 meters had some work to do.

When she stepped onto the green 200-meter banked oval track before a crowd of 600 enthusiastic fans at the House of Track – a previously vacant warehouse in northwest Portland – Rowbury was seeking a qualifying standard in the 3,000 meters for …

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House of Track welcomes
Portland youth

PORTLAND – The House of Track officially opened for business on Monday night.

A total of 92 boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 17 became the first members of the community to compete on the new 200-meter banked oval track. Judging by the wide smiles and enthusiasm shown by all those in attendance, the youth-oriented “Monday Night Rush” was an overwhelming success.

“It was a very exciting night for the youth community,” said Dion Keeton, youth committee chairman for USATF/Oregon. “We had a great diverse group of kids.”

The bright green track, which will be taken apart …

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Team Eaton accepts IAAF invitation to Portland 2016

PORTLAND – To nobody’s surprise, Team Eaton has accepted official invitations from the IAAF to compete in the combined events at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016.

Ashton Eaton, the world-record holder in the indoor heptathlon with 6,645 points, will take aim at his third consecutive World Indoor championship in that event after winning gold medals in the past two meets in Istanbul (2012) and Sopot (2014).

Eaton, who was born in Portland, grew up in Central Oregon, and graduated from the University of Oregon, doesn’t mince words when it comes to his goals for the four-day meet, March …

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Alexi Pappas: Run like your best 12-year-old selves

EUGENE, Ore. – Recently, I traveled to the USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships in Albuquerque, NM. I was invited there to give a speech to more than 3,000 athletes, ages 8-18, the night before the big race.

The subject of my speech was pain. In high school, I remember that the fear of pain was the single biggest mental hurdle I faced heading into a race. It took years of experience and maturity to develop the mental toughness that would enable me to perform my best. On this particular evening, I thought I would connect with this young …

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House of Track

EUGENE, Ore. – What weighs more than 200 tons, covers 40,000 square feet and takes 14 days to assemble?

The answer can be found inside the House of Track, now the official name of a warehouse in northwest Portland where a new 200-meter banked oval track is being pieced together like a giant jigsaw puzzle.

The portable track will be unveiled to the public on Tuesday, Jan. 5 at an open house beginning at 6 p.m. The open house will be held in conjunction with the first TrackTown Tuesday of the year; the first time this free monthly town hall …

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Prandini, Dendy named 2015 winners of The Bowerman

SAN ANTONIO — One captured four individual NCAA titles in 2015.

The other outscored more than half of the teams at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships and the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships by herself.

Florida horizontal jumper Marquis Dendy and Oregon sprints and long jump standout Jenna Prandini were in a class by themselves. That’s why Dendy and Prandini each took home The Bowerman, college track & field’s biggest honor Thursday night during the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa.

FULL USTFCCCA RELEASE ON THE …

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Portland embraces return of indoor track and field at IAAF World Indoor Championships

PORTLAND, Ore. –  There was a time when indoor track and field truly was a three-ring circus, replete with men in tuxedos announcing events, pole vault standards made to look like safety razors in a nod to a sponsor and a man in a devil’s costume using a plastic trident to prod the butts of lagging runners in the mile.

Those were the days, when a young doctor with no sprinting experience could don snug gold swim trunks and a hospital scrub with suspenders and become a sensation for his startling triumphs; when the dominant runner of his era assumed the …

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Alexi Pappas: On being happy to compete

EUGENE, Ore. – I was never the homecoming queen who got to ride front-row on the parade float. Rather, I ran straight from our cross-country team bus to the homecoming dance.

But 10 days ago, I felt as queenly as ever, as I had the honor of riding in the lead vehicle ahead of the elite female athletes at the 2015 New York City Marathon. I watched in awe as we drove just ahead of the women leading the forty-thousand-strong foot parade.

Check out this New York Daily News article for more details about my lead car experience!

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ESPN to televise TrackTown Summer Series in 2016

EUGENE, Ore. – ESPN has signed a multi-year agreement with TrackTown USA to televise the launch of the TrackTown Summer Series beginning in 2016.

The TrackTown Summer Series is a new and innovative domestic circuit of scored track and field meets featuring competition between top teams of elite athletes in cities on both the East and West coasts. The Series will culminate with a championship meet at historic Hayward Field on July 29, to be televised on ESPN or ESPN2.

“This is outstanding news for our sport,” TrackTown USA President and 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Head Track & Field Coach …

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For Team USA, countdown to 2021 starts now

EUGENE, Ore. – In six years, the 2021 IAAF World Championships come to the U.S. for the first time in history.

The single largest sporting event in the world that year will take place on American soil in a modernized and renovated Hayward Field. This represents an extraordinary opportunity for all of us who share a deep passion for the sport of track and field.

We must be ready to meet the challenge. By the time that meet arrives, we want the athletes who proudly wear the Team USA uniform to be household names in this country.

How do we …

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Tom Ragsdale, founder of OTC All Comers Meets, dies at age 90

Tom Ragsdale, one of the founders of the Oregon Track Club’s annual summer All Comers Meets and a key OTC volunteer at Hayward Field’s major meets, passed away May 21 at age 90.

A teacher, coach and innovator, Ragsdale’s OTC membership dated back to the mid-1950s. For his work on behalf of track and field in the Eugene community he was the second inductee into the University of Oregon Track and Field Hall of Fame, and, in 2014, the first recipient of the OTC’s Brathwaite Award for promoting fitness in youth and families.

Ragsdale, who developed OTC’s first All Comers …

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Alexi Pappas blog: Watching greatness

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. – When I was little, my family had live-in Au Pairs who would stay with us for a year at a time. My favorite Au Pair was Petra from the Czech Republic. In addition to helping my dad take care of my brother and me, Petra also coached my basketball team. In my childhood memory, she was the tallest woman I had ever seen.

At basketball practice, Petra could take on a court of five girls versus her. She could jump, she could shoot, she could touch the rim – to me, Petra was unstoppable and infinite. She …

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TrackTown USA, UO earn sustainability awards

EUGENE, Ore. – TrackTown USA and the University of Oregon reprised their pioneering roles as national and world leaders in producing sustainable multi-day sporting events this past summer.

Both the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships (June 10-13) and the 2015 USATF Outdoor Championships (June 25-28) were awarded Silver Level Certification by the Council for Responsible Sport.

This is the fourth consecutive year that TrackTown USA’s commitment to sustainability has been recognized by the Council’s certification program for social and environmental responsibility at sporting events.

“We couldn’t be prouder of this important achievement,” TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna said. …

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TrackTown fitness program off to rousing start at Hayward Field

EUGENE, Ore. – The inaugural TrackTown Fitness program made an auspicious debut at historic Hayward Field on Sunday.

Beautiful weather and the promise of coaching from TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna drew nearly 200 local residents to the track for an inspirational morning of movement and exercise.

TrackTown Fitness – Day1 from Tim Lay on Vimeo.

Those in attendance reacted with enthusiasm as Lananna referred to the group as leaders in the movement to make Oregon the healthiest state in the nation by the time Eugene plays host to the 2021 IAAF World Championships.

This won’t be the …

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Vin Lananna to rekindle a Bowerman Tradition

To all citizens of TrackTown,

As we continue to grow and develop and look for new ways to make our great community even better, Vin Lananna would like to personally invite you to take part in our inaugural TrackTown Fitness program.  He will conduct the first session Sunday, Sept. 20 at 8 a.m. at Hayward Field.  This free program is open to all and will continue every Sunday through the fall.  It’s designed to teach anyone the fundamentals of how to run or walk for better health.  It will also serve as an on-ramp for other community training programs in January.

The …

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Youth races help kick off 2015 Oregon cross country season

EUGENE, Ore. – The University of Oregon men’s and women’s cross country teams kick off the 2015 season at the 10th annual Bill Dellinger Invitational on Pre’s Trail at Alton Baker Park on Friday.

The Ducks take on Pacific Northwest rivals Gonzaga and Portland State in the women’s 6,000-meter race at 6:10 p.m., followed by the men’s 8,000-meter competition at 6:45 p.m. Oregon junior Edward Cheserek, the reigning two-time NCAA cross country champion, headlines the men’s race, while redshirt freshman Sarah Baxter makes her highly anticipated debut for the UO women.

But it won’t just be collegians on the course.

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Alexi Pappas: Staying connected to yourself

Springtime in TrackTown USA is fascinating.

Eugene becomes filled with athletes, coaches and fans from all across the world, leaving their mark on historic Hayward Field. As a runner training in TrackTown, I feel the magic of Hayward Field skyrocket when a big race is coming up. The whole town becomes valiantly dressed in robes of flags, grandstands, vending trucks and tents. Even the UO frat houses become residences for visiting teams. It is remarkable.

I feel both energized and overwhelmed by this transformation. This is the time when we athletes are primed for the biggest races of the year …

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TrackTown blog from Beijing: Ducks bring home WC medals

BEIJING – There were 1,931 athletes from 207 countries competing in the 15th IAAF World Championships.

In that massive assemblage of track and field talent were eight former University of Oregon athletes, as well as one current Duck athlete. Those nine individuals combined to bring home one gold and five silver medals – and one incredible world record.

The gold and world record, of course, belong to Ashton Eaton. Once again, Eaton showed he is head and shoulders above the best multi-event athletes in the world, both in terms of talent and competitiveness. He electrified the Bird’s Nest Stadium on …

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TrackTown blog from Beijing: World record for Eaton!

BEIJING – It’s not easy to upstage Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt on a global stage, but Oregon Track Club Elite’s Ashton Eaton found a way to do just that on Saturday evening at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships.

He set a world record.

Just like in 2012 at the U.S. Olympic Trials at historic Hayward Field in TrackTown USA, Eaton did it in dramatic fashion, this time with a sold-out Bird’s Nest stadium urging him on in the final event: the 1,500 meters.

