TrackTown, USA: Things are heating-up on the track. Less heats, more semi-finals and finals. The weather continues to cooperate with cool mornings and warm afternoons. I have been a bad blogger by failing to mention there are actually two track meets happening on Historic Hayward Field this week. The Under-20 USA Championships are also being held, typically in the morning and early afternoon. We have caught some of the events. The stipulation to qualify is the athlete can't be 20 years old before the end of the year. We saw a 15 year old high school freshman race. Our future.
Our new best friend Carlos (from Atlanta) has been to track meets in Eugene before, but was interesting in learning the local lore. What luck that he met Dave! Dave, Bruce and I took Carlos on a little drive-by historic trip down memory lane, including a stop to Pre's Rock, the site where Steve Prefontaine died in 1975.
The crash site is always littered with tributes left by fans, but has recently had a safety update: a metal railing protecting visitors from traffic. Finally.
We also thought it fitting to take Carlos to The Paddock Tavern where Pre worked several nights a week pouring beer. I don't remember much about this place, except they had ten cent hotdogs on certain nights. Today, the four of us had brunch, including a mimosa served in a pint beer glass.
Then it was back to the track for an evening of racing. The 1500m men's final was fantastic, with Yared Naguse winning in fine form. Four Ducks were in the final and one, Cole Hocker, will be flying off to Budapest in a few weeks. The women's 1500m final was a stunner, with Nikki Hiltz beating the unbeatable Athing Mu (pronounced moh) in the end. Mu, a 800m racer, came in second with a 7-second personal best. Thrilling contest. Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone easily won the 400m final. Will she compete in Budapest, or stick with the hurdles and relays?
Meanwhile in Athens, the kids have arrived to Greece for Sebastian's Christening:
Tomorrow is the last day of the meet, and it is going to be packed with final after final. Mary and Steve have joined us for the last two days of The One True Sport, so we are bound to have a very fun day enjoying the competition. I am very excited to see world record holder, Ryan Crouser in the shotput.
Until my next update, I remain, your historical correspondent.