Celebration of Oregon’s indoor national title winners at TrackTown Tuesday
Oregon’s Sabrina Southerland and the distance medley relay (DMR) quartet of Lilli Burdon, Jessica Hull, Venessa D’Arpino, and Susan Ejore, will be on hand as we celebrate their NCAA Indoor titles on April 3 at the Downtown Athletic Club.
The evening will be hosted by TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna. Sasha Spencer Atwood, the Director of External Affairs at TrackTown USA, will be the emcee.
The April show will not be one to miss as it will also feature Nike pioneers Nelson Farris and Jeff Johnson. UO Running Club team member Justin Gallegos will round out the featured guests.
Southerland came into the indoor national meet ranked 16th of 16 qualifiers in the 800 meters; she left as the national champion. In so doing, she made Oregon the most dominant school of all time in the indoor women’s 800m. Following on the success of Bowerman winners Laura Roesler and Raevyn Rogers, Southerland ensured that her name adds to the illustrious history of dominant Oregon athletes at the NCAA level.
For the first time, the Ducks won the national title in the women’s DMR. The squad ran the fourth-fastest time in collegiate history (10:51.99). This, in combination with Hull and Burdon posting the #1 and #2 times in Oregon school history in the indoor mile earlier in the season, bodes well for the outdoor season.
Nelson Farris and Jeff Johnson were two of Nike’s earliest employees. Johnson joined Blue Ribbon Sports in 1965. He is credited with coming up with the company name “Nike” in 1971. Johnson is also known for the discovery of Andrew Wheating, as well as being a co-creator of the Nike Farm Team at Stanford University (which eventually moved to Oregon and became Oregon Track Club Elite). Farris is Nike’s director of corporate education and chief storyteller. He is the company’s longest currently-tenured employee. After originally selling Blue Ribbon shoes in California, he opened Nike’s first European offices in 1981 and was a part of the company’s 1984 Los Angeles Olympics sports marketing program.
Gallegos always had the dream of wearing the “O” across his chest – and he is living out that dream today. Coached by Tom Heinonen (former UO women’s track and field coach and 8-time PAC-10 Coach of the Year), Gallegos also has cerebral palsy, and his story has been a source of inspiration to many. He will be aiming to run a sub-2-hour half marathon during the Eugene Marathon weekend (April 27-29).
The popular town hall meetings are free and open to the public. Doors open at 6 p.m. for a social hour, followed by the one-hour show at 7 p.m.
As always, $5 appetizers from the DAC and $3 pints of beer from Hop Valley Brewing Company will be available for purchase. Free parking is available in the adjacent Overpark.
Video By: Nicholas Lackides
TrackTown Tuesday 2018 Schedule
- Tuesday, January 9, Downtown Athletic Club, Eugene
- Tuesday, February 6, Downtown Athletic Club, Eugene
- Tuesday, March 6, Downtown Athletic Club, Eugene
- Tuesday, April 3, Downtown Athletic Club, Eugene
- Tuesday, May 1, Downtown Athletic Club, Eugene
- Tuesday, June 5, Hayward Field, Eugene
Downtown Athletic Club: Free parking is available in the adjacent Overpark.
Social Hour, Food, and Beverages
Shows at the Downtown Athletic Club will have food available for purchase as well as beer with complimentary coffee, tea, and water. Social hour begins at 6pm.
TrackTown Tuesday History
Twelve years have passed since the inaugural “Tuesdays in TrackTown” town hall meeting.
The first edition was held in the lobby of the Bowerman Building on the northwest corner of Hayward Field on March 6, 2007.
A small crowd of about 30 people from all walks of life showed up to learn more about a variety of track and field topics, in particular, the growing buzz surrounding ambitious plans for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials.
Vin Lananna, in his second season as director of track and field for the University of Oregon, was the host of the event. He gave a brief, but enthusiastic presentation on the Trials, the planned renovation of Hayward Field, the newly formed Oregon Track Club Elite and the upcoming outdoor season for the Ducks.
It was a modest affair, with free cookies and coffee, and its target audience was the Eugene-Springfield community, reminiscent of the way former UO track and field coach Bill Bowerman engaged local citizens via youth all-comer’s meets and ground-breaking jogging classes in the 1950s and ‘60s.
In starting “Tuesdays in TrackTown,” Lananna’s goal was to provide a forum to connect long supportive fans with the most recent news on what’s going on in TrackTown USA.
Today, the event has become more popular than he could ever imagine, routinely attracting between 200-300 people at each session.
TrackTown Tuesday is now a highly anticipated community event each month during track season with a master of ceremonies, special guests, exclusive videos, prizes, refreshments and a platform for debuting T&F announcements.
People who attend TrackTown Tuesday are the first to hear about plans and developments for upcoming events in TrackTown USA.