TrackTown, USA: Just a perfect day for a track meet – clear blue skies, temperatures in the low 80’s. Historic Hayward Field was filled with happy track fans and the first day of the Pac-12 Championships were filled with plenty of excitement. The Oregon women are expected to capture the Pac-12 crown and the men also have a good chance of winning the weekend.
110m hurdle heats
We moved around the track a bit, watching different events. With twelve schools in the meet, there were many heats leading to the finals today, so it was a very long day.
With so much at stake, every team member pitches-in where they can to score points. It’s all about the points. (Meet scoring: first place, 10 points, 2nd place, 8 points, 3rd place 6, then 5-4-3-2-1 down to 8th place.)
Last weekend, Dakota Keys did an entire decathlon. This weekend, he long jumped. Unfortunately, Keys finished in 12th place today. Pac-12 Heptathlon Champion, Oregon’s Brianne Theisen, is not competing this weekend. Theisen has a sore knee and cannot risk further injury before the Olympics. O Canada!
Dakota Keys lands in the long jump pit
The last two events were the 10000m races – DT’s event in college. 24+ times around the oval. It was so warm, the officials set up a track-side water station for the racers. This rarely happens in Eugene in May!
Truth is, many people leave before the start of the 10000m races. Just too boring to watch a 30 minute race. But true track fans know the six-miler is one of the most interesting events. So much strategy involved and with 24 times around the track, a lot can happen.
Senior Alex Kosinski came to Oregon as a 1500m runner. Then she moved up to the 5000m and ran cross country as well. I have featured her on this website before as I love to photograph her flawless face. Miss Kosinski ran her first-ever 10000m race tonight at Hayward Field. She won.
Not only did she win – she kicked the last mile. Flew. Blew the other girls out of the water. Plus she ran practically the entire race with a shoe troubles. Early in the race her own teammate accidently stepped on the back of Kosinski’s shoe and either tore the shoe or gave her a “flat tire”. As soon as Alex crossed the finish line (34:19) she bent down to fix her shoe. Oregon finished 1st, 3rd and 6th for 19 huge points. A great day at the races!
After the meet, we joined several hundred Oregon Track alums (aka Lame Ducks) for a party at the new Ford Alumni Center. The Lame Ducks raise money to support the track and field program at the University of Oregon. Food & fun at the annual gathering and it is great to catch up with DT’s old teammates and get to know Lame Duck from age 80 to first-time-eligible-for-attendance – Ashton Eaton.
Tomorrow, we do it all again.
Until my next update, I remain, your GO DUCKS correspondent.