Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pre Functions

This weekend marks the beginning of a solid eight weeks of world-class track and field at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field (above) with the Oregon Twilight Meet.

Over the next two months, the denizens of Eugene-Springfield and anyone else willing to travel to Track Town, USA can witness the "best of the best" in American track and field. Still to come: the Pac-12 Championships, the Prefontaine Classic and the piece de resistance, the 2012 Olympic Trials.

Hayward Field (named after Bill Hayward, the first of several legendary UO track and field coaches -- including Bill Bowerman, Bill Dellinger and Vin Lananna) has recently spruced up its image and now stakes its claim as the capital of American track and field. Despite their recent success in the realm of college football, the Ducks have traditionally been known for their track and field prowess.

Chief among those icons of the UO track is Steve Prefontaine (below), the long distance phenom from Coos Bay who held every American record from 2,000 meters to 10,000 meters at the time of his death in a car accident at age 24. Pre was a ferocious competitor on the track and he helped inspire the “running boom” of the 1970s along with his coach, Bill Bowerman, who founded the Nike enterprise along with another Oregon runner, Phil Knight.

Starting now and continuing through the end of June, Hayward Field will feature a veritable smorgasbord of track and field competitions that will be sure to delight fans from near and far.

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