There are only 17 days before the U.S. Olympic Trials – Track and Field and we want to make sure that you the spectator are prepared for your time here in Eugene. We have recently updated our Spectator Section of our website with some useful information.
Continue to check back to TrackTown12.com for updates, including highlights of the Festival and Entertainment lineup.
TrackTown12 New Look As you can see with the website, TrackTown12 has recently launched it’s new creative look for the U.S. Olympic Trials – Track and Field. Headed by Creative Director Tyler James from AMH Brands, the new look can be seen on the website, our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter & YouTube) and in different displays around TrackTown USA, including billboards and street banners.
Here are some of the banner’s that are up now!
Example of the billboards put up around TrackTown.
There may not have been a better two days in TrackTown USA than what we just had for the 2012 Pac-12 Championships this past weekend, especially in mid May. During a month that could have just as easily brought 50s and rain, this weekend instead saw lots of sun, 80-degree temperatures, and a nice tailwind for the sprints and jumps. Combine that with the great crowd and amazing performances, and Hayward Field showed why it is like no other track and field venue in the country.
The Men and Women of Oregon proved their dominance in 2012 with a stellar day of finals to capture a history-making sixth and fourth straight titles respectively. The men had to go against the form charts for their victory, highlighted by wins from Elijah Greer (800), Johnathan Cabral (110 hurdles), Sam Crouser (Javelin) and Dakota Keys decathlon victory from last weekend. The rest of their 140 points came from a great depth of athletes who scored in 18 of the 21 events.
The Duck Women made history with 200 1/2 points scored, over 70 points ahead of second place Stanford. UO claimed the 4×100 relay, 100 and 200 (English Gardner), 400 (Phyllis Francis), 800 (Laura Roesler), 1500 (Jordan Hasay), 10k (Alex Kosinski), Triple Jump (Lauryn Newson) and last week’s heptathlon by Brianne Theisen. In the 200 and the 800, not only did Oregon claim the victory, the Ducks’ swept the top 3. In the 200, Gardner led Francis (2nd) and Newson (3rd), while the 800 was won by Roesler, followed by Becca Friday (2nd) and Claudia Francis (3rd). Newson won the Triple Jump in only her second time competing in that event. Combining that with her 100 and 200 finishes, and a leg of the 4×100 relay, Newson was the highest individual scorer of the event with 26.5 points.
The U.S. Olympic Trials – Track and Field take a lot of work and preparation for many individuals. As a Local Organizing Committee, we have been working hard for years to make TrackTown12 the Best Meet Ever. The athletes have also been putting in a lot of time, sweat and effort to get themselves ready. For some athletes that means working hard to get a qualifying mark and for those who already have it, it is making sure they are ready, come June 21-July 1, to perform at their best. We want TrackTown12.com to be the website you come to get all your Olympic Trials information, including information about your favorite athletes who will be Eugene this summer.
One way to do this is to check out Oregon Track Club Elite Steeplechaser, Bridget Franek’s weekly blog, ‘Preparing for the Best’ , where she has some some Q&A with athletes who will be coming to Eugene for the Trials.
For a different kind of preparation, be sure to check out the Andrew Wheating and Russell Brown collaboration Behind the Stands to see what two local TrackTown USA athletes do with their spare time.
Come out to our next TrackTown Tuesday tomorrow from 7pm-8pm at the Oregon Electric Station. Sponsored by Deschutes Brewery, Dutch Bros. Coffee, Mercedes Benz/Eugene, Dari Mart stores and Lochmead Dairy. “TrackTown Tuesday” is free and open to the public. Come hear from Ashton Eaton and six-time NCAA champion Brianne Theisen, as will 2008 Olympian Andrew Wheating and the Ducks’ Dakotah Keys and Trevor Dunbar. Click here for More Information.
This weekend also saw some of the best weather TrackTown USA has seen this year, not only did it make for a great meet, but it provided photographers with a great opportunity to get some awesome photos. Here are a few of the photos taken from this weekend.
Photo Courtesy of TrackTownPhoto.com & Phil Johnson
Photo Courtesy of TrackTownPhoto.com & Phil Johnson
Photo Courtesy of Doug Beghtel/ The Oregonian
For more photos from the 2012 Oregon Relays, check out the following sites and photographers.
Today, USA Track and Field Board of Directors announced that they have selected selected Max Siegel to serve as new CEO. He will become the fourth CEO in the organization’s history when he assumes his duties on May 1 as part of a two-year contract. Read the full release from USATF.org
Be sure to get your Tickets to the U.S. Olympic Trials. Single Day Tickets are on sale now. Buy Yours Today.
The beginning of April means a couple things here in TrackTown USA, the Willamette River is still high and the rain will continue to come down. However, today for this first Monday in April, the sun in shining and it’s a warm 65 degrees as we are gear up for an action-packed week.