Needing to run 4 minutes, 18.25 seconds or faster – something he has done only …

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Preparing for Portland 2016

Next time the world’s best track and field athletes convene will be in Portland, Oregon for the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships. President of the TrackTown and the local organizing committee, Vin Lananna, sat down with USATF to share plans for the coming championship. The full interview can be viewed here on USATF.TV

View Interview Here

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TrackTown blog from Beijing: Eaton off to record start

BEIJING – Ashton Eaton got the first day of the decathlon off to a great start in the 100 meters at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships and finished it off with an even better one in the 400 meters.

Eaton, a University of Oregon alum who competes for Oregon Track Club Elite, destroyed the all-time world decathlon best in the 400 by running 45 seconds flat, and made it look like he was in an entirely different race than his competitors. The closest finisher to him was nearly 2 seconds back, a massive gap in a 400-meter race.

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TrackTown blog from Beijing: Triple jump gold for Taylor

BEIJING – The next best thing to seeing a world-record performance?

That would be seeing the second-best ever performance, of course.

American Christian Taylor provided that memorable moment on Thursday evening in the triple jump at the IAAF World Championships when he bounded all the way out to 59 feet, 9 inches (18.21m), just 3 ¼ inches shy of  the venerable 20-year-old world record held by Great Britain’s Jonathan Edwards.

Taylor’s huge jump came on his sixth and final attempt of the competition. Because Taylor was jumping second-to-last in the order, rival Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Cuba would get the …

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TrackTown blog from Beijing: Pole vaulters eye Portland

BEIJING – Even the absence of the great Elena Isinbaeva, Russia’s nine-time gold medalist on a global stage, and a slightly off day for U.S. record-holder Jen Suhr couldn’t diminish the quality of the women’s pole vault competition on Wednesday at the 15th IAAF World Track & Field Championships.

A dozen women were still vaulting past 14 feet, 9 inches (4.50m) – the most ever at a World Championships – and seven continued past 15-5 (4.70m) – again the most ever. Five of those seven women clearing 15-5 even had clean slates, with zero misses in the competition.

Without a …

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TrackTown blog from Beijing: Historic night in long jump

BEIJING – The Chinese fans at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships have shown up in great numbers at the Bird’s Nest over the first eight sessions. Official attendance figures are hard to get, but it has appeared that the evening sessions have been over 50,000. The morning qualifying sessions have also attracted good crowds – on Wednesday over 18,000 were already in the stadium before the first event at 9:30 a.m.

It is not a surprise that the crowds have been particularly vocal in their support of Chinese athletes. On Tuesday evening, the finals of the men’s long …

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TrackTown blog from Beijing: Mixed emotions in 10K finale

BEIJING – The action on the track at the IAAF World Championships can often be heart-breaking and thrilling at the same exact moment, something that was emphasized again on Monday evening in the dramatic finish of the women’s 10,000 meter race.

U.S. distance fans know that only one American has medaled in that race at the World Championships – Kara Goucher in 2007 – and it appeared to those watching at the Birds Nest Stadium that Molly Huddle was about to become the second American 10K medalist. Huddle was third as she came toward the finish line, and she raised her …

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TTUSA President Vin Lananna statement on election of Seb Coe

TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna:

“With Seb Coe and Sergey Bubka, the future of our sport was presented with two outstanding candidates as the potential next leader of the IAAF. I congratulate Lord Coe on his election as IAAF President, and I am excited to continue to work with him on the important projects that our organization began with President Diack.

The worldwide family of athletics will be welcome in the United States and the state of Oregon for the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 and the IAAF World Championships Eugene 2021. Together with our friends …

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Team Eaton on golden quest at World Championships

EUGENE, Ore. – Despite taking divergent paths to the 2015 IAAF World Track & Field Championships in Beijing this week, Team Eaton has never looked better.

At least that’s the view from longtime coach Harry Marra.

Ashton Eaton, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, World Champion and world record-holder in the decathlon with a score of 9,039 points, will be a full two years removed from his last decathlon when he steps to the starting line of the 100 meters on Aug. 28.

After winning the decathlon at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, the 28-year-old University of Oregon alum, …

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Lananna names Fasulo to new role as Chief Strategy Officer

EUGENE, Ore. – TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna is pleased to announce the appointment of Robert Fasulo to a new leadership position within the organization — Chief Strategy Officer and Special Adviser to the President. Fasulo was the lead consultant for TrackTown USA’s highly innovative campaign for the 2021 IAAF World Championships and was instrumental in helping Lananna secure the right to host the event.

“Over the past year I have witnessed Bob’s expertise in action in national and international settings,” Lananna said. “Bob’s unique talents and relationships will prove invaluable to TrackTown USA’s long-term strategy and viability as well …

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Alexi Pappas: My growth as a runner

When I reflect on my growth as a runner, I often find myself thinking about my work as a filmmaker. Often, an actor will need to repeat a scene many times before he or she gets the performance just right. The director’s job is to guide the actor from take to take, observing the performance and then offering directions that will lead to the desired outcome. The way a director communicates with actors is extremely important – some directions can lead to fear and anxiety, whereas the right directions can empower actors and set them free to surprise themselves with …

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Lananna to lead U.S. Olympic men’s track and field team

EUGENE, Ore. – TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna has been named head coach of the U.S. men’s track and field team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, it was announced today by USA Track & Field.

One of the world’s foremost visionaries in the sport of track and field, Lananna’s appointment by the U.S. Olympic Committee comes at the pinnacle of a long and storied career that has seen unprecedented success as a coach, administrator, organizer and leader.

Lananna will be assisted by a talented array of coaches, including Curtis Frye (sprints/hurdles), Mario Sategna (throws), Cliff Rovelto …

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OTC Elite athletes eye World Championships

EUGENE, Ore. – Six athletes from Oregon Track Club Elite have already punched their tickets to the 2015 IAAF World Championships, Aug. 22-30, in Beijing.

Three others are hoping to join the travel party.

As reigning 2013 World Champions, Team USA’s Ashton Eaton (decathlon) and Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman (800m) were guaranteed wild-card berths into the meet.

Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton, meanwhile, only needed to show fitness at the Canadian National Championships to secure her spot in the heptathlon. She did that by winning the 100m hurdles and taking second in the long jump.

Two other OTC Elite athletes – Hassan Mead and Jesse Williams – earned …

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TrackTown USA looking to inspire new runners

EUGENE, Ore. – Fifty years ago, legendary University of Oregon track and field coach Bill Bowerman sparked one of the most transformative movements in the history of American sports – the running boom.

By teaching community classes on jogging at Hayward Field, he was able to introduce first-time runners and walkers to the basic principles of aerobic exercise. To pay homage to the iconic Bowerman, Vin Lananna, president of TrackTown USA and renowned Olympic coach, would like to take all “Citizens of TrackTown” on a similar journey.

And there is no better place to do it than TrackTown USA.

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TrackTown Summer Series set to launch in 2016

EUGENE, Ore. – If an American track and field athlete wants a world-class competitive opportunity in the months of July or August, they usually have to board a plane bound for Europe to do so, because there is nothing comparable at home.

The lack of domestic track and field meets during the summer has long plagued the world’s No. 1 track and field team, but TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna has found a solution – the TrackTown Summer Series, which will be launched in the summer of 2016, shortly after the conclusion of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at historic …

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Quality depth marks women's high hurdles

EUGENE, Ore. – Of the 40 men’s and women’s events up for grabs at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field, the most difficult one in which to secure a podium finish has to be the women’s 100-meter hurdles.

No event in the U.S. is as deep and top-heavy in talent, or as ever changing.

Jasmin Stowers is currently the flavor of the month for the brilliant start to her 2015 season as a first-year professional with a world-leading personal best of 12.35.

Brianna Rollins dominated the world in 2013 and brought the American record down to …

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Alexi Pappas: Running as a team sport

One of my clearest memories from childhood was cheering for my dad’s first (and only) marathon. I was eight years old, and – like most little kids – as far as I was concerned, the entire world revolved around me. Anything that made me happy or sad was tied exclusively to my immediate surroundings and myself.

On this particular day I stood by the finish line and waited for what felt like forever. When I first caught a glimpse of my dad, it looked like he was in pain! My very strong pillar-of-a-dad was in pain, and that pained me. …

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Sustainability one of TrackTown USA's pillars

EUGENE, Ore. – The concept of sustainability is deeply rooted in the DNA of TrackTown USA. In the past two years, four events at Hayward Field were “green” enough to be certified by the Council for Responsible Sport (CRS).

The 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials both received a “gold medal” from CRS, which means each event earned 75 percent of the total available credits in meeting specific social and environmental criteria for official certification.

In addition, the 2013 University of Oregon outdoor track and field season earned silver certification (60 percent) and the 2013 …

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Humble roots propel Kovacs in shot put

The man who leads the world in the shot put this year started out so humbly his high school did not have a throwing circle, so his mother took a 3 ½-foot length of string, attached one end to a piece of chalk and drew a circle on the school’s parking lot that adjoined a grass field.

Voila! Instant practice facility.

Joe Kovacs, you’ve come a long way, baby.

How far? His resourceful mother, Joanna Kovacs, was his first throws coach at Bethlehem Catholic High School in Bethlehem, Pa. He’s now coached at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, …

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Hunger drives Rodgers on and off track

There’s a hunger that drives Mike Rodgers to be the best he can be in the 100 meters. As a fledgling businessman, he’s also counting on hunger to drive people to check out his new food truck in Austin, Texas, called “The Best Yet.”

The truck will be fully operational the week of June 22, serving up Cajun, Creole and “American’’ fare as prepared by a Cordon Bleu graduate and master chef.

“I am the boss,’’ Rodgers said. “I do the hiring and firing and ideas for the menu. I’ve been doing research. It’s a great, golden age of food …

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2015 NCAA Outdoor T&F Championships draws record viewership on ESPN

EUGENE, Ore. – Fast times, astonishing throws and lofty heights weren’t the only records being broken at the 2015 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships at historic Hayward Field in TrackTown USA last week.

