Here's some "best of" items I did for the Statesman.
BEST ARGUMENT TO MAKE EUGENE THE PERMANENT SITE FOR THE MEET – While the weather doesn’t always cooperate, the Hayward Field crowd is the best. Not only do they turn out – 11,172 strong on Thursday – but they get loud. The loudest cheers are reserved for the Ducks, of course, but the fans know track and love to see outstanding performances, even if the success of that athlete hurts Oregon’s team chances. Many athletes competing here seem almost incredulous about the vocal support they received.
BEST FLASHBACK – Oregon had six 1500 meter runners – three men and three women – at this meet, hearkening back to the Bowerman era when the Ducks were known primarily for great milers like Dyrol Burleson, Jim Grelle and Roscoe Divine. Five of the six UO runners qualified for Saturday’s finals.
All three Duck men – A.J. Acosta, Andrew Wheating and Matthew Centrowitz – are capable of winning or placing high. Freshman Jordan Hasay will carry the women’s hopes in this event, since second-ranked Zoe Buckman didn’t advance.
BEST MOMENT FOR THE DUCKS – Although Brianne Theisen was in second place at the end of the first day, she left no doubt on day two in winning her second consecutive heptathlon title. The Oregon junior dominated the long jump, winning by nearly a foot, and went on to win by over 400 points, scoring a PR of 6,094.
LOOKING AHEAD – Friday’s events will provide the UO women a chance to gain an edge over their rivals from Texas A&M. The Ducks have potential scorers in four events, and none will be more crucial than Keshia Baker in the 400. She has the fastest time of the collegiate season, 50.76, but in this loaded field is not considered the favorite. If Baker can win or place second, it will be huge for the Ducks. On the men’s side, all eyes will be glued to the much-anticipated showdown between Andrew Wheating and Robby Andrews in the men’s 800.