Track Town USA: Today we went to a cross country meet and a football game. DT and I were up early and headed over to the Springfield Country Club to watch the NCAA Western Regional Cross Country Championships. The poor runners had to race in low temperatures and foggy weather. Thirty-one teams were competing in the men's race - a huge field.All the usual track fans were out today to enjoy the spectacle, including DT's college coach, Bill Dellinger. Even legendary track coach, Frank Gagliano - the Godfather of Track & Field - flew out to Oregon to see the meet (and visit with friends). Gags turns good 800m runners into great 800m racers. Duck Luke Puskedra laces up before the 10,000m (6.2 miles) race. The teams wore long spikes today to race on the soggy wet golf course. And, they're off! GO DUCKS! Ducks look strong at the start A.J. checks the herd early Stanford shows their distance dominance I can't stand to be stomped by The Trees twice in a week Cross Country is a messy sport. A Fall sport. By November there isn't a dry spot in the entire state of Oregon. Cross Country is muddy. Sloppy. Cross Country is a team sport. But sometimes, it is lonely out there on the course. 10,000m is a lot of meters. Ten thousand even. The winners get the glory. Those dang Trees again. Winner or Loser... your legs look just like this after a cross country race. Muddy and Bloody. The metal spikes on the racing shoes are sharp. Everyone feels like drek after they finish.
Oregon finished third, behind The Trees and University of Portland Pilots. Next up - the women race. But first... ... here are three runners from the good old days - DT, Guy Arbogast and Art Boileau. Track & Cross Country is like a drug - once in your blood, you are hooked for life. There is no rehab. Pre-race, the USC team in a quick conference with their coach And, they're off: Duck Women are strong from the start Early in the race... looks like Jordan and Alex are having a good time. Are they smiling? Ummm... note to self: Never wear orange tights Freshman Jordan Hasay is the first Oregon runner and 2nd overall. Ducks take 2nd team place.
Not the best cross country meet for the Duck men. Still, they can win (or place high) in the National Championships November 23 in Indiana. I expect both the men and women to finish very well. Hear that, Vin?
After the cross country meet, we went back to the RV park and readied the motorhome for the ten mile drive to Autzen Stadium. Our tailgate theme this week was a southwestern mode - to honor our football opponent - the Arizona State SunDevils. Though the skies were mostly clear, it was incredibly cold - high 30's - and with a 7:20 kick-off - it was dark. Cold and dark. Again, we hosted about 30 guests. Tacos & Black Beans, all the fixings and my special Margaritas.
The Ducks beat the Arizona State SunDevils tonight in an icy-cold Autzen Stadium, 44-21. Oregon is in control of their own destiny. If we win the next/last two games (Arizona in Tucson and the Stinkin' Beavers at home) - the Ducks will play Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. If we lose either/both of the games we will be playing in the Sham-Wow Toilet Bowl.
RV Park: Premier RV Resort. I-5, Exit 199. Large full-hookup site. Most sites are pull-through. Laundry, bathhouse, pool/spa in season... and this isn't the season. This is a very nice RV park and we stay here very often, as it is the most convenient campground for anything happening in Eugene.