According to ESPN, the four-day championships (June 10-13) – which featured the first year of a new competition format – drew record numbers of viewers to the ESPN network. With 12 hours of live television broadcast across the ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU channels, the meet averaged 367,000 viewers, making it the most-watched NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in history.

“This is outstanding …

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The Natural: Jager hopes to lower U.S. record in steeplechase

STANFORD, Calif. – Talk about a fast learner. Former 1,500-meter runner Evan Jager didn’t try his first 3,000-meter steeplechase race until 2012, and by 2014, he was ranked No. 2 in the world.

So much for years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Even so, his introduction to the barriers-and-water jumps event was not without its mishaps.

He can laugh about it now but he surely wasn’t chuckling much on that spring day in 2012 at the Oxy High Performance meet at Occidental College in Los Angeles in one of his first steeplechase races.

“I completely missed the barrier on …

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Felix lays groundwork for Olympic year

EUGENE, Ore. – Despite her status as the most decorated female sprinter in U.S. history, Allyson Felix is still fine-tuning as she rounds the turn heading toward her 30th birthday later this year.

She recently embraced a “clean eating’’ diet and commissioned Chris Talley of Precision Food Works

in Los Angeles to deliver meals prepared specifically for her athletic needs. That meant she had to say goodbye to such guilty pleasures as Cheetos and powdered sugar donuts.

“Those are not in the plan,’’ she said, a little wistfully. “I love to snack. I’ll have ice cream, in moderation. This is …

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Duck men claim back-to-back NCAA titles

EUGENE, Ore. – For the second straight season, TrackTown turned into TitleTown.

Before a packed house of 11,168 at historic Hayward Field on Friday, the Oregon men put the finishing touches on a dominant performance to claim back-to-back team titles at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

The Ducks clinched the seventh men’s national outdoor crown in school history with a thrilling 1-2-4 finish in the 5,000 meters from Edward Cheserek, Eric Jenkins and Will Geoghegan.

Oregon’s winning total of 85 points was the second-best ever under the current scoring system, trailing only last year’s 88 points. Florida placed …

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2015 NCAA OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS

DUCK WOMEN MAKE IT AN NCAA SWEEP

FINAL RESULTS   2015 PHOTO FEED

EUGENE, Ore. – After a disqualification in the 4×100-meter relay, and zero points in the high jump and 1,500 meters, the Oregon women’s track and field team was in desperate need of a spark.

Enter Jenna Prandini.

And, for the second year in a row, the dynamic UO junior was up to the task.

The native of Clovis, Calif., overcame a poor start with a strong close to win the 100 meters in a photo-finish over Texas junior Morolake Akinosun in a wind-aided time of 10.96 seconds. Akinosun hit the tape in 10.97.

That’s …

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Taking Care of Hallowed Ground

EUGENE, Ore. – By his own count, Ron Perkins figures he has mowed the infield grass at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus more than 1,300 times.

Out of season, it’s a two-hour job.

But when the Ducks get down to the business of running, jumping and throwing for real during the outdoor track and field season each spring, his special “competition cut” takes nearly four hours to complete.

And that doesn’t account for the subsequent edging, blowing, aeration, fertilization and watering, all of which combine to keep the infield grass at the fabled venue in pristine condition …

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In the year of the vault, Morris has lofty goals

EUGENE, Ore. – While many events at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field are wide open, the women’s pole vault can be reduced to a two-horse race between Sandi Morris of Arkansas and Demi Payne of Stephen F. Austin.

It’s unfortunate that one of them will have a long face at the conclusion of today’s competition.

“I really just think it’s going to depend on who has the best day,’’ Morris said. “Both of us are very capable of jumping in the high 15’s. We could go down in history if we both jump high. It’d …

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Five things to watch: Day One

2015 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH:

Day One

Men’s 10,000 meters (Final: 6:43 p.m.) – Oregon’s dynamic duo of Edward Cheserek and Eric Jenkins will try to duplicate the dominance they showed with a 1-2 finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships last November.

Men’s Javelin/Shot Put (Final: 5 p.m./5:30 p.m.) – It’s a family affair as Oregon senior Sam Crouser seeks to defend his NCAA title in the javelin, while his cousin, Texas senior Ryan Crouser, aims for a three-peat in the shot put after finishing second indoors.

Men’s pole vault (Final: 4 p.m.)

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USC sprinters on a mission

LOS ANGELES – The Trojans of USC have this 1-2 thing down pat when it comes to their top sprinters, Andre De Grasse and Beejay Lee.

At the recent Pac-12 Track & Field Championships at UCLA, De Grasse finished first in the 100 meters (9.97 seconds) and first in the 200 meters (20.05), while Lee was right behind him in both events with times of 10.16 and 20.46. USC won the 4×100 relay in 39.17 with another 1-2 punch as Lee ran the lead leg and handed off to De Grasse, with the wondrously-named Just’N Thymes and Bryan Mercado finishing …

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TrackTown USA embraces sustainability efforts

EUGENE, Ore. – The concept of sustainability is deeply rooted in the DNA of TrackTown USA. In the past two years, four events at Hayward Field were “green” enough to be certified by the Council for Responsible Sport (CRS).

The 2014 IAAF World Junior Track & Field Championships and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials both received a gold medal from CRS, which means each event earned 75 percent of the total available credits in meeting specific social and environmental criteria for official certification.

In addition, the 2013 University of Oregon outdoor track and field season earned silver …

READ MORE


USC sprinters on a mission

LOS ANGELES – The Trojans of USC have this 1-2 thing down pat when it comes to their top sprinters, Andre De Grasse and Beejay Lee.

At the recent Pac-12 Track & Field Championships at UCLA, De Grasse finished first in the 100 meters (9.97 seconds) and first in the 200 meters (20.05), while Lee was right behind him in both events with times of 10.16 and 20.46. USC won the 4×100 relay in 39.17 with another 1-2 punch as Lee ran the lead leg and handed off to De Grasse, with the wondrously-named Just’N Thymes and Bryan Mercado finishing …

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Alexi Pappas: Sometimes, race decisions can be invisible

A race is a series of decisions. Decision making during a race requires energy and commitment: mental energy to assess your situation and then commitment to execute your decision strongly and confidently.

Sometimes, these decisions are big and theatrical. Three weeks ago, I ran a 1,500 meter race on Hayward field at the Oregon Relays.  I made the decision to surge with 450m to go, playing to my strength as a distance runner by kicking early. It was evident to all of Hayward Field that I was taking off, and bold moves like these are just as exciting to the …

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This Kangaroo hops into steeplechase elite

STANFORD, Calif. – It’s one thing to call oneself a Kangaroo, with a capital “K.” It’s another to actually have the hops to prove it.

Consider Courtney Frerichs, proud to call herself a Kangaroo from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The redshirt junior bounded over the barriers and water jumps in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Payton Jordan Invitational in an NCAA Division I-leading 9 minutes, 32.12 seconds on May 2. She needed almost all of her whopping 11-second personal best to hold off Florida State’s Colleen Quigley, who came across second in 9:33.63.

Frerichs’s time still stands as the …

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The Natural: Jager hopes to lower U.S. record in steeplechase

STANFORD, Calif. – Talk about a fast learner. Former 1,500-meter runner Evan Jager didn’t try his first 3,000-meter steeplechase race until 2012, and by 2014, he was ranked No. 2 in the world.

So much for years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Even so, his introduction to the barriers-and-water jumps event was not without its mishaps.

He can laugh about it now but he surely wasn’t chuckling much on that spring day in 2012 at the Oxy High Performance meet at Occidental College in Los Angeles in one of his first steeplechase races.

“I completely missed the barrier on …

READ MORE


Taking a turn for the better

It wasn’t until she stopped gliding and started spinning that Raven Saunders’ life took a turn for the better.

Make that a turn-and-a-half.

As a high school junior in Charleston, S.C., a couple of years ago, Saunders was a middling shot putter with a best of 42 feet, not nearly far enough to set the hearts of college recruiters racing. Then she told her coach at Burke High School, Herbert Johnson, that she wanted to try the spin, or rotary technique.

At just under 5-foot-5, the spin seemed better suited for her frame.

“I knew she wasn’t going to be …

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World-class athletes headline Portland 2016 Countdown Celebration

Fifteen of the world’s greatest track and field athletes will headline a star-studded lineup of Olympic gold medalists, world record-holders and World Champions at the Portland 2016 Countdown Celebration on Wednesday, May 27 from 3-7 p.m. at Pioneer Courthouse Square.
 
Over the course of their professional careers, this illustrious group has combined to establish seven world records and compete in 18 Olympic Games, ranging from the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney to the 2012 Olympics in London. During that span, they collected three gold medals and one silver medal.
 
At the IAAF World Championships, …

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Best still to come for U.S. triple jumper Taylor

When Christian Taylor mentions that he’s been bouncing from place to place since leaving the University of Florida in 2011, the man means what he says – literally as well as figuratively.

As the world’s No. 1-ranked triple jumper in 2014 and the reigning 2012 Olympic champion, few are better at bouncing than him.

Just last week, in one of the best triple jump duals ever, Taylor set a personal best of 59 feet, 2 ¼ inches (18.04m) at the season-opening Diamond League meeting in Doha, Qatar.

He was upstaged at that meet by …

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Portland 2016 Countdown Clock to be unveiled

What’s 19 feet tall, weighs 3,945 pounds, keeps accurate time down to the second and will soon be unveiled at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland as the promotional centerpiece for a world-class sporting event?

Allow me to introduce the Portland 2016 Countdown Clock.
Locally designed and built, this iconic clock features multiple digital display modes that speak to the city’s energy, innovation and technology. It will be officially unwrapped during the Portland 2016 Countdown Celebration at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Wednesday, May 27 from 3-7 p.m.

