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Ducks on Podiums

Napa, California: Overnight our campground was been turned into an encampment of Knights and their Ladies. Not really sure what is going on... I think it is some sort of a "reenactment" organization. Huge colorful tents have been erected (not one of the tents was manufactured by Coleman) and an entire midevil village has sprouted in the usual "horse camping" area of this county park. It looks like the circus has come to town... except all the clowns are jesters. While on my jog this morning, I saw several knights (in full regalia, including swords and shields) and many damsels (though they did not seem in distress, just did not look entirely pleased about having to use a porta-potty with all their layers of velvet skirts). 

Maybe they are planning a siege of Castello di Amorosa?

The sky was cloudy this morning as we headed over to Berkeley to attend the Pac-10 Track & Field Championships. We found parking one block from the stadium (!) and went to our assigned our seats. We were in the eighth row above the finish line! The sun was shining - it was tee-shirt weather in Berkeley.

tweeted all day from the stadium. More tweets than I have ever tweeted before - even from the World Championships in Berlin. My thumbs are bleeding. I couldn't help it - My Ducks were on fire. Most events today (first day of a two-day event) were trials/preliminaries/heats, but everything is shaping up for a great day tomorrow in The One True Sport. For full results, please click here.

I love to see a flock of my ducklings together in a race! Here we have A.J. Acosta, Matthew Centrowitz and Jordan McNamara in the 1500m heats. All three will be in the final tomorrow. Plus, Mac Fleet made it out of the other heat. Four Ducks in the final. (This is especially fun for us as Matthew's dad ran with DT at Oregon in the 1970's.) The 1500m should be totally stacked with plenty of Duck points tomorrow! We were sitting with Acosta's Mom & Dad and really enjoyed the conversation as Coach Lananna also put AJ in the steeplechase. This was only the second time AJ had ever raced a steeple (stoopidest race EVER) and would you believe it - he finished fourth in the Pac-10?

You do what you have to do to earn points for your team.

Ducks just kept qualifying in event after event for the finals tomorrow. And in the few events that had finals today, they spent a lot of time on the podium.

This is Duck (and native Oregonian) Cyrus Hostetler receiving his first place award for the javelin. Ducks won first, fourth, sixth and seventh in the javelin today.

Jamesha Youngblood (from nearby Hercules, California) won the women's long jump. Youngblood is a fabulous athlete - and only a junior. Look forward to seeing more photographs of Jamesha on this website. GO DUCKS!

And then we have one of my favorite photo subjects, Superman Ashton Eaton.

Remember when we went to Berkeley last weekend to watch the Pac-10 decathlon and heptathlon? Today Ashton and Marshall (both native Oregonians) received their 1st & 3rd-place awards.

In his spare time today, Ashton won the long jump (receiving his medal above), qualified for the 100m final, qualified in the 110 high hurdles, and ran a leg in the 4x100m relay to qualify for tomorrow. Later, he donned his cape and slowed global warming, rescued a few kittens from trees and solved the Greek financial crisis.

Tomorrow, Ashton has a boat-load of races to run.

As the sun fell behind the stadium, the air cooled and the crowd dwindled. Only the die-hard fans remain in the stadium for the best race of the day - the 10,000m finals. It was a great day for the Ducks. The men finished 4th, 5th, 10th & 13th - but the women ruled and finished first, second and eighth - 19 points scored for the Ducks!

Mattie Bridgmon, Lauren Zaludek and Nicole Blood after the finish of the 10,000m race (25 laps around the oval, folks).

End of the day, it looks good for both teams and I will hopefully deliver very good news from Berkeley tomorrow evening.

We were freezing and could not wait to get back in our Honda, crank-up the heat and head back to Napa, about a 40 minute drive. We went immediately to Azzurro Pizzeria e Enoteca for some delicious pies and refreshing salads - and we have plenty of leftovers.

A perfect Pizza Margherita!

The Formaggio Pizza - Mozzarella, Parmesan, Goat Cheese & Ricotta Salata. Both pizzas were very good. We loved this pizzeria, the staff and the atmosphere. Fun restaurant!

Exhausted. We went from being so hot in the sun this afternoon, to absolutely icy during the 10,000m. Tomorrow, we get to do it all again... so off to bed for this old track fan. Until my next update, I remain, your GO DUCK correspondent.

RV Park: 
 - Skyline Wilderness Park. This campground is operated by county. The 39 sites are cozy and on gravel. Some full hook-up 30/50-amp sites, but most sites are water and electric only. Bathhouse on-site, and a laundromat just a few blocks down the road. The park has miles of hiking and equestrian trails and actually has a path that leads one mile to the river where it joins the trails at Kennedy Park. Though very rural, this campground is just minutes to downtown Napa and would be a good choice if you are camping with kids. Dogs are allowed in the campground, but are not allowed on the trails. Strictly enforced!