Select Page

Olympic Trials: Day 1

TrackTown, USA: Premier RV Services came to collect our bus at 8 o'clock this morning to install the final window - the passenger door window. It had fogged-up as well... though I could barely tell as it is covered by a screen door anyway. But it needed to be replaced. They said the repair would be finished by 10a. With time to kill, we headed into downtown Junction City - about three blocks long, but looking very robust considering the economy and pandemic - and had breakfast (bagels) at the very cute Max Porter's Coffeehouse. We had delicious latte's while admiring the gorgeous brick-walled café.

It is always nice to find a new place and always nice when a new place is a good place! After breakfast we took an 8-mile drive to little Monroe - a town with less than 1000 population - but also bustling, with a new library and brew pub. Monroe is home to one of America's Best: Captain Smith, Oregon decathlete/javelin thrower, Navy Top Gun pilot (and more handsome than Tom Cruise), track & field encyclopedic brain, and retired commercial airline pilot. Captain Smith is the Real Deal.

As we returned to the repair facility, the tech was walking out to the customer waiting room to tell us we were good-to-go! Finally, Dave drove the RV to Premier RV Resort (no relation to Premier RV Service), I followed in the Jeep, and we settled-in to our campsite for the next ten days, before heading over to Historic Hayward Field for the first day of the US Track & Field Olympic Trials.

We are attending this event with Mary & Steve - our great friends since college - whom we had not seen since August 2019! COVID cancelled TWO of our usual March weeks in Las Vegas with them for the Pac-12 basketball tournament. It was beyond wonderful to see them again and we chatted quite a bit during the meet!

Before entering the stadium - vaccine check + ticket check + (clear) bag check - I walked a few blocks past Hayward Field to the Oregon Track Club house to purchase a bracelet for Lisa and Lenny's friend, Mike. It is a beaded number, made in Kenya for a clean-water charity, and delivered wrapped around a wooden disc. It is for runners, and Mike is a runner, and hoped it would be possible for me to score a bracelet for him this week. Done!

Then the racing began! Most of the events were prelims or heats, but we were treated to an amazing night in the two final events: the men's shot put and the men's 10000m final.

Reigning Olympic Champion, Ryan Crouser broke the world shot put record on his fourth throw! Talk about a stadium exploding with cheers and tears. Crouser is an Oregon-native (though he rudely attended the University of Texas, unlike several of his Duck siblings/cousins). Crouser threw 23.37 meters (76 feet, 8.25 inches), besting the 31-year-old world record by nearly ten inches. Monster!

Ryan Crouser throws.

The Magic of Hayward continues.

Every mark is carefully measured electronically, however this particular throw was measured, remeasured and measured again. The official stood there, holding the measuring stick for a good five minutes tonight. Crouser also holds the indoor shot put record.

Every world record breaker poses with the field sign showing their new title:

The US shot put team, headed to Tokyo: Joe Kovacs, Ryan Crouser and Payton Otterdahl. It's going to be epic.

The only other final this evening was to choose the men's 10000m team for Tokyo. There was hope for a one-two-three sweep from the Bowerman Track Club, but fan-favorite Lopez Lamong left the race mid-way with a hamstring injury. The BTC still had a fantastic evening, with Woody Kincaid and Grant Fisher taking the first and second place slots. Joe Klecker was third. It was a good race, with Woody Kincaid running his last lap in an amazing 53.47. Here is a photo from early in the 10000m final:

We left the stadium as the sun was setting, grabbed a way-too-late dinner with Mary and Steve... then returned to our motorhome and fell asleep two seconds after our heads hit the pillow. Tomorrow we do it all again.

Until my next update, I remain, your World Record correspondent.