On that day, the clock will begin to count down the days, …

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Dendy keeps Gator tradition alive in horizontal jumps

As it turns out, all Marquis Dendy wants to do is something only one man in history has done. That’s all.

Florida’s superb senior horizontal jumper, equally proficient in the long jump and triple jump, has his sights set on reaching 28 feet in the former and 58 feet in the latter. Only James Beckford of Jamaica has managed such a feat with his feet. He jumped 28-3 ½ in 1997 and 58-9 ½ two years earlier.

“My coach tells me, ‘Hey, 28-58,’ ‘’ Dendy said. “That’s the overall goal. I don’t want to …

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Ticket plan announced for 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships

All-session tickets for the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Track & Field Championships go on sale to the public on Thursday, May 28.

The 16th edition of the biennial meet – which features more than 600 athletes from as many as 214 different countries from around the world – will be held March 17-20 in Portland. It begins at the Moda Center with the men’s and women’s pole vault on March 17, followed by three full days of competition in a temporary 7,000-seat stadium at the Oregon Convention Center. The pole vault will be free to the public.

Before those tickets …

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Akron's Shawn Barber: Scaling new heights

These are heady times for junior Shawn Barber, Akron’s NCAA Indoor champion in the pole vault.

Over the past six weeks, Barber established a Canadian indoor record (he’s a dual citizen), flew to California for the Mt. SAC Relays, returned to Akron briefly before catching a flight to New York City for the Sullivan Award ceremonies and then headed to the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, where one of his competitors was Renaud Lavillenie of France, the reigning Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder in the pole vault.

Whew!

“It is a very exciting time,’’ …

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Big aspirations for Texas A&M's Little

STANFORD, Calif. – When asked what she planned for an encore in 2015, Shamier Little thought for a moment and said, “I just keep going out there and running my butt off.”

In the spirit of keeping things simple, well done, Shamier.

For someone who accomplished so much in so short a time, Little seems remarkably unaffected by her success. Now a Texas A&M sophomore, Little in 2014 had a freshman season for the ages. Over a span of six weeks she won an NCAA championship in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in a …

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Alysia Montano: Olympian inspired by motherhood

When she is old enough to understand such things, Linnea Montano will probably listen to what her mother did a month or so before she was born and then fix the image in her mind. She might blink a few times while looking at her mom and say, “You did what?’’

On June 26, 2014, while eight months pregnant with Linnea, Alysia Montano lined up for the first round of the women’s 800 meters at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, Calif. One veteran sportswriter in attendance said it was the most shocking sight he had seen in nearly 40 …

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TrackTown USA awarded 2021 IAAF World Championships

BEIJING – The IAAF’s crown jewel of track and field, the World Championships, will be held in the United States for the first time in 2021.

In a special vote at its meetings in Beijing, the 27-member IAAF Council awarded the 2021 World Championships to the United States and the state of Oregon. USA Track & Field, the national governing body for the sport in this country, the City of Eugene and local organizing committee TrackTown USA will host the meet at the University of Oregon’s historic Hayward Field.

It marks the first time in the 33-year …

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Finding his sweet spot

STANFORD, Calif. – While it’s true that Michael Lihrman likes to throw his weight around, and at 260 pounds he’s well equipped to do so, he’s actually a big Boy Scout in disguise.

After a recent competition at the Stanford Invitational, the Wisconsin hammer thrower sought out every official, shook hands and thanked them for their service and then spent a good half-hour helping a competitor from UC Santa Barbara with his technique.

“When we were competing, he was asking for a little help,’’ Lihrman said. “He didn’t understand what it’s supposed to feel …

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Alexi Pappas: Trust your race plan

The two most common feelings I feel before a race are enthusiasm and nerves. My enthusiasm stems from the hope that the race will go as planned. My nerves stem from the anxiety that it might not. The only thing I know for sure before a race is when the starting gun will go off.

In a lucky world, the race will go exactly as planned. I will be able to carry out the exact race plan I meticulously crafted with my coach or in my head. The sun or shade will be agreeable too, and shine or not shine …

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Ducks ready for Pepsi Team Invitational

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon track and field head coach Robert Johnson, along with UO athletes Nikolaus Franzmair and Jasmine Todd, said the entire team is ready for action at their 2015 Hayward Field debut on Saturday.

The Ducks will play host to Kentucky and Washington in a scored three-way meet at the Pepsi Team Invitational.

“There will definitely be some good head-to-head events,” Johnson said. “Both Kentucky and Washington are highly ranked.”

One of the best events will be a match-up between UO senior Sam Crouser, the reigning NCAA …

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Sun Devils eye repeat of NCAA titles

TEMPE, Ariz. – As defending NCAA champions and seniors at Arizona State, Shelby Houlihan and Bryan McBride want nothing more than to end their college careers at Hayward Field standing on the top step of the podium, arms raised in triumph.

“That’s pretty much my main goal right now,’’ said McBride, who cleared 7-feet, 5 ¾ inches to win the NCAA high jump title as an ASU junior in 2014. “There’s no better feeling than to leave your last college meet on top. There’s a lot of good jumpers. It’s not going to be easy. …

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Duck track fans flock to Fan Fest

EUGENE, Ore. – The spring break trip to the Pacific Northwest was already planned for Justin Gipson and his family when a TrackTown USA “tweet” caught his attention.

Gipson, who hails from Kaysville, Utah, a town of about 28,000 people, just 22 miles north of Salt Lake City, was intrigued by a story on the Community Mile, which was part of the Oregon track and field program’s inaugural “Fan Fest” celebration at historic Hayward Field last Saturday.

As a runner, he was used to going the extra mile, so why not go a few hundred extra miles to fulfill a …

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Citizens of TrackTown: Run a mile at Hayward Field

EUGENE, Ore. – If you’ve ever dreamed of running a mile at historic Hayward Field, your opportunity has arrived.

And it comes with a special bonus.

Not only will you get to circle the fabled track four times, but members of the University of Oregon track and field program will be there to help set the pace.

The Community Mile Run is part of a full slate of activities at the inaugural Oregon Track & Field “Fan Fest” on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Hayward Field.

Here’s how the Community Mile Run works:

There will be three …

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Portland 2016: IAAF World Indoor Championships Venue Revealed

PORTLAND, Ore. – For the first time in nearly 30 years, and only the second time in history, the IAAF World Indoor Championships are coming to the United States.

The 16th edition of the biennial meet will be held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland on March 18-20, 2016.

On Monday, in celebration of the “One Year Out” milestone, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales led a distinguished panel of speakers at a special media event held in a cavernous hall at the OCC adjacent to where the new indoor track and field stadium will be built.

TrackTown USA President Vin …

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Alexi Pappas: Outside my comfort zone

Last month at the Husky Classic in Seattle, I raced my first mile since my Dartmouth days. Racing the mile was a big adjustment for me, both mentally and physically – for the past three years I’ve been focused exclusively on longer distance events, such as pacing the Chicago Marathon.

I can probably count on two hands the amount of times I’ve raced the mile. The first time was in elementary school on our playground; a mile was eight times around the blacktop, which was in the exact shape of a foam finger. We were to run with …

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Tickets on sale for 2015 outdoor season

EUGENE, Ore. – Can the University of Oregon men’s track and field team claim a second straight NCAA outdoor title? Who will represent Team USA on the global stage at the  IAAF World Championships in Beijing this summer? And which UO athletes will emerge as breakout stars in 2015?

Those questions will be answered at historic Hayward Field this year as another exciting UO outdoor track and field season is fast approaching. You won’t want to miss a single moment, so make sure you have the best possible seats for all of the phenomenal action.

UO season tickets and all-session …

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One location, two championships

EUGENE, Ore. – The 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will undergo a noteworthy change in its competition schedule when the four-day meet is held at historic Hayward Field this June.

In an effort to enhance fan interest, provide a clear presentation of storylines for media coverage and allow each gender to have its own moment of recognition, the NCAA Track & Field and Cross Country Committee has decided to separate the men’s and women’s events onto different days.

The concept received overwhelming support at the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association convention last December. The …

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Two world bests at Millrose Games

The 108th edition of the NYRR Millrose Games, held at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory on Saturday (14), produced two world bests and five world-leading marks.

The men’s and women’s Wanamaker miles are traditionally the most cherished events of the meeting. Besides the usual winners’ cups, this time the organisers secretly prepared additional prizes: one for 40-year old two-time world champion Bernard Lagat, who was targeting Eamonn Coghlan’s M40 world indoor best of 3:58.15, and another one for a potential 100th sub-four-minute finisher at the Millrose Games.

Read …

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UO's Cheserek joins elite mile at Millrose Games

EUGENE, Ore. – So, what’s a two-time NCAA cross country champion doing in a stacked field of world-class runners in the famed Wanamaker Mile at the 108th annual Millrose Games in New York City on Saturday?

If you’re Oregon sophomore Edward Cheserek, the simplistic answer is getting a qualifying mark for the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, March 13-14, in Fayetteville, Ark.

But there’s a lot more to it than that.

Cheserek, who was honored as the USTFCCCA Division I cross country scholar-athlete of the year this week – …

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OTC Elite adds three-time world champion

EUGENE, Ore. – Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman, a three-time IAAF World Champion in the 800 meters, has joined Oregon Track Club Elite, it was announced Tuesday.

Aman, who has been working out with several members of the Eugene-based post-collegiate training group for the past several weeks, is no stranger to TrackTown USA.

He competed at the annual Prefontaine Classic in each of the past four years. Aman made his debut at historic Hayward Field in the mile in 2011; he won the 800 meters in 2013 and placed second in that race …

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Alexi Pappas: On budgeting willpower

EUGENE, Ore. – In elementary school, I used to meet my two best friends at the same tree every recess. For six wonderful years we would sit in class and stare at the large analog clock on the wall, chewing our pencils, waiting for the faithful recess bell to ring. And when it did we ran straight to our tree, no need to coordinate in advance — we always knew where we would find each other. It was like we were reporting to practice. Friend practice. There was something incredibly dependable and comforting about it.

