Inside Track

Alexi Pappas: Why I love Turkey Trots

I was introduced to the tradition of running “Turkey Trots” later in life. At first, the idea of running a race on Thanksgiving morning did not excite me: I’ve always been resistant to running on holidays, especially the one where I am meant to eat, take a nap, and then eat again. But now I’m hooked on the Turkey Trot tradition and it has become an indispensable part of what I look forward to when I think of Thanksgiving.

I ran my first Turkey Trot in the fall of 2016, shortly after the Rio Olympics. This was a large Turkey …


Alexi Pappas: Lessons learned from my first marathon

Since I ran my first race, a 5k fun run attached to a larger marathon in Napa, Calif., I have understood the marathon to be the most classic distance race. I remember watching my dad cross and collapse across the finish line of the marathon later that day with a time of just over 4 hours, and I remember how proud but tired he looked.

When I had the honor of sitting in the lead car for the New York City Marathon, I had the chance to see thousands of people cheering for loved ones alongside the course. …


Alexi Pappas: A good coach will help you love your sport

Running is a sport where the athletes are driven by love: at some point along our athletic journeys, we fell in love with the sport. This love can strike at any stage in life, but for many of us, it was first sparked by a coach – sometimes later in life, but often in high school.

It is not always our choice what coach we might have in high school, but the lucky ones get someone who is selfless, energetic, and thoughtful. A great coach, I observe, turns “I” into “We” and gives athletes permission to believe in …



USA Track & Field just announced that TrackTown USA will be the host for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials! The event will serve to select Team USA for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. We are excited that USATF and the U.S. Olympic Committee have placed their trust in us, and we are confident that we will provide an ideal atmosphere for the athletes to perform at their very best. 

This opportunity would not have been possible without the extraordinary environment that you have all helped to create – from a Eugene-Springfield community that continually supports …


Alexi Pappas: Nothing routine about summer training

My college coach once told me that a solid fall season is made in the summer. At the time, this didn’t make sense to me, but now I understand that summer is the time to rejuvenate, prepare, and grow in a different way than is possible during the school year. Over the summer, we grow on our own terms.

So what does it actually look like to transition from the team season and school year to the summer time when we must fend for ourselves? The biggest change is in the routine. Routine is very important for a …


USC claims NCAA title with spectacular finish

The USC Trojans won their second team outdoor championship title on Saturday at the 2018 NCAA Women’s Track and Field Championships.

The Trojans were all smiles on the podium as they hoisted their trophy in the midst of a downpour at Hayward Field.

But their fairytale finish didn’t come easy.

USC secured the team title with 53 points after trading spots back and forth throughout the day with Georgia and Stanford, who finished second and third, respectiverly, with 52 and 51 points. 

“I wanted it for the team. We wanted this so bad all season, …


Georgia, USC men celebrate record-breaking NCAA meet

The University of Georgia Bulldogs won their first-ever national team title at the 2018 NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Friday, but they were far from the only team celebrating.

USC finished fourth with 34 points, but they climbed onto the awards podium in spectacular fashion with three collegiate records.

Georgia built a 34-point lead after a solid opening day performance, and never dropped from first place throughout the two days of competition. The Bulldogs tallied a winning total of 52 points in front of the 11,644-person crowd at Hayward Field.

Two-time defending champion …


2018 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Outdoor T&F Championships - DAY FOUR

Five Things to Watch

Women’s Triple Jump (3:40 p.m.)

Georgia senior Keturah Orji may have lost her American record to Tori Franklin last month, but her collegiate record remains intact after soaring 47 feet, 11 ѕ inches (14.62m) at the SEC Championships this year. She has won three straight NCAA outdoor titles – to go along with three indoor crowns – and she owns the top 12 marks in collegiate history. After winning the long jump on Thursday, Orji is poised to add another title her impressive resume.

Women’s 400 meters (4:32 p.m.)

USC senior Kendall …


ASU’s Ewen wins shot put for third NCAA title

Maggie Ewen continues to add NCAA championships to her collegiate resume.

