Track & Field (183)
The Wild Duck Cafe, located at 1419 Villard St., 453 m from Hayward Field, is the largest, most modern, friendliest, most comfortable, best value bar in Eugene. It is the Social Hub for All Things TRACK & FIELD during the 2016 Trials! Just ask anyone who was there in 2008 or 2012!
If we had dropped an alien being into the US yesterday and they sat on my sofa and watched the NCAA Day three, even they would have been excited by the amazing day of track finals. For once, we did not shoot ourselves in the foot. The finals were exciting, with surprises and the announcing was warmed up and supported the broadcast.
Here is how Lindsay Rossmiller, who has been providing updates each day for RunBlogRun on the NCAAs, saw day three! —Larry Eder, RunBlogRun
David Hunter has covered the NCAA Championships for us for several years now. This is his arguement for the NCAA Championships and how important they are in our sport. We look forward to David's daily columns (along with Lindsay Rossmiller's) on the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Championships, held in Eugene, Oregon, from June 8-11.
June 7th, 2016
Most diehard track & field fans enjoy all forms of championship gatherings. To ask them which one is the best is a little like asking those same fans which IPA beer is the best at Eugene's iconic Wild Duck Cafe. Hey, they're all great!
But more recently, a growing legion of track & field aficionados is singing the praises of the collegiate championships, citing any number of facets to their conclusion that the college-level brand of championship athletics is their favorite. Here are some of the reasons they offer:
Team Scoring. Except for the nationalistic practice of country medal counts in global competitions, post-collegiate track & field usually lacks this exciting element of competition. The presence of team scoring at collegiate championships - also evident in a less-refined way at the prep level - adds a novel and dramatic element to the competition that just isn't there in national post-collegiate championship events. When team scoring is in the mix, everyone - the athletes, the coaches, the fans, and the media - is continually observing and reassessing the fortunes of their favorite schools as the meet progresses. The shifting sands of team scoring - constantly realigning as favorites falter and upsets occur - add excitement and newly-emerging speculation as the collegians do battle.
New Format. Last year's newly-instituted practice of dividing up the 4-day NCAA Div. I Championship into alternating days of gender-specific competitions has generally been embraced as a positive step forward. Critics note the burden the new same-sex scheduling places on individuals performing in multiple events - including the teams for whom these gifted athletes compete - as doublers have less recovery time between competitions. But the proponents of this novel style of presentation point to the singular spotlight these days of separate competition place on both the men and the women - with each getting their undistracted moments in the footlights. Alternating days of competition by gender also makes it easier and clearer to view the building drama of team competition. The media loves the more broadcast-friendly format which seems to translate into expanded TV coverage presented in a more logical sequence that is easier to follow. As one coach recently mentioned to me, "Any presentation format that gets more track & field on television, I'm for it."
Relays. Have you ever met a track & field fan who isn't enthusiastic about the relays? Me neither. Invariably, there is a discernible anticipation and a notable buzz among collegiate championship spectators as leadoff runners load into the blocks - a special excitement only rarely sensed with the individual events. Because relay lineups are not chiseled in stone, coaches can strategize in the early rounds and in the final as they have discretion with regard to the four athletes they will assemble and the order in which they run. There is a reason - more than just tradition - why the 4 x 400 meter relay is the engrained show-closer for collegiate championship - and virtually all - track & field gatherings. The dearth of relays at the post-collegiate level provides little opportunity to capture this same excitement and, may I add, does nothing to help our woeful stick-passing among the professionals.
More Surprises. With younger, less-experienced athletes and a constant influx of new, hungry talent, results at collegiate track & field championships are less predictable. Upperclass men and women stumble. Underclass men and women break through. Bungles occur as collegiate athletes act like, well, college students. The result is unanticipated drama and outcomes. Case in point: several years ago when Oregon's favored long sprinter Mike Berry - now a seasoned professional - failed to advance out of his 400m semi-final, heads were spinning as many rushed to forecast the points the Ducks had lost and the potential impact such point loss might have on their team title chances.