I didn’t really think about …

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Alexi Pappas: What the President said

EUGENE, Ore. – My family stood together in the small waiting room just outside the Oval Office, nervously smiling like a group of kids waiting their turn at the top of a waterslide. My brother Louis stood at the front of our pack, ready to walk in first – he had spent the past few years working on President Obama’s staff, and this was his last day on the job. The Oval Office door cracked open and laughter spilled out into the waiting room. The family ahead of us walked out, and there he was: the President of the United …

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IAAF World Junior Championships earn Gold status in sustainability

EUGENE, Ore. – TrackTown USA and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) combined to produce one of the most sustainable multi-day sporting events in history at Hayward Field last summer.

The six-day IAAF World Junior Championships, which attracted nearly 1,600 athletes from 167 different countries – all age 19 or under – was recently awarded Gold Level Certification by the Council for Responsible Sport (CRS). In order to receive a “gold medal,” an event must earn 75 percent of the total available credits in meeting …

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Team Eaton takes a swing at new training concepts

EUGENE, Ore. – If Team Eaton of Oregon Track Club Elite can set personal bests in the shot put, discus or javelin this season, they just might owe a debt of gratitude to an unlikely source: San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey.

Harry Marra, who has guided the ascendant track and field careers of the husband-and-wife team of Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton ever since he joined the University of Oregon coaching staff in the fall of 2009, is a huge baseball fan.

As a kid growing up in upstate New York, he would often accompany his father to the …

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Laura Roesler & Deon Lendore Honored with 2014 Bowerman Trophies

PHOENIX – Texas A&M sprinter Deon Lendore and Oregon mid-distance runner Laura Roesler were awarded The Bowerman Trophy as the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes of the 2013-14 season in a ceremony held Wednesday evening at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa as part of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Convention.

Roesler is the first female athlete from the Pac-12 to win the award, and Lendore is the first male athlete from the SEC to win. Lendore is from Trinidad & Tobago, making his win the fourth …

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The 2014 Bowerman Trophy presentation - Live Tonight

PHOENIX— Only a few hours remain until one man and one woman will be awarded collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor – The Bowerman Trophy – in a live-streamed ceremony tonight at 8:25pm ET from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention in Phoenix, Arizona.

For the women, the nominees in the sixth year of the award are Laura Roesler of Oregon, Courtney Okolo of Texas, and Sharika Nelvis of Arkansas State. The male nominees are Deon Lendore of Texas A&M, Edward Cheserek of Oregon, and Lawi Lalang of Arizona.

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Channelling your inner racing bug: How to survive outside the box

EUGENE, Ore. – I keep my running shoes by the front door, like many people do. I also keep my bugs by the front door – intruders, ants mostly, who occasionally find their way into and onto my shoes. The invasions are especially frequent this month, when the warmest place in Eugene is a house, and the warmest place in a house is inside a shoe.

I can only imagine how strange it must feel for the ant, who has just successfully escaped the Eugene rain into the safety of my shoe, to suddenly find his (or her) new home …

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America's greatest hammer thrower is the real Deal

EUGENE, Ore. – As the story goes, Lance Deal, a raw but talented left-handed discus thrower from Montana State, was supposed to be in town for just a couple of weeks.

The year was 1985, and at the behest of his collegiate coach, Mike Carignan, arrangements were made for Deal to drive to Eugene and spend a few days training with Stewart Togher, a transplanted Scot, who was the University of Oregon throws coach.

Carignan had crossed paths with Togher earlier that season, and asked him, “Hey, I’ve got this 200-foot left-handed discus thrower and I think he may be …

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NCAA DI Cross Country Results

Here are all the links you will need to follow the Ducks at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.

Live feed of Men’s Race: NCAA.com

Women’s Results

Men’s Results

For more information of the Ducks heading into the XC Championships, check out GoDucks.com

 

 

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Oregon script unchanged for NCAA cross country meet

EUGENE, Ore. – Look for the third-ranked Oregon men’s and women’s cross country teams to follow their season-long script at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday.

If they can do that, the Ducks might find themselves with a spot among the top four teams on the awards podium.

“Our women will run as a tight pack,” Oregon coach Robert Johnson said. “The men will have two low sticks and the middle guys will run together. That’s what we hope to get out of this weekend, along with some hardware to bring back and put in the trophy …

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Team Eaton Twitter takeover

[View the story “Team Eaton Twitter takeover” on Storify]

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Sports Illustrated: TrackTown dreams big

A track and field story: In the summer of 2011, the sport’s 13th world championships took place in Daegu, South Korea, an industrial city of more than 2.5 million wedged into a deep valley in the southeastern corner of the country. It was not an entirely unpleasant setting—an endless riot of neon signs and six-lane commercial boulevards, bordered on its distant boundaries by lush, green hillsides that seemed to rise from nowhere. As with many international sporting events, there was a vaguely Lost In Translation feel to every day, but on the scale of one-to-Sochi, it was just fine.

But …

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Symmonds backs U.S. bid for 2019 IAAF World Championships

EUGENE, Ore. – Two-time Olympian and World Championships silver medalist Nick Symmonds will be 35 years old in the summer of 2019.

That’s too old to keep racing at an elite level, right?

Maybe not.

Khadevis Robinson was 36 when he represented Team USA in the 800 meters at the 2012 London Olympics. There are numerous other examples of professional runners thriving into their mid-30s.

For Symmonds, there’s one more tantalizing carrot that could keep the former Oregon Track Club Elite athlete competing five years down the road – if the 2019 IAAF World Championships are held in the U.S. …

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U.S. bid for 2019 IAAF World Championships draws praise

EUGENE, Ore. – After an exhaustive two-day process, one packed with meetings, presentations, tours and questions from the visiting IAAF Evaluation Commission, TrackTown USA president Vin Lananna offered his analysis of Eugene’s bid to play host to the 2019 IAAF World Championships.

The meet, which has never been held on U.S. soil – dating back to the inaugural event in 1983 – is expected to draw more than 2,000 of the world’s best track and field athletes from nearly 200 countries around the globe. There are two other candidate cities bidding for the IAAF’s crown jewel: Barcelona, Spain and Doha, …

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No easy way to prepare for marathon pacing

CHICAGO – We are creatures of preparation. When we are young, we nervously prepare for the first day of school. We pick out the outfit, the backpack, the pencil we will use to make our first “mark” in the world. When we are older, we prepare for new things, other traditions: a romantic date, a job interview, a marathon …

But no matter how many times we rearrange our hair before the first school day, date, interview, or marathon, there isn’t a definitive indicator of “preparedness.” I find, instead, that I am always-never fully prepared for anything – inevitably, there …

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Inside the Games: Eugene’s bid draws praise

Sebastian Coe has admitted it would be a big moment in the sport’s history if Eugene wins its bid to host the 2019 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).  

The former double Olympic 1500 metres champion, head of the IAAF Evaluation Commission that is visiting all three of the cities bidding for the Championships, praised the American city’s bid following the two-day inspection visit.

“We are delighted that Eugene has thrown its hat in the ring for this,” said Coe, vice-president of the IAAF. 

“This is a community that understands track and field. 

“A large part of your history …

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Register Guard: Will the spirit move the IAAF’s leaders?

Some of the most powerful men in track and field passed through Eugene this week and, for a few minutes Monday afternoon, sat behind microphones at Matthew Knight Arena.

The crowd of assembled journalists roughly equaled the one that gathered earlier in the day to interview Scott Frost, the offensive coordinator for the University of Oregon football team.

That says more about the state of track and field in America than it says about TrackTown, USA, either as a community or as a local organizing committee. The people pushing Eugene’s bid …

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Register Guard: IAAF puts eyes on TrackTown

Eugene’s bid for the 2019 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships was placed under the microscope the past two days by members of the IAAF Evaluation Commission, in town to give the proposal, Hayward Field and the city’s infrastructure a closer look.

The 10-member group, chaired by IAAF vice president and former Olympic great Sebastian Coe, is on a tour of the three cities bidding for the world championships. They previously visited Barcelona and are headed this week to Doha, the capital city of Qatar.

The commission will report its findings …

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OregonLive: Eugene makes its pitch

EUGENE – The Eugene bid for the 2019 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships kicked into overdrive this week as local organizers made a two-day presentation to the visiting IAAF Evaluation Committee chaired by Olympic great Sebastian Coe.

The commission visit is a key step in the bid process.

Three cities – Barcelona, Doha and Eugene – are bidding for the 2019 World Championships.

The commission previously visited Barcelona, and heads next to Doha, the capital city of Qatar.

The three local organizing committees have seven days to address in …

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KVAL: Eugene: 'This community understands track and field'

EUGENE, Ore. – Barcelona. Doha. Eugene.

In the elite world of track and field, it appears the Spanish and Qatari cities are Track Town USA’s competition for the 2019 IAAF World Track and Field Championships.

Eugene has the pedigree: in addition to this year’s IAAF youth world championships, Eugene has hosted the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic trials.

America’s Olympic hopefuls return to historic Hayward Field in 2016 to compete.

The World Championships are essentially Olympic caliber competition in non-Olympic years. The event has never taken place on U.S. soil before.

“We are delighted that Eugene has thrown its hat in the …

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KEZI: IAAF Commission Visiting Eugene

EUGENE, Ore. — Eugene is hoping to become the first U.S. city in the world to host the 2019 IAAF World Track and Field Championships.

Eugene is one of three cities hoping to land the championships. Barcelona, Spain and Doha, Qatar are the others.

The IAAF World Championships will be the world’s largest sporting event of the year. The event is much like the Junior World Championships from this summer, only on a much larger scale. The athlete pool alone is 2,000 people. It would require a major renovation of Hayward Field.

