Hayward Field ready to host its third straight U.S. Olympic Trials
Approximately 1,100 track & field athletes vying for coveted Team USA berths at Rio Olympics; 1500 meter heats begin Thursday, July 7 at storied venue
By Chris Hansen, The Register-Guard
Vin Lananna had been in Eugene for barely a month when he hopped onto a plane bound for Helsinki, Finland, to meet with the delegation from USA Track & Field at the 2005 World Outdoor Championship meet.
Armed with only a vision, Lananna pleaded with USATF to extend its deadline for submitting bids to host the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, so Eugene could have time to put together a proposal to bring the meet back to Hayward Field.
A short extension was granted, and Eugene eventually delivered an offer too good to deny.
It’s been on a roll ever since.
On Friday, the gates will open at Hayward Field for the 2016 Olympic Trials, marking the third straight time — and sixth overall — the U.S. team for the Summer Games will be decided in Eugene.
Approximately 1,100 athletes will descend on the city over the two next weeks, vying for spots on the team heading to Rio de Janeiro in August.
They’ll compete in an expanded Hayward Field, with temporary seating boosting capacity from 10,500 to nearly 22,000 for the nine days of competition from July 1-10.
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