Thursday, July 7, 2016

Olympic Trials - Day 5

Had a visitor at the early morning swim workout: this guy...

Reminds me of this guy...

Or to paraphrase that great philosopher Pedro Cerrano: Is very bad to mess with VERY bad.

For what it's worth: my swim was lousy. But Zoe's mustache is looking better and better...

I had driven back to Bend early Tuesday morning, worked for two days, then returned to Eugene on Thursday for more fun and games. First up: lunch at Subo, a sushi food cart near Ninkasi Brewery.

They have someone who likes to weld creative bar stools...

looks like a lantern, but you sit on it. 

Big old bucket of wasabi

you have NO idea!

Ok, a little blurry...I was hustling to the track for the group photo

I had the Samurai Burrito: tuna, salmon, yellow tail. Pretty good.

Back to the dorm to unpack before hustling over to the track for the all-hands photo. Then dropping my car off, while forgetting my new rain jacket in the back seat. No matter: it won't rain until tomorrow. Maybe...

Lots of blue shirts smiling for the camera!
At the briefing, the topic of youngest umpire arose. Everyone thought it was me. Nope, not by 15 years. Terry about had a heart attack when I told him how 'young' I was. Maybe I wear it well.

Someone took this shot on Monday....nice reflection in the glasses!

The meet referee asked me about the men's 800m final: "Did you talk to any of the runners at the start?" Uh, no.

Him: "ok. One of the runners complained that an official said he was on the wrong line."

Not me. And that runner didn't qualify, so it's no wonder he was complaining. Better luck next time, guy.

The last two National Anthems: meh. Two opera-type singers with heavy vibrato. Sounds too mechanical for me. Best male/female voices ever? James Taylor and Ann Wilson. Just smooth, rich tone, with no warbling. Which reminds me: we need to book these guys for the last day...

A  quick trip under the West Grandstands before the women's 1500m heats. There's Tully, Conley, Sara Hall....I love track!

In the crowd, i spot a man wearing a propeller beanie. And this is the sock of a rather influential meet official....

One gripe about women's distance races...too many ponytails. With hair bouncing all over the place, it makes it hard to see what the individual runners are doing! Bouncing hair sometimes looks like bodies flying. I don't know how many times over the years that I almost wrote up Jordan Hasay...

In the women's 5k heats, they are gruppo compacto with a lap remaining. Then the field stretches out, and in the homestretch here's Kim Conley looking around like she's on a butterfly hunt. Gotta guarantee that automatic qualifying spot.

There's an NBC Sports Network monitor right next to me, so i can see the TV feed in real time. That's pretty cool, especially all the 'B' reel footage that they use.

Did i mention the rain? Got a little sloppy out there. And it started to get a bit cold. Ugh.

Before the 100m hurdle heats, I run into the Bowerman Building for a quick bathroom break. This is where VIPs (more important than me) will gather to watch from the balcony above the track. I think briefly about sneaking some food from the catered spread, but decide to wait another hour. But I'm definitely getting hungry...

When i return to the track, I notice that one of the balcony spectators is Bill Dellinger, the track coach after Bill Bowerman. Dellinger ran in three Olympics and took a bronze in the 1964 5000m. About ten years ago, he had a stroke and moves slower now. But he's still showing up...

200m heats: Correion Mosby is from Hinds Community College. Why does that school sound familiar to me? Oh, I know...and i apologize in advance to Seattle Seahawks fans. Hinds is the place where a certain Patriots corner back named Malcolm Butler got his start. Later, Mr. Butler made a pretty sharp play, possibly the most timely (or untimely) play in Super Bowl history.

Jim Ryun and Marty Liquori are paraded out and recognized. Ryun was the first high schooler to run a 4 minute mile, and later broke the world record. Liquori beat Ryun at a Penn Relays matchup that made the cover of Sports Illustrated. Ryun went on to a career in Congress, and Liquori became a jazz guitarist. You can decide for yourself who had the more reputable outcome.

Two years ago, Raven Saunders needed to raise money so she and her mom could travel from South Carolina to the Junior National Championships. She started a GoFundMe account and was able to make the trip. Good thing, because she won. Then she came back in three weeks and placed 2nd at Junior Worlds. Then she got a scholarship, possibly her only avenue to higher education. Today, she's an Olympian. Big, big tears.

Did i mention the rain? It started to cool things off. Between events, I duck under the West Grandstands to warm up. Jim had the right idea...

Know what a transformer is? It takes high voltage and converts it to low voltage. In general, electricity has several useful byproducts: for one,  power to run things. For another, electricity produces heat. Which is a good thing when you're cold. So Jim and I spent some time standing in front of these suckers, with good results.

The women's steeplechase final is a good one. Emma runs away with it, ho hum, with Garcia in 2nd. But two girls are coming on strong, and the three converge at the water jump. Then the two in back run away with it, and the ballgame is over. Garcia loses contact and then falls over the last barrier.

It's a tough sport sometimes. But...

I love track!

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

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