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Track & Field News: David Takes On A Pair Of Goliaths

Even though the USA hosted the first-ever World Indoor Championships, Indianapolis ’87, the world’s most powerful track nation has never—no, really!—hosted the outdoor version of the meet, which is considered the pinnacle of IAAF success.

Indeed, only Stanford (with failed bids for ’99 and ’01) has ever even been advanced as a candidate by the planet’s most powerful track nation.

Eugene, aka TrackTown USA, is seeking to end the drought by bidding for the ’19 version of the meet, fresh off a most succesful staging of the World Junior meet this …

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Register Guard: Championships belong in Eugene

The International Association of Athletics Federations holds its premier event, the World Outdoor Track & Field Championships, in odd-numbered years. Last year the championships were in Moscow. Next year, they’re in Beijing. In 2017, they’ll be in London. It may seem audacious for Eugene to place itself in such company. But when an IAAF evaluation commission visits Eugene this weekend on its tour of cities that have submitted bids to host the 2019 championships, it should be clear that no city of any size is a more natural home to the sport of track and field.

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NY Times: U.S. Hoping to Stage World Outdoor Track Championships

Boston — The United States, long the leading nation in track and field, has never staged a world outdoor championship in track and field.

This is both hard to fathom and far from ideal, but for the first time, the possibility of ending that streak looks strong.

Eugene, Ore. — no world city but a definite track hotbed — is one of three candidates bidding to stage the 2019 world championships, along with Barcelona, Spain and Doha, Qatar …

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ESPN's: Unbeaten year ends with golden run

It was a cold, windy day in Kentucky in the spring of 1964, so Bob Schul had gone indoors to find some shelter before his 2-mile race.

Schul was a 26-year-old distance runner for Miami University in Ohio. Though his name would be known across the globe by the end of the year, that day he was just an anonymous college athlete lying on a table in the training room before a track and field meet. When a runner from the Air Force Academy and his coach entered the room, they paid him no attention.

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UO women return to action in Seattle

EUGENE, Ore. – The third-ranked Oregon women’s cross country team wants to emulate the success of their male counterparts this week.

Only they’ll use a much different approach.

Unlike the 1-2 finish of sophomore Edward Cheserek and senior Eric Jenkins, who paced the No. 3 Oregon men to a dominant victory at the Battle of Beantown 8K race in Boston last week, the Duck women will unleash a pack mentality when they toe the line at the Washington Invitational on Saturday.

The women’s 6K …

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OTC Elite's McNamara claims Fifth Avenue Mile title

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Track Club Elite’s Jordan McNamara put an exclamation point on an outstanding 2014 season with a come-from-behind victory at the 34th annual Fifth Avenue Mile in New York City on Saturday.

McNamara, the former University of Oregon standout, used a last-second lean to win the prestigious race in a time of 3 minutes, 51.0 seconds.

In a photo finish, the 26-year-old McNamara edged runner-up Garrett Heath, who was also timed in 3:51.0, Ireland’s Paul Robinson (3:51.1) and Kenya’s Augustine Choge (3:51.2).

“I …

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Five minutes with Edward Cheserek

As an Oregon freshman, he won cross country nationals. He begins his sophomore year shouldering high expectations—but says he’s in much better shape than last fall.

It’s easy to admire Edward Cheserek after his freshman year at the University of Oregon. First, he upset Kennedy Kithuka in Terre Haute last November, and became the fifth freshman to win a NCAA cross country crown. But that was mere prelude to Cheserek’s exploits on the track, where he claimed indoor titles at 3,000m and 5,000m in March. In June, he zipped through a 53.17 final lap to win the 10,000m before finishing …

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2014 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships

EVENT RECAP

FINAL RESULTS

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IAAF TO TRACKTOWN: ‘THE PROMISE IS DELIVERED.’

EUGENE, Ore. – Four months ago, on a site visit to Hayward Field in preparation for the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, IAAF General Secretary Essar Gabriel stood at the Powell Plaza entrance to the storied facility and delivered an emphatic message:

“TrackTown, here we come.”

On Sunday, at the conclusion of the historic meet, which was held on U.S. soil for the first time, Gabriel had plenty of kind words for the citizens of TrackTown, who not only demonstrated their passion for the sport, but more important, their friendly and generous nature as they welcomed their visitors from afar …

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Little earns TrackTown trifecta at World Juniors

EUGENE, Ore. – It all came together for Texas A&M freshman Shamier Little at the IAAF World Junior Championships on Saturday.

Before a crowd of 10,382 at sun-baked Hayward Field, she completed the TrackTown trifecta with a victory in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.66 seconds.

Earlier this season, the distinctive Little, who sports braces, black-rimmed glasses and a tidy red-white-and-blue bow in her hair, also captured NCAA and USA Junior titles on the University of Oregon track.

“To go 55 seconds at this stage of the season, it’s great,” said Little, who hails from Chicago. “Most hurdlers …

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World Junior hammer champ tests Hayward's boundaries

EUGENE, Ore. – When Lance Deal, the Director of Track & Field Venues and Program Support at the University of Oregon, helped design the current configuration of the hammer field at Hayward Field, he placed the boundary fence at the back of the sector at 88 meters.

And with good reason.

Deal, a four-time Olympian, who set the U.S. hammer record of 82.52 meters (270 feet, 9 inches) in 1996, the same season he won a silver medal at the Atlanta Summer Games, wanted to make sure the fence was beyond the world record of 86.74m.

Nobody has come close …

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World Junior record highlights magical night at Hayward

EUGENE, Ore. – The magic was back at Hayward Field on Thursday.

There were loud and spontaneous celebrations among the athlete groups sitting in the East Grandstands, a jaw-dropping world junior record from French hurdler Wilhem Belocian, an historic race from Team USA’s Mary Cain in the 3,000 meters and utter dominance in the men’s shot put.

In all, it made for an electric evening of entertainment for the 8,112 fans in attendance on the third day of competition at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships.

Where to begin?

Perhaps the 110-meter high hurdles, where Belocian …

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WILLIAMS BLAZES TO UPSET WIN AT WORLD JUNIORS

EUGENE, Ore. – Speed, endurance and versatility.

All three of those attributes were on display before a crowd of 7,085 at historic Hayward Field on Wednesday during the second day of competition at the IAAF World Junior Championships.

After watching the first two rounds of qualifying, not too many were surprised that Team USA went 1-2 in the men’s 100 meters, but the one who broke the tape in first place was a bit of a shock.

On a cool evening, and running into a slight headwind, Kendal Williams put together the best race of his life as he defeated …

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Baton in This Race Is the Conductor’s

EUGENE, Ore. — Down the road from Hayward Field at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance, the conductor, composer and music professor Brian McWhorter was brooding.

McWhorter, tall and lanky, sat in his office surrounded by sheet music and trumpet mutes, stewing over his next assignment: to compose a musical score to accompany a 10,000-meter race taking place here Tuesday at the I.A.A.F. World Junior Championships.

It is possibly the first time that original music will be performed live here during one of track’s most punishing events at perhaps its most popular site. And the assignment created …

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IAAF World Juniors off to rousing start

EUGENE, Ore. – A solo do-over in the women’s 100 meters for Ecuador’s supremely talented Angela Tenorio. An original musical score played throughout the entire 25-lap men’s 10,000-meter final. The seventh-best high jump mark in the history of the heptathlon.

And the usual loud and attentive Hayward Field crowd of 6,852 track and field fans mixed with a distinctive international flavor.

These were the highlights of Day One at the 15th edition of the IAAF World Junior Championships on Tuesday.

For the 18-year-old Tenorio, who became …

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IAAF activates Athletics for a Better World program at World Juniors

EUGENE, Ore. – With this summer’s IAAF World Junior Championship Oregon 2014 happening at one of the most sustainably oriented locations on the planet – historic Hayward Field, the IAAF has decided to activate its landmark social responsibility program, Athletics for a Better World (ABW), at the event from July 22-27.

The ABW program harnesses the commitment and energy of the worldwide athletics family to inspire lasting change for social good. TrackTown USA and IAAF are partnering with the City of Eugene to implement the ABW program at Oregon 2014 by pursuing certification by the Council for Responsible Sport (Council), …

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David Rudisha Twitter Q&A

The World Record holder and the 2012 Olympic champion in the 800m David Rudisha spent an hour answering fans’ questions on the @Oregon14WJC twitter account. Rudisha was a 2006 World Junior Champion before becoming the Olympic Champion. See all the questions and answers here, and follow David Rudisha’s golden success on his twitter account here: https://twitter.com/rudishadavid

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Run TrackTown - A celebration of running like no other

EUGENE, Ore. – So, exactly what is “Run TrackTown?”

It’s a celebration of running unlike any other, and it will happen at the intersection of two major sporting events in TrackTown USA next week – the IAAF World Junior Championships Oregon 2014 and the Eugene Marathon and Half Marathon.

The idea is to bridge the gap between people who run and people who are track and field fans. More people participate in running in the U.S. than any other sport, yet track and field remains somewhat of a …

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Jehue Gordon Twitter Q&A

2010 World Junior Champion in the 400m hurdles Jehue Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago takes over the @Oregon14WJC Twitter account to answer all your questions. Jehue Gordon was also a 2013 World Champion in the 400m hurdles.

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Olympic gold medalist headlines triple jump field at High Performance meet

EUGENE, Ore. – Christian Taylor, the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the triple jump, is headed to TrackTown USA.

Taylor, who also struck gold at the 2011 IAAF World Championships with his personal best leap of 58 feet, 11 ¼ inches, headlines the men’s triple jump field at the Run TrackTown High Performance track and field meet on Saturday, July 26 at Hayward Field.

The two-time USA outdoor champion will be challenged by fellow Florida graduate Omar Craddock, Chris Carter, Ryan Grinnell, Josh Honeycutt and Senegal native Mamadou Gueye.