More Heroes. As collegiate championship meets wind down and the team scoring is tight, unsuspecting heroes often emerge. Last year, the Oregon women's squad - wrapped up in the midst of a tense battle for the team crown - looked to middle distance frosh Raevyn Rogers to grab a few key points in the 800m final to help their cause. Her unexpected victory sealed the team win for the Duck women and prompted normally-reserved Oregon coach Robert Johnson to gush to the media about his newly-emerging protégé.
The Last Vestige Of Innocence. Let's not kid ourselves. Collegiate track & field at the Division I level is serious business. At the leading track & field powers from the so-called Power 5 conferences, the programs are comprehensive and sophisticated - as the best facilities, superior coaches, and attentive support staffs are all available to help talented and dedicated athletes reach the zenith of their potential. But notwithstanding the big-time business this sport at its highest collegiate level has become, there still lingers a dwindling - but nonetheless present - innocence not detectable among the professional ranks. At these university championship gatherings special moments still occur: the barely-qualified athlete steps up to gain a spot on a lower rung of the podium to capture one or two valuable points to fuel his team's title chase; a spent superstar steps in unexpectedly to run a leg on a championship closing 4 x 400m relay to help his university capture the team crown.
Don't get me wrong: track & field is to be savored in all forms and at all levels. To paraphrase the late social commentator Will Rogers, authentic track & field fans never met a track gathering they didn't like. Yet the extraordinary, unexpected, and often selfless performances witnessed when college athletes assemble to battle for national championships seem more commonplace there than anywhere else in our sport. And that overall experience seems to have fueled a growing sentiment that championship track & field at the collegiate level just might be the best.
The Adrian Martinez Classic is here! So, watch The Rome DL this afternoon, and then, watch the Adrian Martinez, as they have some exciting fields! See you there!
Event by Event Wrap
By Fred Baer, 5CTCA Associate Member Rep
SAN DIEGO -- Cerritos College and Mt. San Antonio College repeated as CCCAA Track & Field team champions at the 2016 state meet held at San Diego Mesa College, May 20-21. Both teams wrapped up the titles early, compared to their 1-point wins in 2015.
Cerritos scored 92 points, clinching the win after the 200 meters, and finishing ahead of Riverside (80) and College of the Sequoias (75 1/3). Mt. SAC scored 148 points in the men’s competition with Riverside (99) second. Modesto (63) won a tight third placed battle ahead of Sequoias (62), and American River (61).
Well, it all begins!
Please find our flyer for the Hoka One One Endurance Crossroads Clinic. We have a fine group of speakers and if you could help us get the word out that would be fantastic!
My next note to you will be on the Multitude of Activities Hoka One One has planned for the Trials and the NCAAs! They will include the following:
• “Rock the Blockæ Take Over of Villard St. with Hoka One One occupying the WDC footprint, the Growler USA footprint, and the Hoka One One Sky Box!
• Ross and RunnerSpace working with me on the "Last Round Lounge" presentation at the WDC Post Meet! Especially on the HOKA Nights (July 1st, 4th and 9th).
• 4 FREE “Power Hour Coaching AM Coaching Clinics” supported by Coaches Choice and Accusplit. Refreshments will be included (Health Warrior, SOS Hydration, etc.) and we’ll feature the ICONS of USA T&F. Coaches contacted include Harry Marra, Lance Harter, Jeremy Fisher, Ralph Lindemann, and Mike Holman. Dates scheduled are: July 2, 3, 7, & 8.
• Olympic Legends Night will be July 4 with Reynaldo Brown, John Carlos, Ed Caruthers, plus many others!
• Hoka One One Retail Store in Glass Room next to WDC footprint.
• Front Sidewalk covered with Mondo Super X product.
The Wild Duck will also be providing a Free Bottle of Champagne to any Olympic Trial Winner who shows up at the WDC!
I’ll detail this out for you for release next week, and periodically until July 9!
Working together, we will make this happen Bigger and Better than ever (which is saying something!!)
Hoka One One- Time to Fly … to Rio!
Yours Through the Spirit of Track and Field,
Ambassador of Fun, Excitement,
and Enjoyment at Track Meets in Eugene.
Mystical Running Cult Guidance Counselor