The third “‘TrackTown Tuesday” event of 2012 kicks off the week at the downtown Eugene Hilton tomorrow night from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Eugene Hilton. Refreshments and appetizers will be provided beginning at 6:30 p.m. Scheduled to speak are Oregon Track Club Elite’s Jesse Williams and Russell Brown and University of Oregon athletes Johnathan Cabral and Becca Friday.
Sponsored by Deschutes Brewery, Dutch Bros. Coffee, Dari Mart stores and Lochmead Dairy, “TrackTown Tuesday” is free and open to the public. Those who come will get to hear the athletes speak on their hopes for the outdoor season, and will have the opportunity to ask them questions.
Come on out and bring a friend.
Single day tickets on sale Friday
For those unable to attend all eight days of the U.S. Olympic Trials, and have been waiting for individual day tickets to go on sale, good news, the on-sale day is just about here. Friday, April 6 at 9am PT is the first chance for the public to buy single-day tickets. Buy tickets online or you can call the ticket office at 1-800-932-3668.
Don’t know what day you would like to attend? Take a look at the schedule and click around each day to see what events will take place each day. Everyday will provide great track and field action, so if you’re looking at the schedule and you realize you’d like to attend everyday, all-session passes are still available!
There is nothing like the experience you will get from being inside Historic Hayward Field, so get your tickets before they are gone.
On tap this Saturday is the Pepsi Invitational featuring the men’s and women’s teams of Oregon, Texas A&M, UCLA and Washington at Hayward Field. It will be a fun day of track and field and the competition will be something you won’t want to miss. Texas A&M’s men and women have won the last three outdoor championships — with the women’s title coming over the Ducks each of those three years. Events will begin at 10:15 am.
We will have more details and a full schedule of the Pepsi Invite as this week unfolds.
TrackTown April Fools
Lastly, our friends at Track Focus created a video worth watching about Russian long jumper Darya Klishina and her decision to end her jumping career and train for competitive long distance running in TrackTown USA. Enjoy!
On the second day of spring this year (March 21), the Oregon Preview arrived at Hayward Field with a little rain, snow, sun and wind — all of which are fairly typical for a spring day in Eugene. But when it came to getting an opportunity to run around with University of Oregon and Oregon Track Club Elite athletes, the kids of TrackTown USA didn’t seem care what the weather was like. They showed up regardless of the conditions, excited to get instruction from some of their heroes. The 2012 free youth clinic gave the 5-12 year-old crowd a chance to hurdle, long jump and throw the turbo javelin. Afterward, the kids and their families stayed around to watch the athletes compete in the first outdoor meet of 2012.
That won’t be the only opportunity for our youth to be engaged with TrackTown USA. Coming back to the U.S. Olympic Trials this summer will be the Youth Starting Block in the TrackTown12 Festival. We recently caught up with Starting Block organizer and City of Eugene Senior Recreation Program Supervisor Kim McManus to fill us in with what we can expect from the Starting Block and other youth activities during TrackTown12.
First off, how did the Free Youth Clinic go this year?
McManus: We had about 100 youth attend the clinic and it was an amazing day! Early that morning, we were not sure if the snow would keep folks away. But, this is TrackTown and the kids came. As it turned out, the clouds parted for the clinic and we didn’t see any of the rain, snow or hail that we saw later that day.
How are the preparations for the Starting Block at TrackTown12 coming along?
McManus: We are EXCITED! Thanks to our partnership with Nike and TrackTown12, the Starting Block will be better than ever. We are providing hands-on experiences for youth that will include racing, hurdles, high jump, vertical jump & more. We will of course have our popular Track Fan booth where we can make buttons to support our athletes.
Is there anything new to the Starting Block this time around?
McManus: New this year is a mini-Starting Block for our 5-and-under crowd. It will be a great way for parents to let them move around safely and have some fun.
How else can the youth get involved with TrackTown12?
McManus: Youth Leadership Camp. We have selected 100 high school youth to attend our Youth Leadership Camp. These youth will work with the Meet Operations crews and hear leadership presentations from professional athletes, coaches and Nike staff. We selected youth from around Oregon – from a variety of city populations, a few from around the nation and one student from China.
Oregon Track Club’s annual All-Comer’s meet returns to the Trials this June, but will be a bit different as well. We will provide the youth events starting at 1:00 p.m. on June 26; ages 12 and up will begin at 5:00. We are hopeful to have some adaptive exhibitions as well. It will be an exciting day for the community to get their chance to shine at Hayward Field.
The 2012 indoor season came to a close this past weekend but it did not go out quietly. Whether it in Nampa, Idaho or Istanbul, Turkey athletes put together some incredible performances that will be remembered for years to come. Coming back to TrackTown USA is one world champion, one world record, two NCAA individual champions, and one NCAA team title.
