2016 Track & Field Trials: Day 6
TrackTown, USA: There were no events
scheduled for yesterday. No races. The Fan Festival was closed. We spent the
morning with Leo and Lisa - going to brunch at
Marché and visiting one of the
best toy stores in America, The Elephant Trunk. (Lisa's comment: I live in Los
Angeles, yet come to Eugene to visit a toy store?) Both establishments are in
the 5th Street Public Market
shopping and dining complex downtown Eugene.
Fromage Blanc Omelet from Marché
After our morning at the public market, Lisa and Leo loaded up a cooler filled
with drinks and snacks and headed out (in my Jeep) into the Willamette Valley wilderness to
go on a two-night mother-son "glamping" trip... i.e. glamorous camping...
in a fancy teepee-filled resort. The "campsite" is complete with breakfast each morning and is
situated next to a babbling brook. Leo jumped, first-thing, into the creek
(clothes and all) and is going full-on country-boy-mode for the next few days.
With no meetings to attend, no grandson to play with, and no track meet to attend, My Driver took me
to dinner to Bepe &
Gianni's. I promptly carbo-loaded with pasta in preparation
for the Hammer Throw competition Wednesday.
This morning we were both forgetful. Lisa had my car, so I drove
DT to the track early this morning in his Tahoe and returned to spend a quiet
few hours alone in the motorhome... but had to drive back to the track as Dave forgot his credential... and even the Chairman of the Board
can't move around the facility without his credential. Even though everyone on
the security force know him by name, rules is rules. When I
drove into the track later this afternoon, I forgot to place the memory stick inside
my camera (dang!), so every photo tonight was snapped with my phone. Apologizing
This afternoon was another milestone at Historic Hayward Field. Hammer at
Hayward. Because the hammer throw is such a dangerous event and because the
hammer is thrown so far and because the hammer throw takes up a lot of
space, the event is usually held at a venue outside of the track. At the
University of Oregon, the hammer throw is held at a field adjacent to the track. If the hammer
were to be thrown on the infield during a track meet, there is a very decent
chance a long jumper, pole vaulter, official or runner could be seriously
injured or killed. The hammer is a 16-pound ball of steel - shooting through the
sky at amazing speeds. Basically a weapon.
But what if there were no other events being held at the track? My Driver had the
brilliant idea to hold the women's and men's hammer throw in the middle of
Historic Hayward Field, the first time ever, as a stand-alone event. Free to the public. Six hours.
Nothing but hammer. Hammer at Hayward. (Amazing graphic
It was a controversial idea. There was a lot of discussion, but the main theme
behind the organizing committee is to Serve the Athlete. Hammer
throwers need some love. Not a lot of fans venture over to the nearby field to
watch the hammer throw. The University of Oregon is blessed to have Lance Deal
on their staff. Deal won the Silver in the 1996 Olympic hammer throw and still
holds the US record at 270 feet, 9 inches (82.57m). Lance Deal is the world-guru
in hammer cage design. What is a hammer cage?
This is a hammer cage:
Actually, this is the best hammer cage in the entire world. The net controls the
hammer so it does not go flying dangerously into the crowd. There is an opening
at the front, allowing the flying ball's trajectory to only go forward. Today,
there were a few strays (like foul balls in baseball), but only a few long
jumpers would have been taken out.
The meet directors only had the largest grandstand open and it was completely
filled with fans.
Track fans are a devoted breed. Imagine all these people coming
out to watch the hammer throw! It was awesome and a great success. The athletes
were very pleased.
Fans could go right down onto the track to get a
close-up of the throwers
Up Close and Personal
The women threw first. The US is rich in
female hammer thrower talent. Seriously. The first three
placers today have all met the Olympic minimum standard
to compete in Rio and all three will be going to the
Gwen Berry, Amber Campbell and DeAnna Price on the
Gwen Berry, Amber Campbell and DeAnna Price celebrate
The men's competition was also very exciting.
Only one competitor has reached the Olympic minimum
standard to throw in Rio - Rudy Winkler. Winkler attends
Cornell University and finished 2nd at the NCAA meet a
few weeks ago. He threw a monster in the fourth round
(251-10 feet/76.76m) to finish first! Rudy is packing
his bags for a trip to the southern hemisphere.
Lance Deal gives the medals to Kibwe Johnson, Rudy
Winkler and Conor McCullough
After the award ceremony, the medalists cruised down the track
on their victory lap, getting high-fives from the gathered fans. Truly a unique
experience for the athletes and the fans. Another amazing day of The One True Sport
at Historic Hayward Field.
Then the sun went to bed and so did we.
Until my next update, I remain, your hammered correspondent.
You may also like:
the Hammer Throw
2012 Olympic Trials Hammer Throw at NIKE World Headquarters
TrackTown USA story on Lance Deal & Hammer at Hayward
Register-Guard story about Lance Deal, 6 July 2016
NBC Olympic Trials Broadcast Schedule
RV PARK: Premier
RV Park. I-5, exit 199. Large paved pull-throughs. Back-in sites line a
small lake. Laundry, fitness center, club house, bath house, recycling, small
store. 50 amp, free wifi. This park is very popular with campers in the area for
repairs and maintenance at the many nearby RV facilities.
Sign Up is NOT required! Anyone may comment. Sign
up only if you would like to add an avatar, or if you wish to be emailed when someone responds to your comment.
(Sign-up will take you to my safe and secure comment server, Shadow-Pnyxe.)