TrackTown, USA: We had a quiet morning, then met Brother Rick and Ali for lunch downtown. They were in town to have warranty/recall work on their Sprinter van, so it worked out we could see them - even if only for an hour or so.
We arrived to Historic Hayward Field long before the running events, so caught-up with even more friends in the hospitality area. After 20+ months of socializing only with Lisa, Lenny, Leo, and Lucy, it's a little disconcerting. How will our society change after this pandemic?
More and more finals every day now at the Olympic Trials. Today the teams for the men's pole vault, javelin, triple jump, and 800m were chosen. Finals for the women's team included the 1500m and 5000m. But one of the most exciting races this evening was a semi-final in the men's steeple chase.
There was a Duck in the second semi-final, so the crowd was very loud, cheering for the local favorite. Racers needed to finish in the top five to automatically advance to the final, and on the last lap Duck Jackson Mestler, was in 7th place. We were all cheering wildly for him. Less than 200m from the finish line, while jumping over the water hazard, Jordan Mann took a hard fall and landed face-first into the water - completely soaking his entire body in the pit, and another racer fell-in as well. The Duck not only had to clear the steeple, but had to jump over two men in the water! But he did and finished in 5th place, and will compete in the final Friday. The most interesting thing was watching the replay and seeing Jordan Mann's face as it came out of the water. He was smiling. A nearly given chance to advance to the final, splashed away in a second, and he was smiling. That shows great sportsmanship.
Our seats are in front of the triple jump pit, so we had a great view of the event. Will Claye, Donald Scott, and Chris Benard will represent the US (very well) in Tokyo. Here is a video of Will Claye on his final attempt. He jumped 56 feet, 5 3/4 inches (71.21 meters) - a season's best.
The oddest thing about the men's 800m final was not who won, but who did not win. Donovan Brazier is one of the best 800m racers in the world. He finished DFL:
Just from the tales of today's steeple and 800m, you can easily see why this can be a very cruel sport.
One last photo today - the men's pole vault team (Chris Nilsen, Sam Kendricks, and KC Lightfoot) as they took their victory lap:
We came back to the RV after the meet. Brian had been at our site all afternoon doing repairs. The shade on the driver side window now operates! Looks like our entry step has a new motor (or something... I don't know... it works). We made cocktails and sat outside in the cool evening breeze. Young honeymooners stopped by (who wouldn't want to spend their honeymoon with an old couple?) and Dave hauled out his atlas to help them with route planning.
Never did have dinner. Just another appetizer plate. I took a photo, but it looked exactly like every other appetizer plate I have thrown together this week.
Until my next update, I remain your socializing correspondent.