Carter won the U.S. indoor title with a mark of 56-3 …

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Top U.S. middle distance runners in women’s 4x800-meter relay

EUGENE, Ore. – Many of the top women’s middle distance runners in the U.S. and Canada will be on display at Run TrackTown’s High Performance track and field meet at Hayward Field on Saturday, July 26.

Five teams have submitted entries for the women’s 4×800-meter relay, which is shaping up to be one of the night’s featured events.

The meet, which follows Saturday’s session of the IAAF World Junior Championships (2:30 p.m. to 5:35 p.m.) promises a multitude of world-class performers competing for $57,000 in prize money in six individual events and two relays.

The women’s 4x800m relay includes teams …

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High Performance meet set for Hayward Field debut

EUGENE, Ore. – Like a Russian nesting doll with multiple layers of surprises, Run TrackTown continues to grow in scope and quality.

The weeklong festival of running, which brings together two major sporting events in TrackTown USA this month – the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships (July 22-27) and the Eugene Marathon and Half Marathon (July 27) – also features the debut of a High Performance track and field meet on Saturday, July 26 at Hayward Field.

Free to all those attending the World Juniors that night, the meet promises a bevy of world-class men’s and women’s performers competing for …

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Sally Pearson Twitter Q&A

2012 Olympic gold medalist in the 100m hurdles Sally Pearson of Austrialia takes over the @Oregon14WJC twitter account to answer all your questions. She was also a 2004 Bronze medalist at the World Junior Championships in Grosseto.

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Shaunae Miller Twitter Q&A

2010 400m World Junior Champion Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas takes over the @Oregon14WJC twitter account to answer all your questions. See all the questions and answers here.

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Nickel Ashmeade Twitter Q&A

Two-time silver medalist at the World Junior Championships Nickel Ashmeade of Jamaica takes over the @Oregon14WJC twitter account and answers all your questions. He was also a 2013 gold medalist at the World Championships in the 4x100m relay.

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National Records Fall At USA Juniors

EUGENE, Ore. – The agony and ecstasy of track and field was on full display on the first day of competition at the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field on Saturday.

In the men’s 100 meters, Trentavis Friday, of Gastonia, N.C., wowed a crowd of 2,500 spectators by shattering the national high school record in the 100 meters with a blazing time of 10.00 seconds in the first semifinal.

In the second semifinal, World Junior record-holder and reigning NCAA champion Trayvon Bromell, a freshman at Baylor, jetted to victory in 10.08, setting up a tantalizing final.

Unfortunately for Friday, …

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Blanka Vlasic Twitter Q&A

One of the best high jumpers ever, twice World Junior champion, twice World champion and Olympic medalist, Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic, answered her fans’ questions on the Oregon 14 WJCH Twitter on Wednesday, July 2.

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OTC Elite Represents at 2014 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Track Club Elite will be well represented with 14 athletes entered in the 2014 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento this week.

The five-day meet begins today with the men’s and women’s shot put being contested in front of the State Capitol building. The rest of the meet, including the men’s and women’s junior combined events (under 20), will run from Thursday through Sunday.

The reigning NCAA champion Oregon men will have seven athletes at the meet, including two junior decathletes. The UO women, who placed third at the NCAA meet, …

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Swede seeks to defend IAAF World Junior javelin title

EUGENE, Ore. – As the defending champion in the javelin, Swedish national record-holder Sofi Flink is poised to join select company as two-time winners at the IAAF World Junior Championships.

Athletes must be 19 years old or younger during the calendar year to be eligible for the World Juniors and Flink’s first javelin title came as a 17-year-old in Barcelona in 2012.

The IAAF World Junior Championships, which began with the inaugural event in Athens, Greece in 1986, are held every two years. They will be hosted in the United States for …

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Flag sponsorship program connects community with IAAF World Junior Championships

Eugene, Ore. – Creswell’s Lonn Robertson spent a good portion of his childhood watching the world’s best track and field athletes perform at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.

“Since I was 5-years-old,” he said. “Sitting in the east grandstands, and watching the likes of Jim Ryun, Marty Liquori, Frank Shorter, and Steve (Prefontaine), I’ve known my home of Hayward Field and The Track Capital of the World.”

This summer, TrackTown USA will welcome the world to Hayward Field as it plays host to the IAAF World Junior Championships – Oregon 2014.

The six-day meet will …

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IAAF WORLD JUNIOR WATCH: TRAYVON BROMELL

EUGENE, Ore. – It lasted less than 10 seconds, but Trayvon Bromell’s Hayward Field debut in the NCAA 100-meter semifinal left the stadium buzzing about what he would do next. 

In Friday’s final, Bromell delivered a resounding answer.

Lined up next to two seniors, Baylor’s freshman sensation scorched the field with a wind-legal 9.97-second performance, smashing the previous world junior record of 10.01. Not only did Bromell become the first NCAA athlete since Walter Dix in 2005 to win the 100 meters as a freshman, he also established himself as the man to beat at next month’s IAAF World Junior …

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Williams tunes up for World Juniors with NCAA title

When Georgia freshman Kendell Williams was tripped and fell to the track on the first turn of the 800 meters in the final event of the heptathlon on Friday, she was able to get back up as fast as possible.

But the tumble took its toll.

By the final 200 meters, she “completely hit a wall,” and for an instant, she thought she had lost her chance at the title at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field.
“I’ve never fallen in the 800,” said Williams, who celebrates her 19th birthday today. “Going into the run, my …

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Berry embodies volunteer spirit at NCAAs

It was raining, so the picnic on the White House lawn being held in honor of the 1992 U.S. Olympic team was moved indoors, and a reception line soon formed with President Bush and his wife, Barbara, greeting members of Team USA.

Paula Berry was in that line.

The native of tiny Dayville, Ore. – population 125 and a high school graduating class of 10 – had won an NCAA javelin title for the Ducks in 1991, and went on to become one of two female javelin throwers to represent …

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Olympic dreams take flight

Ian Dobson remembers the moment his Olympic dream took flight.

During an event at his elementary school, decathlon world record-holder Dan O’Brien predicted that someone in the crowd might one day go to the Olympics. Dobson decided it was going to be him.

“Dan made the Olympics real in my mind. He gave me something I could grab on to,” Dobson says. “I shook his hand and thought, ‘I want to do that.’”

Dobson, who would go on to represent Team USA in the 5,000 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, shared that memory with 800 middle-school students at …

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All Hail King Cheserek!

Oregon’s phenomenal freshman, Edward Cheserek, delighted a crowd of 9,165 spectators at Hayward Field on Wednesday night when he unleashed a blistering kick to win the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Track &Field Championships.

It was the fourth national title in as many tries for the native Kenyan, who was content to bide his time for most of the race before rocketing to the lead with 250 meters left. He sprinted across the finish line in a time of 28 minutes, 30.18 seconds.

Cheserek’s final 200 was an eye-popping 24.8 seconds to finish off a sensational last lap of …

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WELCOME TO THE FIZ!

For those of you unfamiliar with that acronym, it stands for Fan Interactive Zone, and it has become a vital component of both the fan and student-athlete experience at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

The meet opens today at historic Hayward Field with more than 1,100 men’s and women’s Division I collegiate athletes from 189 schools vying for individual honors in 42 events, plus men’s and women’s team trophies.

More than 40,000 spectators are expected to stream into Hayward Field over the next four days to watch the meet, and judging by last year’s debut, the “FIZ” will …

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Patrolling the Bowerman Curve

EUGENE, Ore. –The Oregon women’s 4×400-meter relay team will be chasing its third national crown in the past five years this week at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field.

If they reach Saturday’s final, as expected, they will sprint past an umpire who helped seal the school’s very first national title in that event – Grace Bakari, a veteran of 16 years as a meet official at Hayward Field, and one of Oregon’s all-time great sprinters.

At the 1980 AIAW Championships (a predecessor of the NCAA meet), Bakari and UCLA’s Oralee Fowler charged into the …

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Rupp breaks own U.S. record in 10K to steal Pre spotlight

EUGENE, Ore.There were 11 world-leading marks, two American records, seven meet records, seven field records and more than 20,000 spectators spread across two days at the 40th edition of the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field.

In other words, it was a typical Pre meet.

More than 7,000 fans turned out for the free “Distance Night in Eugene” show on Friday, followed by a sold-out crowd of 13,158 for the main program on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon.

In the end, it was a hometown hero who stole the show as University of Oregon alum Galen Rupp returned to the …

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Room at the Inn for Eugene Marathon

This summer, the eighth annual Eugene Marathon will cross paths with the IAAF World Junior Championships at historic Hayward Field.

The convergence of these two events is designed to provide a rare opportunity to connect elite and recreational runners with passionate track and field fans and the outstanding young athletes that will be performing.

The pinnacle arrives on Sunday, July 27.

On that date, thousands of runners will participate in the Eugene Marathon and Half Marathon, where they can literally run in the footsteps of legends such as Steve Prefontaine, Alberto Salazar and Ashton Eaton. The final 200 meters of …

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Team Eaton faces big challenges this weekend

Team Eaton will be competing more than 5,000 miles apart this weekend.

When Ashton Eaton, the reigning Olympic gold medalist and World Champion in the decathlon, settles into the blocks of the 110-meter high hurdles at the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field on Saturday, his wife, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, will have already completed Day One of the heptathlon at the prestigious Hypo Meeting in Götzis, Austria.

These are both significant meets on their respective competitive calendars for the outdoor season.

“I’m very antsy for competition,” said Eaton, whose personal best of 13.35 seconds is the “slowest” in the eight-man field. “I’m …

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Sheila Reid joins Oregon Track Club Elite

Middle distance and distance standout Sheila Reid, a 2012 Olympian and 2013 IAAF World Championships qualifier, is coming to TrackTown USA.

Oregon Track Club Elite coach Mark Rowland confirmed Friday that the five-time NCAA champion at Villanova will join the Eugene-based post-collegiate training group later this season.

