Wednesday, June 9, 2010

2010 NCAA Championships (Day 3)

Hayward Field for a Workout...

Today was pretty quiet...We headed over to Hayward Field at the University of Oregon after breakfast so Matt Llano could get his workout in and preview the areas around the facility. Although he has two days until he races it's important that he learns the places he can go for his warm-up on Thursday... and today is the perfect day to look around.
The facility is classic...If you are a track & field fan you've heard of Hayward Field at some point in your career. Chances are, if you are good enough, you will also race here at some point.

The championships staff has the facility looking good. You can't help but get the feeling of how special this event is and how competitive the events will be when you walk onto the track. At this meet it's critically important the athlete does not let those emotions take control. Continue to be the same person throughout.
Matt stretched and went out for his run. He headed down the street toward the Willamette River and found a bike path and bridge that led to Pre's Trail. It seems all trails in Eugene lead to Pre's Trail....which is kinda nice.

It was organized madness at the track as he finished his run. There were a lot of athletes there doing the same thing...preparing for their competitions. It was a who's who of NCAA Athletes, coaches and post collegiate standouts as Matt came back to the track for strides and drills. An exciting atmosphere to say the least.
Here is a look at the West stands at Hayward Field. In all the crew increased the facility capacity to 12,000 as they announced that all tickets for Friday and Saturday have sold-out. So, if you are on your way and do not have a ticket plan to pay a lot on the street.
Matt doing drills...
...and more drills.

After he finished up it was time for lunch. He got a recommendation from a friend that goes to school here at UofO that we should go to McMenamins Restaurant. They have two locations in, we chose the one next to the Willamette River. Excellent choice...
...since the weather was perfect for sitting outside and listening to the subtle sounds of the river while we ate.

After lunch we went over the the Nike Store. Pretty fun since they had a lot of original Nike gear from the early years. The most prized item in their showcase? Steve Prefontaine's running log!!

Later we went to the Eugene Running Company and connected with a couple of my old friends including Brad Hudson, who was also a member of the 1991 USA World Championship Track & Field Team that competed in Tokyo, Japan... Brad, Steve Spence and I were the USA representatives in the Marathon at those WC's. It's always great to catch up with folks I've not seen in several years.
Later in the afternoon, it was time for the coaches meeting. It was smooth and uneventful, just provided specific details of the meet administration...It lasted about 90 minutes and then it was time for dinner. We took the recommendation of Arizona State throws coach, Dave Dumble who recommended an Italian Restaurant called Beppe & Gianni's Trattoria. It's just down the street from Hayward Field. Voted the best Italian in Eugene for the past 8 years and it's easy to see why. The food was excellent.

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