TrackTown, USA: What day is it now and where are we? This was my general feeling today as we, once again, packed our bags and headed off somewhere. Aren’t we supposed to be “home for the summer” and enjoying the expanse of our stick-house v life in our motorhome? So far, this whole “home for the summer” scenario is not happening.
We flew back to Portland Monday afternoon, reorganized ourselves on Tuesday and headed to Eugene this morning. It’s the National Championships, people! The best college track and field athletes in America competing for individual and university team titles. It is the best amateur track meet held in America every year – not only are athletes competing individually, their scores are compiled to decide which university is #1. Always some drama. If you are traveling around in your RV, maybe you should consider a four-day layover to watch this meet. It is basically an early preview to the Olympics… so many college athletes will become members of Olympic teams (though not necessarily America’s team) after they leave college.
We brought the motorhome to Eugene, but are staying in a campus-area hotel. We left the bus with Brian for a week or so. He will do a little servicing, install new batteries (engine) and I am getting a new cooktop. After delivering the Magnus Peregrinus for her spa treatment, we stopped at Cafe Yumm! to refuel ourselves:
Rice. Beans. Veggies. Olives. Yumm! sauce. Tofu. Wonderful.
Next stop: Historic Hayward Field.
See? It says so on the sign.
The four-day meet format is the first day men, then continues women, men, women each day. And the men started the meeting on day one with several NCAA records.
All the school flags fly at Historic Hayward Field this week
Anderson Peters, from Mississippi State, threw the javelin 271 feet-8 inches, to break the NCAA record. Peters, from Grenada, is only a freshman. Then the pole vault record fell, with sophomore Chris Nilsen of South Dakata soared 19 feet-1.5 inches, to break the NCAA record set in 1996. Dang! More excitement? Denzel Comenentia, University of Georgia, won the hammer throw… and then stepped over to the infield to win the shot put! Both winning throws were made on his final attempt. Taking first-place scores 10 points, so Georgia leads the men’s competition at the first day with 20 points. Oregon has yet to appear on the scoreboard.
4x100 relay; heat one
The ticket for tomorrow… oops
In one of the most exciting events of the evening, Ben Flanagan (Michigan) blew past Vincent Kiprop (Alabama) to win the 25-lap 10000m final. The kid was so excited as he crossed the finish line – his grin was a wide as the track. A great moment.
I urge you to click on the link below to see beautiful professional photos of the event from the local newspaper.
Until my next update, I remain, your Day One correspondent.