“Sheila is exactly the type of athlete that the OTC Elite hopes to attract to TrackTown USA,” Rowland said. “We are excited to welcome her as a member of our squad.”

Reid, who is currently working as a volunteer assistant at Villanova, is hoping to open the 2014 outdoor season at the Prefontaine …

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UO connects students, faculty with World Juniors

This summer, the world is coming to the University of Oregon.

From July 22-27, the IAAF World Junior Championships Oregon 2014 will be staged at Hayward Field, the first time ever on U.S. soil. The six-day meet showcases the world’s best track and field athletes under the age of 20.

These are the Olympians of tomorrow.

More than 1,700 athletes from 178 different countries will arrive in our community and be housed in an “athletes’ village” at selected UO residence halls. They will be accompanied by another 700 team officials and coaches.

It will be the largest IAAF event ever …

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Willamette HS to celebrate 50th anniversary of inaugural girls state meet

Fifty years ago, a 13-year-old girl named Margaret Johnson, who was competing for Woodrow Wilson Junior High School in Eugene, set a U.S. high school and age-group record in the 100-yard dash.

Johnson, who would go on to win a gold medal for Team USA in the 4×100-meter relay at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, established that record at the first Oregon state high school girls’ track and field championships.

The state meet, which was divided into 13-under and 14-over competitions, was held at Willamette High School on May 23, 1964. Janice Hughes of Pleasant Hill and Linda …

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Boldon to World Juniors: 'You're going to get spoiled'

EUGENE, Ore. – With the official announcement that 177 countries have expressed interest in competing at the IAAF World Junior Championships this summer, one thing is certain:

This will be the largest IAAF event ever contested on U.S. soil.

The six-day meet, which features the world’s best track and field athletes under the age of 20, will be held July 22-27 at historic Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.

More than 1,700 athletes from around the world are expected to compete at the meet, which is being staged in the U.S. for the first time, providing a rare …

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World Juniors Revisited: Lashinda Demus

EUGENE, Ore. – Twelve years ago, 19-year-old Lashinda Demus claimed gold and a world junior record in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2002 IAAF World Junior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica.

That moment was one of many that Demus would add to an extensive list of track and field achievements that include two Olympics, four World Championships and an American record in the 400-meter hurdles.

Today, as the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships come to U.S. soil for the first time, Demus recalled how …

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Fast times at Payton Jordan for OTC Elite

Three personal bests and a triumphant return to the track were all highlights of a phenomenal season-opening performance by several Oregon Track Club Elite athletes at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational at Stanford last Sunday.

Olympic silver medalist Sally Kipyego, who missed the entire 2013 season with a broken foot, set thepace with a meet record in the women’s 10,000 meters. The native of Kenya led for 21 of the 25 laps and finished with a winning time of 30 minutes, 42.26 seconds in her season debut on the track.

Oregon Track Club Elite’s Sally Kipyego easily won the 10,000 …

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Team Eaton opens at Sam Adams Invite

EUGENE, Ore. – Team Eaton has landed in sunny California this week.

The Oregon Track Club Elite triumvirate of multi-event coach Harry Marra and his star pupils, Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton, has set up training camp for the next six weeks at Westmont College in Santa Barbara to prepare for the 2014 outdoor track and field season.

For Eaton, the 26-year-old Olympic gold medalist and World Champion in the decathlon, it will be a chance to emotionally and physically recharge after three years of intense competition.

“The pressure is off,” said Eaton, the world-record holder in the decathlon and …

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Local runners bring strong Oregon presence to Boston Marathon

Think Oregonians like to run?

A total of 463 runners from the state of Oregon are listed among the entrants for the 2014 Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21.

Those numbers come to you courtesy of the Boston Athletic Association.

Thirty-eight of the Oregon registrants list Eugene or Springfield as their hometown, with another dozen entrants from the surrounding area. Here’s the official BAA breakdown: Eugene (31), Springfield (7), Creswell (3), Coos Bay (2), Veneta (1), Coburg (1), Junction City (1), Harrisburg (1), Roseburg (1), Yoncalla (1) and North Bend (1).

Two Eugene runners are listed in the “elite” category.

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University of Oregon's Cullen Prena maps out plan for IAAF World Juniors

EUGENE, Ore. – As the collegiate outdoor track and field season moves forward and the IAAF World Junior Championships draw near, thrower Cullen Prena is proving to be an athlete to keep an eye on. At 19 years old, Prena is eligible to compete at the IAAF World Junior Championships that will take place this summer, July 22-27, at Hayward Field.

Prena first caught the attention of University of Oregon throws coach, Erik Whitsitt, during his junior year at Walled Lake Central High School in Walled Lake, Mich.

“Somebody with his talent …

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Boldon impressed by "Special Crop" of World Junior sprinters

EUGENE, Ore. – Twenty-two years ago, when a wide-eyed Ato Boldon settled into his airplane seat, headed for the 1992 IAAF World Junior Championships in Seoul, South Korea, he had no idea what the future had in store for him.

“I didn’t even know what it was I had qualified for,” he said.

After all, just five weeks earlier, the 18-year-old Boldon had represented his native Trinidad & Tobago at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, where he failed to get out of the quarterfinal heats in the 100m and 200m.

Upon his subsequent return …

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Special unveiling highlights next TrackTown Tuesday

A special unveiling, a one-of-a-kind keepsake and exclusive insider’s content are all on tap for the next “TrackTown Tuesday” event at the Downtown Athletic Club on April 8.

Be the first to know the latest scoop on the single greatest championship season of track and field in Hayward Field history.

The free one-hour show begins at 7 p.m.

Doors open to the public at 6 p.m. Appetizers will be available for purchase and $3 will get you a pint of beer poured by Hop Valley Brewing Company. Free parking can be found at the adjacent Overpark with no validation required …

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Longtime Millrose meet director Howard Schmertz dies at 88

The sport of track and field lost one of its pioneers on Thursday night.

Howard Schmertz, longtime meet director of the Millrose Games in New York City, and a 2012 inductee into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame, died at the age of 88.

Along with his father, Howard Schmertz played a prominent role in the development of track and field in America, especially surrounding the annual Millrose Games.

Howard Schmertz served as meet director of the Millrose Games from 1975 to 2003, helping the event grow into the most iconic indoor track and field meet in the …

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Texas A&M coach: TrackTown USA earned NCAAs

When Texas A&M track and field coach Pat Henry heard that the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships would be held at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus through the year 2021, he took immediate action.

Henry, now in his 28th season of coaching, called his real estate agent.

“I wanted to make sure I had some kind of property out there,” Henry said. “Since I’m going to be there for the next eight years, I might as well invest some dollars.”

Henry was joking, of course, but it didn’t take away from his belief, one that is …

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Georgia multi-event star has IAAF World Juniors on her mind

EUGENE, Ore. – Kendell Williams’ interest in track and field began on a Fourth of July night in Rome, Georgia. She was seven and her older brother Devon was eight. The Williams family had made the trip to Rome from their hometown of Marietta for Devon’s baseball game and decided to stay afterward for a fireworks show. During some down time, her brother and some teammates decided to engage in a bit of friendly competition.

“The boys started racing each other and I was like, ‘I wanna race, too!’” Williams said of that night. She proceeded to outrun all of …

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U.S. Juniors on record pace

EUGENE, Ore. – How significant of a role will young NCAA track and field athletes play at the IAAF World Junior Championships at historic Hayward Field this summer?

Plenty.

With the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., still two weeks away, three American junior records have been established this year.

A “junior record” is restricted to those athletes who do not turn 20 years old at any time during the calendar year in which the mark was established.

Six other junior athletes (age 19 and under during 2014) rank among the top 10 collegians in their respective …

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World Juniors Revisited: Jesse Williams

EUGENE, Ore. – Before he won gold at the IAAF 2011 World Championships, and competed twice as an Olympian for the United States, high jumper Jesse Williams competed as a world junior athlete at the 2002 IAAF World Junior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica.

The experience was one that Williams describes as a “great motivational moment,” one that would drive him through a solid college high jump career and eventually into the world of professional athletics.

Today, as the first IAAF World Junior Championships to be held in the U.S. nears, Williams offers his advice for junior competitors that will make …

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UO students connect with 2014 World Junior Championships

Do you speak Finnish?

If so, the University of Oregon hopes you’ll join an elite group of student ambassadors, who are volunteering their foreign language and cultural competency skills for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assist their peers from around the globe.

In July of 2014, Oregon plays host to the world’s best track and field athletes under the age of 20 as the IAAF World Junior Championships come to Hayward Field, and U.S. soil, for the first time in history.

This is a meet unlike any other.

An estimated 1,800 junior athletes, representing as many as 212 countries from around …

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2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships

EVENT RECAP

FINAL RESULTS

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Epic season ahead for U.S. Junior girls?

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Could the 2013-14 season be one of the best in history for U.S. high school girls’ middle distance and distance running?

Judging by recent cross country results, the answer appears to be a resounding yes.

Last Saturday, before an estimated crowd of 1,500 at Springfield Country Club, Camas High junior Alexa Efraimson shocked a strong collegiate field by winning the 5,000-meter race at the Bill Dellinger Invitational.

The 16-year-old Efraimson out-sprinted Boise State’s Emma Bates – a third-place finisher in the 10,000 at last year’s NCAA championships – over …

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TrackTown USA awarded 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships

MONACO – Hello, Worlds!

Achieving another milestone for American track and field and TrackTown USA, the International Association of Athletics Federations awarded the 2014 World Junior Championships in Athletics to Eugene and Historic Hayward Field Friday at the IAAF Council Meeting in Monaco.

The proposed dates are July 22-27, 2014. Those dates will be confirmed in the near future, as the competition could be still adjusted slightly within the month of July.

“We are incredibly thrilled and humbled by the IAAF’s confidence to award the 2014 World Junior Championships to TrackTown USA,” said University of …

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2010 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships

EVENT RECAP

FINAL RESULTS

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