Eugene set to hold trials and championships

EUGENE, Ore. – USA Track & Field and the U.S. Olympic Committee on Wednesday announced their intent to host the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field in Eugene, Oregon, USATF CEO Craig Masback announced Wednesday. The announcement was made at an afternoon press conference on the University of Oregon campus.

Eugene, which next year will host the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field, also will host the 2009 and 2011 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Masback announced.

Site of the 1972, '76, '80 and 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field and the 1999 and 2001 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the University of Oregon's Hayward Field will be the site of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, where the roster for Team USA will be selected for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In 2009, Team USA will select its roster for the 2009 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Berlin, Germany, and 2011 will see the selection of the American squad for the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

Heading back to Track Town

The Oregon Track Club, along with its partners the University of Oregon, local and state government, corporate sponsors and the local community, is the official host for the three championship meets. In its successful bid for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field, the Oregon Track Club and Eugene '08 local organizing committee put their focus on enhancing the experience for athletes and coaches, while providing a celebratory atmosphere for fans and the community. It is that approach that helped convince USATF to return to Track Town, USA, for four of the next five years.

"The commitment of Eugene, its local organizers and the entire community to track and field is unprecedented," Masback said. "Ticket packages for the 2008 Olympic Trials sold out months ago, and already you can feel a buzz in the air here about the event, from the banners at the airport to the construction going on at Hayward Field. There is no place quite like Track Town, USA, and we look forward to returning here as we move through the next Olympic Games cycle."

"The magnitude of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for track and field deserves a host that is passionate about the sport and that can provide the best competitive environment," said Steve Roush, USOC Chief of Sport Performance. "The U.S. Olympic Committee is confident that the city of Eugene is ready to demonstrate that next year and we look forward to a continued partnership with USA Track & Field and Eugene in making the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials even better."

For 2008, Eugene is expanding seating at Hayward Field, upgrading the competition and warm-up areas, upgrading media facilities and staging expansive new athlete programs. The site of the most prestigious invitational track meet in the country, the Nike Prefontaine Classic, Eugene has long been dubbed "Track Town, USA" for its rich track and field history and the community's appreciation of the sport. The Nike Prefontaine Classic regularly draws standing-room-only crowds, while athletes consistently rate Hayward Field as having one of the most compelling atmospheres of any stadium in the world.

"We like to think that Eugene is the spiritual home for track and field in the United States, and we wanted to make it the physical home, as well," said Vin Lananna, associate athletic director at the University of Oregon, which also will host the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships. "Bringing the USA Championships and U.S. Olympic Team Trials back to Hayward Field for multiple years was a huge priority for us. We are thrilled with the news announced today."

The largest national championship track meet in the world, the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field hosts more than 1,000 athletes as they compete for the right to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games. More than 350,000 fans attended the last two U.S. Olympic Trials in Sacramento, and at each edition of the meet, more than 1,000 members of the media from around the world cover the event while thousands of volunteers and officials provide support.


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