The Arizona State senior captured the third NCAA title of her collegiate career with a mark of 62 feet, 10 ѕ inches (19.17m) in the shot put at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Women’s Track & Field Championships before a crowd of 9,702 at Hayward Field on Thursday. 

“It felt great,” Ewen said. “The hammer didn’t go the way we wanted it to, so to be able to come out and win the shot put made up for it.” 

A 2017 finalist for The Bowerman, Ewen …


2018 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Outdoor T&F Championships - DAY THREE

Five Things to Watch

Men’s 4x100m relay (5:32 p.m.)

This is always one of the most exciting races of the entire meet, and it is likely to set the tone for the team championship race. Florida and Houston were the top qualifiers in Wednesday’s semifinal and they rank 1-2 in the team projections compiled by Track & Field News. The Gators, who are seeking a third straight NCAA men’s outdoor title, clocked the fastest time at 38.49, while the Cougars were a step behind at 38.53.

Men’s 1,500 meters (5:42 p.m.)

New Mexico junior Josh Kerr …


Georgia’s Comenentia claims NCAA crowns in hammer, shot put

Denzel Comenentia had never won a national championship title. 

Until Wednesday, when he won two on the opening day of competition at the 2018 NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships in front of 9,767 fans at Hayward Field. 

Comenentia, a junior from Georgia, won the hammer throw and came back four hours later to capture the shot put. The sweep of the two events makes him only the third competitor to do so at the NCAAs, matching the accomplishments of Cal’s Jack Merchant (1922) and Auburn’s Cory Martin (2008).

“It feels amazing,” Comenentia said. “It …


2018 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Outdoor T&F Championships - DAY TWO

Five Things to Watch

Women’s Pole Vault (4:30 p.m.)

If you’re wondering what happened to Arkansas twin sisters Lexi and Tori Weeks, fear not. The Razorback duo placed second and sixth, respectively, at last year’s NCAA meet, and both return to Hayward Field after getting married last summer. Lexi Jacobus is the favorite this year, with Tori Hoggard projected to place third. Other top contenders include Virginia Tech’s Lisa Gunnarsson and Rachel Baxter, plus reigning champion Olivia Gruver of Kentucky.

Women’s Javelin (5:15 p.m.)

Three-time Pac-12 champion Mackenzie Little of Stanford is the collegiate leader with …


2018 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Outdoor T&F Championships - DAY ONE

Five Things to Watch

Men’s Hammer Throw (2 p.m.)

After placing second at NCAAs last year, Kansas sophomore Gleb Dudarev comes in as the favorite after improving his personal best by 12 feet this season (256-0/78.02m). Top challengers are Georgia junior Denzel Comenentia (250-3/76.28m) and Rutgers senior Rudy Winkler (242-3/73.84m), the 2016 Olympic Trials champion

Men’s Long Jump (6 p.m.)

Florida sophomore Grant Holloway placed second last year to his teammate, senior KeAndre Bates. Both of the Gators will be pushed by Oregon senior Damarcus Simpson. Holloway, the reigning NCAA 110m hurdles champion, and …


TrackTown Tuesday honors Dellinger, Deal

There was no better way to wrap up the 2018 TrackTown Tuesday series than to honor legendary Oregon coach Bill Dellinger in his TrackTown Tuesday debut.

Dellinger was accompanied by three of his former athletes – Rudy Chapa, Mary Slaney and Pat Tyson – and the show also paid tribute to hammer throw extraordinaire Lance Deal.

Dellinger, 84, was welcomed to the Hayward Field track in front of the West Grandstand with a standing ovation from the crowd of 350 people as Slaney helped guide him to his chair.

To start his segment, those in attendance …


Jager places third in steeplechase at Pre Classic

When Evan Jager entered his final race at historic Hayward Field in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2018 Prefontaine Classic, he came relaxed and free of expectations.

“I was focused on staying relaxed and tried not to think about anything all race,” Jager said.

