On The Ground At The Olympic Trials

By: Mark Wang

The Olympic trials were certainly memorable. Eight amazing days of competition, world records, and a whole ton of trials records. It was also HOT. Like triple digit, competition suspending kind of hot. As some of you know I did the takeover for The Harrier on our Instagram. And now being a few weeks removed from the trials and with the games themselves fast approaching, I thought we could recap those last two days that I covered in a bit of a journal style. So, let’s get started.

Day 9 June 26th:

Travel day and first day of the trials for me and my buddy. We got up early to beat the traffic and after 7 hours on the road we got to Eugene around 2:30 in the afternoon. First thing we noticed was the heat and humidity--kind of like the East Coast. But, being back in Eugene was a breath of fresh air. We walked around, spent some money at the Treehouse (Oregon Track Club's pop-up shop) and continued down to the stadium. It was my first time seeing the new stadium in person and it was jaw dropping. Beautiful arching roof, not a bad seat in the house, intimate atmosphere, and above all it felt like I was home. While it was a bit warm the first day, it wasn’t unbearable. Walking around and taking in the competition was a joy. Seeing Holloway win the 110 hurdles and Rai Benjamin win the 400 hurdles were sites to see. Effortless, elegant, and so fast. After a nice dinner and seeing the stadium as the sun started to go down, we headed back to where we were staying to rest up for an early day the final day of the trials.

Day 10 June 27th:

The final day of the trials was long, hot, and a bit lengthened due to the heat. With the weather projected to be about 112 degrees that day, the 5k was bumped up to 10 am. So, after a thrilling race that saw Cooper Teare almost kick down Woody Kincaid, we had a nice long break. Then the heat peaked. It was bad. So bad that competition got postponed for about six hours. The ice cream line was long but man it was worth it to get something cold. But, truth be told it, was a blessing to get the trials pushed back to the night. Not just because it was going to be cooler out, but because it was the final night, under the bright lights of Hayward, with a packed house. You can’t really ask for much more. So, after watching some world class racing, which included Sydney Mclaughlin breaking the 400h world record, we went back to our place and took stock of what had happened the past two days. Great races, some minor damage to the bank account from splurging, incredible  memories, saw some friends, and got to be back in a place I call home.

The trials have me beyond excited for the Olympic Games and I hope you are too. Make sure to be on the lookout for some Olympics articles from the Harrier. And, as always, HAVE YOURSELF A DAY!!