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NCAA Track & Field: Day 1

TrackTown, USA: I will warn advise Readers that for the the next four days, we will be at Historic Hayward Field watching people run around in circles, throw stuff and jump over things. If this sort of activity bores you to tears, please come back on Sunday.

Dogwoods in bloom

Because there are not going to be a lot of photos of flowers or food on this blog for a few days.

Or even photos of the C.B.E. Lisa did send this cute shot of Lenny & Leo "driving" a garbage truck at an Open House at the sanitation department in Los Angeles (I know, I was really surprised they had an open house - who knew?). Leo was able to sit in a garbage truck, he won a miniature recycling can and the kids went home for a free avocado tree for their garden.

Now, to the track...

The National Championships are, of course, the final event of the college season. At the end of the year, The Bowerman Award will be given to the most outstanding male and female college track & field athlete. Named after the University of Oregon's famed coach, Bill Bowerman, the award is the "Heisman Trophy of Track & Field". The trophy is on display in a tent outside the stadium during the championships for all to admire. (The WGA, Ashton Easton, won The Bowerman in 2010!) Oregon sprint star, English Gardener, is on the ballot this year. Good luck, English!

Kathy, Woody, Steve and Mary are also in town for the meet! The Family of Friends are reunited for four days of fun and The One True Sport.

FYI - SCORING: The top eight finishers score, with 10 points going to the winner and then 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points allotted to the next seven. The team with the highest score wins. Each athlete must meet a minimum standard in their event to reach the regional meet and place high enough in the regional meet to advance to the NCAA Championships. Some schools have an athlete in nearly event; some schools have one athlete in the entire meet. Every event will have one champion and the total scores will produce a team championship for men and women. Not to put any pressure on the ladies, but the Ducks have already won the NCAA cross-country championship and the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship this year. They are on the hunt for the Triple Crown.

We spent some time at the women's hammer throw. Chelsea Cassulo (Arizona State)  won with a throw of 226 feet, 9 inches. 10 huge points for the Lady Sundevils.

The Ducks are hoping for 10 smackers from 800m man, Elijah Greer. Greer, who has the fastest collegiate time in America this year, won his heat to earn a spot in the final race Friday night. GO DUCKS!

We watched from our seats in the grandstands most of the day, but moved to enjoy the distance races from the balcony of the Bowerman Building. It was a beautiful evening for spectators and great weather for racing.

Until my next update, I remain, your Hayward Field correspondent.

You may also like:
Official NCAA website
Great photos and coverage from the local Register-Guard newspaper

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