Jager, the American record-holder in the steeplechase at 8:00.45, finished third with a time of 8:11.71, only  two-thousandths of a second behind runner-up Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya. Despite the result, Jager felt positive about his outcome.

“I felt pretty good,” he said. “I felt like I was in a great rhythm. I knew the race wasn’t …


Rogers returns to Hayward Field for first Pre Classic

When Raevyn Rogers stood at the starting line during the 2018 Prefontaine Classic, she felt a sense of calm come through her mind. In only her second outdoor meet as a professional athlete, Rogers absorbed the atmosphere at historic Hayward Field, one of the places that helped shape her accomplished collegiate track and field career.

However, this time she found herself racing against some of the world’s best 800-meter runners.

Rogers finished seventh in the women’s 800m at Pre with a time of 1 minute, 59.36 seconds, six spots behind South Africa’s Caster Semenya, who clocked a world-leading time of …


UO jumpers, OTC Elite athletes headline TrackTown Tuesday

TrackTown Tuesday welcomed a series of accomplished guests in front of an audience of 150 at the Downtown Athletic Club on May 1.

The show featured Prefontaine Classic Meet Director Tom Jordan, five members of the University of Oregon jumps crew, and Oregon Track Club Elite athletes Francine Niyonsaba, Shea Collinsworth and Hanna Green. Those in attendance were given an insiders’ glimpse into the upcoming Prefontaine Classic, and a preview of the competition that will be showcased at the Oregon Twilight meet on May 4.

The UO contingent included three reigning Pac-12 champions in senior Damarcus Simpson (long jump), junior …


Alexi Pappas: Olympic runner shares pre-race tips for Eugene Marathon

With the glory of the 122nd Boston Marathon behind us, many of you might be thinking about running a marathon yourselves. Or, with the 12th Eugene Marathon just around the corner, hopefully many of you reading this article are just days away from toeing the line in Tracktown, USA! What the Eugene-Springfield community has to offer in the world of marathon running is very special – whether you’re from the area or not, the Eugene Marathon is an amazing way to celebrate the place where running was born. This is where I feel I grew up as an Olympic runner, …


Jon Hendershott: 1946 - 2018

11 April 2018

We woke up this morning to the sad news of the passing of noted sports journalist Jon Hendershott.

For more than a half-century, Jon worked tirelessly to tell the stories of track and field, this sport we love that benefits tremendously from those who give it a voice. He was a regular fixture at Hayward Field, covering meets in rain or sunshine, regardless of the scale of competition. He even volunteered his talent to TrackTown USA when he helped craft the language honoring the Heritage Athletes at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Jon’s positivity, passion …


UO indoor champions, Nike pioneers headline TrackTown Tuesday

EUGENE, Ore. – TrackTown Tuesday welcomed a slate of accomplished guests for its April show before a crowd of 150 fans at the Downtown Athletic Club. Those in attendance were treated to appearances from UO Running Club member Justin Gallegos, Nike pioneers Jeff Johnson and Nelson Farris, and five Oregon athletes who won national titles at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

The Ducks included 800-meter champion Sabrina Southerland and the triumphant Distance Medley Relay (DMR) team of Jessica Hull (1,200m), Venessa D’Arpino (400m), Susan Ejore (800m) and Lilli Burdon (1,600m).

Oregon’s DMR finished with the fourth-fastest time in …


RIP Stewart Togher: ‘The best hammer coach in the world, bar none’

EUGENE, Ore. – Stewart Togher, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the hammer throw and a longtime throws coach at the University of Oregon, passed away at the age of 80 on March 28 after a long battle with leukemia.

Togher, a former Scottish weightlifting champion, came to the U.S. in the early 1980s to be a part of the Olympic development program for American hammer throwers.

He served as the U.S. national hammer coach for 10 years, and spent 15 seasons as the UO throws coach from 1983 to 1997. Four of the top five men’s hammer throwers …


Alexi Pappas: What a Summer Olympian learned from Winter Olympic athletes

When I competed in my first Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in the summer of 2016, it was exactly that: a first. I had only competed in an international competition twice in my life before, and never on a stage as big as the Olympics.