Oregon Track Club Elite’s Ashton Eaton put two stellar days together while at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul to capture the Heptathlon title and break his own world record. Helped by personal bests in the long jump and shot put, Eaton now owns the top three performances ever in the event (6645 in 2012, 6568 in 2011, and 6499 in 2010). Watch Universal Sports highlights of his performance.
Fellow OTC athlete, Jesse Williams cleared the second best height of the high jump competition — 3.31 meters / 7-feet, 7-inches — but due to misses finished in sixth place. Team USA collectively came away from meet with a team record of 10 gold medals, three silvers and five bronzes — for a team record of 18 total medals at an indoor championship.
A little closer to home, the 2012 NCAA Division I Indoor Championships ended in familiar fashion with the University of Oregon Women bringing home their third consecutive title. Victories came from Brianne Theisen and English Gardner, while the rest put together a solid all-around team performance. This was Theisen’s third national title in the pentathlon. She won with 4,536 points, just 19 off her NCAA and Canadian record in that event.
Gardner gave Oregon a quick, but decisive spark in the 60m dash. Her time of 7.12 seconds was a school and stadium record, beat her personal best by .05 seconds, and would’ve placed fourth in Istanbul. Not bad for a sophomore.
Oregon finished with 49 points, followed by Kansas with 30 points, LSU with 27 and Texas with 25.
On the men’s side, Mike Berry broke the school record in the 400 meters, finishing fourth overall in a school-record 45.93. The sophomore from Seattle, Wash., broke Sammie Parker’s school record of 45.95 set in 2005. The men’s team title was won by Florida, followed by Arkansas, Arizona and Arizona St.
Those two memorable meets concluded the 2012 indoor season and without much ado (or time) at all, the outdoor season will begin … this Sunday in fact, when TrackTown USA hosts the Oregon Preview at Hayward Field. And tomorrow the countdown to TrackTown12 strikes 100 days to go. It is quickly approaching so be sure to get your All-Session Tickets Now.
Our last few blogs have been centered around one of the most important aspects of TrackTown12 and that is the Athlete Experience. Go back and read The Athlete Experience hits the Road or ‘Preparing for the Best’ Spotlight with Bridget Franek. The majority of our planning and efforts have been going to this, with the hopes that each athlete will have an amazing experience. It comes down to a collaborative effort between the Local Organizing Committee, USATF and the USOC; but today’s spotlight is on one former athlete who is making sure the current athletes will be taken care of at TrackTown12: Sasha Spencer Atwood.
Sasha joined TrackTown USA in October and currently serves as the Project Manager of Marketing & Athlete Services. She returned to Oregon, where she grew up and attended North Salem High, after getting married in May of 2011. Prior to move back to the Northwest, Sasha worked in show business, on the sets of hit movies like The Blind Side and Joyful Noise. Most importantly for the athletes, she spent much of her life in their same shoes. Sasha competed at Georgetown from 1997-2001 and followed that up with an eight-year professional career in the 800 meters, while running for Nike. On February 27th, Sasha and her husband, Luke, welcomed their daughter, Eden, into the world. We caught up with her just a week after Eden’s birth.
How has your time as an athlete influenced your role with athlete services?
Sasha: There are so many details that go into hosting an event like the Trials. At times the logistics of it all can get overwhelming, but when I find myself getting caught up in them I try to step back into my memories of competing at the previous three Olympic Trials. I picture myself and fellow athletes walking into the scenario and key in on the points that were most important to us. I try to use this experience to inform the decisions I make, as well as to give first-hand input on plans being made by other committees.
Other than taking care of little Eden, what is the most important task you are working on?
Sasha: One thing I am finding to be true is that very few of the tasks we are working on are unimportant. Some things may take longer or be more complicated to complete, but because athletes are all so different, you never know what can make or break their experience. We are working really hard to attend to the details so that the athlete experience is seamless and stress-free, even in the little things. The biggest piece on my plate right now at TrackTown12 is finalizing the athlete transportation plans. Getting where they need to go when they need to be there is a huge part of an athlete being able to feel relaxed and prepared to do their best.
At home I am working on figuring how to sleep in only a semi-reclined position with a newborn on my chest. I just can’t bear to put her in the bassinet!
What is the experience you would like the athletes to have when they arrive in TrackTown USA for the Olympic Trials?
Sasha: I want athletes to be able to take for granted that everything is going to run smoothly. As an LOC, I want us to have anticipated the needs and concerns of the athletes and have plans in place to address them before the first competitor touches down. I want them to feel welcome and know how excited we are to have them here in Eugene again. They don’t call this Track Town USA for nothing! I hope that all of our enthusiasm translates into the preparations we make for them and the energy they feel coming from the crowd.
