TrackTown, USA: I have not mentioned that the trials schedule is basically following the Olympic games schedule, so the athletes will better be able to judge how much time they have between heats, semi-finals, etc., to best prepare for the Olympic games. This is been the way the US have conducted their trails for quite some time. Other countries have their own system. Some countries just pick their best athletes and hold no contests at all. This is why the USA team is often called the Hardest Team to Make: you can be the fastest runner or the highest jumper in the world, but if you stumble, falter, make even the slightest mistake during the trials, you are watching the Olympics on TV.
Interesting tidbit: There is one little open window however for sprinters. Teams are allowed to have a pool of runners for relay races, so extra sprinters are chosen to go to the Olympics after the three top finishers, to round-out options for the relays. Teams can use any combination of four racers for the heats/semi's, but can still use only their best for the final. It is a difficult situation, as many sprinters will compete in two or more events (say the 100m and 200m), and will also be asked to run a leg in a relay - or two! The coaches must balance-out their options, and make sure their pool is well-filled enough to advance to the final. Any runner participating in the heats/semi races will also receive a medal if their team finishes in the top-3 in the final.
So. Much. Stress.
We arrived at the track in time for lunch in the hospitality area (we purchased a hospitality package which included a parking pass, tickets to the event each day, and hospitality - food and bev - inside the stadium.) They have provided a nice lunch every day.
Here is a view from the south end of the stadium - looking north. I have made a yellow line to show the finish line and a white line to show our seats. We have great seats - right in front of the long and triple-jump pits - with a great view of the finish line.
Lots of semi's today and two finals. Valarie Allman won the women's discus and will represent the USA in Tokyo. Allman, already the American record holder, won the event with a 229-5 throw, breaking the Hayward Field record.
Sha’Carri Richardson, who has dyed her hair orange for the trials, won the 100m final in10.86:
It was a great race - and the last race of the evening. As the crowds were exiting the stadium, Richardson - and the other top three finishers - Javianne Oliver and Teahna Daniels - were still taking their victory lap and posing for the fans.
Another great of The One True Sport!
After our way-too-late night and way-too-much late-night food last evening, we smartly returned to our motorhome directly after the races and had (yet another) appetizer plate for dinner. Much better.
Until my next update from Historic Hayward Field, I remain, your early-to-bed correspondent.