Tuesday, July 01, 2008

the track town diaries: june 30

Runner's World published an Olympic Trials special edition that is being distributed all over Eugene. It includes a great full-page photo of Garry Bjorklund after his third place finish in the 10,000 at the 1976 Trials at Hayward Field. Bjorklund had lost a shoe halfway through the race, but the Eugene crowd started chanting his name until he crossed the line in 28:03. He's quoted as saying, "Magic can happen when the crowd is on your side in Eugene."

That certainly was the case tonight in the men's 800 meter final. Nick Symmonds of the Oregon Track Club won the event and was followed across the line by Oregon sophomore Andrew Wheating and Christian Smith, who also runs for the OTC. The place went absolutely nuts. It was an incredible thing to see.

Kris and I are both big Matt Gabrielson fans, so we were thrilled to see him run so well in the 5,000 final. That was a tough field, and Gabe stuck his nose in there and hung on for a really solid performance.

Nike debuted the new Olympic Team uniforms just prior to the 5,000 final. Shani Marks was one of the athletes chosen to model the new gear. She got to take a lap in the colors she will be wearing in Beijing. Shani looked like she was having a ball.

This is the last diary entry for this trip. We're on a plane first thing in the morning. Eugene really knows how to put on a show. Hopefully the track town diaries will be back in 2012.

1 comment:

Chad said...

Nice series, Pete. Thanks for sharing.

It's interesting that you're already hoping to go back in 2012. In your first post you mentioned not going to Sacramento if the trials had been there because you'd already done that once.

I guess Eugene knows what they're doing when it comes to hosting a T&F meet.