Home | Contact Us | IAAF World Championships | U.S. Track & Field | Community News, Features & Profiles | Links | About Steve

IAAFWJC - Alexa Efraimson Runs Fearless 1500 Meter Race at World Juniors
IAAFWJC - U.S. Goes Double Gold in 4x 100 Relays at World Junior Championships
IAAFWJC - High Performance Meet to Highlight Saturday Session of World Junior Championships
IAAFWJC - Mission Accomplished for Mary Cain at World Junior Championships
IAAFWJC - Moore and Washington Give Duck Fans a Taste of What’s to Come
IAAFWJC - Oregon Athletes in Action As World Junior Championships Get Underway
IAAFWJC - World Junior Championships Offer a Close-up View of Future Olympians
U.S. Junior Championships Set the Stage for IAAF World Junior Championships
Wins By Fleet, Crouser and Allen Carry Ducks to NCAA Championship
Oregon Seeking First Outdoor Title in Nearly Three Decades at NCAA Track & Field Championships
High Profile Upsets Rule the Day at the Pre Classic
OSU Track & Field Shows Signs of Growth at High Performance Meet
Ducks Roll on Throwback Saturday at Hayward Field
Oregon Preview - Ducks Open Outdoor Track Season Still On a High from Indoor Championships

A Favorite Memory of Hayward Field
By Steve Ritchie

Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon - 2008 Olympic Trials (Nick Symmonds in the lead)

EUGENE - The 1972 Olympic Trials stand out more than any other meet I can recall at Hayward. This was the first Trials to be held in Eugene and it was huge. In 1972 the top track and field athletes were household names in America and track was considered a major sport, at least in an Olympic year. The biggest star was unquestionably Steve Prefontaine. Pre was one of the favorites to win the Olympic gold medal in the 5000 meters, despite being only three years out of Marshfield H.S. The 5000 final was scheduled to be the last event on the last day of the 10-day trials and there must have been close to 20,000 people packed in the Hayward stands, to see Pre run. What a way to end the Trials - you couldn't have scripted it any better.

George Young was his main competition. Young was an Olympian in the steeplechase and a respected, veteran distance runner. He had reportedly been training for weeks at altitude somewhere in the southwest, priming his body to take on Pre. Young went out hard and right from the start it was a two-man race, with Pre right behind him. It seemed insanely fast, American record pace, and the battle was utterly riveting. Both men were clearly going to make the team; they didn't need to push the pace that hard, but neither wanted to lose. Young was giving Pre everything he could handle. It stayed that way for 9 or 10 laps, then Pre moved to the lead. Young stayed with him for maybe a lap, then he died. The last lap Pre was by himself. I remember the time as being 13:18 - new national record. It was unbelievably exciting. We were all sure Pre was going to get the gold in Munich - he seemed unbeatable. It didn't quite work out that way, but he gave it a hell of a go.


Featured archived articles:
Nick Symmonds Takes 6th Place in Berlin 800 Final

Nick Symmonds was in perfect position with 100 meters to go in Sunday's 800 meter final at the World Track & Field Championships... (more)

Mt. Angel Woman Helps Keep Olympic Hopefuls On Track in Eugene

What does it take to be an
Olympic athlete? For most
athletes who reach that elite
level, it takes years ...

More Women Running - Going the Distance

No one participating in or
cheering on runners at the
Homer's Classic 8K on August
8, will be surprised that there are women running in the ...

Ian Dobson Races to Third Place at Trials and Makes U.S. Olympic Team

Pacific University Library Director Marita Kunkel was in the stands
at Hayward Field in Eugene last Monday night... (more)

Nick Symmonds Advances to 800 Final at World Championships

A major deluge hit Olympic Stadium in Berlin an hour before Nick Symmonds was scheduled to run his semi-fina... (more)

©2014. All Rights Reserved . No part of this site may be reproduced without express written permission. Web design by IrishLemons.com

create counter