In Rio, I was razor focused on my 10,000-meter track race. I wanted to run a personal best and break a national record. I wanted to finish in the top half of the best in the world. Thanks to my focus and my training, I accomplished all of these goals.

My days were structured. In …


Alexi Pappas: On Going to the Olympics as an Artist

This February, I went to the Olympics in South Korea – not as an athlete, but as an artist. I was selected for the new Olympic Artist In Residence program, an effort by the IOC to reconnect athletics with the arts. Historically, the Olympics have had a strong tie to the arts and this Artist in Residence program, which started in Rio 2016, reignited this once strong tie.

As an athlete and artist, it has always been of the upmost importance that my athletics and my arts stand on their own—that is, I wanted to qualify and compete in the …


Patrignelli inspires health, confidence at TrackTown Fitness

EUGENE, Ore. – It’s a chilly Sunday morning in February as Megan Patrignelli prepares for her weekly workout at Hayward Field. The air is crisp and clouds loom overhead, yet Patrignelli seizes the early wake-up call to work out with more than 100 recreational walkers, joggers and runners from the Eugene-Springfield area.

The crowd gathers in the East Grandstand to hear the morning’s training regimen laid out by 2016 U.S. Olympic Coach Vin Lananna. This is the beginning of TrackTown Fitness, where Patrignelli volunteers her Sunday mornings to help community members achieve their fitness goals.

“You can relate to …


Olympic silver medalist highlights TrackTown Tuesday

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Track Club Elite’s Nijel Amos, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 800 meters, made his TrackTown Tuesday debut before a crowd of 150 at the Downtown Athletic Club on March 6.

Amos, appearing alongside OTC Elite teammates Harun Abda and Tom Farrell, closed the show, which also featured a step back in time with an appearance by four of legendary Oregon coach Bill Bowerman’s sub-4-minute milers, plus a glimpse into the future from four young Duck throwers.

Joining OTC Elite just last year, Amos is the fourth-fastest all-time performer in the 800m with a personal …


Melissa Stockwell: A Paralympic type of daring

Melissa Stockwell had been stationed in Baghdad, Iraq for three weeks. She was 24 years old, living out her dream of serving in the United States Army.

However, on April 13, 2004, a roadside bomb resulted in her losing her left leg.

For Stockwell, it didn’t take long until she got back on her foot and reclaimed her life through becoming a Paralympic athlete.

“While my story has some tragedy behind it,” Stockwell began. “My story is not a tragic one. It’s an example of tragedy turned into triumph and it’s an example that we all have the power to …


TrackTown Tuesday Honors Andrew Wheating

EUGENE, Ore. – Track and field fans were treated to a special edition of TrackTown Tuesday on Feb. 6 when a crowd of 200 gathered at the Downtown Athletic Club to honor a slate of distinguished guests.

For many, the night will be remembered as a farewell celebration for two-time Olympian and five-time NCAA champion Andrew Wheating, the former University of Oregon standout who recently announced his retirement from the sport.

Wheating was greeted with a standing ovation as he reminisced about his storied four-year career in Eugene. As a UO student-athlete, he set school records in the mile, indoor …


TrackTown Tuesday Starts off 2018 with Star-Studded Show

EUGENE, Ore. – The 2018 season of TrackTown Tuesday got off to a rousing start before a crowd of 200 at the Downtown Athletic Club on Tuesday night.

The star-studded guest list included the Lane Community College men’s cross country team, three members of the Oregon women’s team (representing each national title of their historic Triple Crown), Oregon Track Club Elite newcomer Luke Puskedra and former UO standout Raevyn Rogers, the 2017 female recipient of The Bowerman.

First-year head coach Bill Steyer, who guided the LCC team to a second consecutive Northwest Athletic Conference Championship this past fall, opened the …