As mentioned in last Thursday’s Blog, “Getting Closer to TrackTown12 – 120 days to go“, the athlete experience is a very important aspect to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials – Track and Field. It is when our country’s national team is selected to compete against the world at the Olympics, and even if there weren’t any fans or a festival, the athletes would still be vying for a spot on Team USA. That is why the TrackTown12 LOC, USATF and the USOC treat the athlete experience with great detail. From the moment the athlete enters the meet until they are departing from Eugene, we want to make sure they have as few worries as possible (outside of making it to London).
In order to ease their Trials’ preparation process, reps from TrackTown12 traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the 2012 USA Indoor Championships this past weekend to answer questions and take photos, which will be used for credentials.
Many athletes came with questions regarding tickets, the schedule, housing and Hammer Time. They were also pleasantly surprised to get their photos out of the way, though some elected to return later, after they’d cleaned up and done their hair. In all, close to 300 athletes, coaches and agents got their credential photos out of the way and will not have to worry about that come their arrival into TrackTown USA.
There also happened to be some awesome performances on the track during the two days of competition inside the Albuquerque Convention Center. Saturday’s highlights included a third straight indoor title by Oregon Track Club Elite’s Jesse Williams. Although it took a couple third-attempt clearances, Williams was able to in solidify his ticket to the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey with a mark of 2.29 meters (7-5). Watch his 2.29m jump here.
OTC Elite’s Ashton Eaton also competed Saturday in the qualifying rounds of the 60-meter hurdles and on Sunday in the long jump. Though he qualified to move on in the hurdles after the first round, Eaton selected to only long jump on Sunday, which proved to be a good choice. On his third jump, Eaton soared to a lifetime best and winning mark of 8.06 meters (26-5 1/2), beating out Will Claye (8.02m, 26-3 3/4).
In an exciting weekend of indoor track and field, not one but THREE American Records were freshly set! In Fayetteville, Arkansas, the USATF Classic brought together a number of great athletes, and among them was Oregonian Galen Rupp. Running in the men’s two-mile, Rupp broke Bernard Lagat’s previous record of 8:10.07, with a time of 8:09.72. Stephan Pifer, also of the Oregon Track Club, placed fourth in the same race. In the men’s mile, OTC’s Russell Brown also took fourth place, crossing the line in 3:54.08 as the top American. Jill Camarena- Williams broke her own American Record in the women’s shot put with a throw of 19.89m/65-3.75. Peruse the full results here!
While in its 105th year, the historic Millrose Games saw a change in venue from Madison Square Garden to the Armory. The event still attracted the same caliber of athletes and produced many spectacular results. In the men’s 5k, the American Record (Bernard Lagat- 13:07.13), Collegiate Record (Lawi Lalang- 13:08.28), AND the High School Record (Edward Cheserek- 13:57.04) were all reset! Highlights from TrackTown athletes included former Oregon Runner Matthew Centrowitz cruising to a win the infamous Wanamaker Mile in 3:53.92 and OTC member Jesse Williams bringing back yet another victory in the high jump (2.32m/7-07.25). Of course, many other races were worth looking more into as well- 2012 Millrose Games results!
Back out west at the University of Washington, the annual Husky Invitational served up a new set of stadium records, world-leading times, and other great performances. Sally Kipyego won the 5k on Friday night in 15:15.41 and returned to the track Saturday to claim the mile victory as well in 4:28.41, which was a facility record, a meet record and a world-leading time. OTC teammates Chris Thompson and Kevin Chelimo helped push each other and placed one-two in the mens 5k, running 13.29.94 and 13: 30.25. Geena Gall won the 800 meters in 2:03.12, while OTC Portland athlete, Lopez Lomong won in the men’s race (1:47.87).
The University of Oregon (click here for more UO highlights from the meet) women’s mile record was broken at the same meet by Anne Kesselring in a time of 4:32.61. Many other Oregon resident athletes were in attendance, including Ashton Eaton, who competed in the shot-put, high jump, and pole vault. To see the complete results and fun interviews, check out FloTrack.org.
Friday night provided some sprinting action down at the Don Kirby Elite Indoor in Albuquerque, NM by U of O’s sprint group. Sophomore English Gardner turned in a NCAA leading 60m dash performance of 7.17 seconds and later won the 200m with a personal best 23.34. Other victories came from Phyllis Francis (400m, 53.07) and both the Men’s and Women’s 4x400m relays. The men ran a season-best 3:09.38 with a lineup of Bryan Harper, Arthur Delaney, Jack Galpin and Mike Berry, while the women also ran a season-best 3:37.05 with Francis, Chizoba Okodogbe, Amber Purvis and Laura Roesler. Complete Results of the Don Kirby Elite Indoor.