A chance to witness history | PostIndependent.com

A chance to witness history

Tracking the Trials
Blake Risner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox

Hello from Eugene, Oregon ” “Track Town, USA.”

Tyson Gay ran 9.68 seconds on Sunday at the Olympic track and field trials to register the fastest 100-meter dash ever run by a human being. Granted, the wind was above the allowable 2 meters per second (4.1 mps), so Gay’s effort will not be recognized as a new world record.

However, this is one example of the appeal that this sport has to track and field fans. As Ron Boyce, 62, of Camas, Wash., explains, “track and field is one of those sports where, at almost any meet, you can witness history.”

Boyce is a spectator who, like me, doesn’t mind sitting high up in the bleachers with temperatures well above 90 degrees.

“School records, stadium records, American records, world records. You just never know when you are going to be a part of history.”

Track and field fans are indeed a breed apart. It’s not their fanaticism, from which we get the word “fan.” Track’s allegiance is more of a loyalty to every athlete performing on the track.

Track and field fans tend to focus on the athletes and their performances, not on hoopla that makes it socially cool to be seen in the stands.

“Track fans are students of the sports, less possessive about a team than about someone’s individual effort,” says Kenny Moore, former Olympian and author of “Bowerman and the Men of Oregon.”

Today, I had the opportunity to meet 400 hurdle silver medallist Kerron Clement at Niketown. He signed a couple of autographs for me and seemed genuinely appreciative of the fact that so many people followed his sport. Moments like this just add to the entire experience.

Here is some information for all of my high school athletes to consider. Clement has run the 400 hurdles in 47.24 seconds. Only Matt Queen, GSHS class of 1998, has ever run the 400 ” without hurdles ” faster than Clement. And Clement is the current world record holder in the indoor 400-meter dash with a time of 44.57.

You’re almost there, Connor Riley!

Finals scheduled for Monday at the trials were the men’s and women’s 800, women’s javelin, men’s 5,000 and the men’s decathlon concludes with the 1500-meter run.

Blake Risner is a Glenwood Springs High School track and field coach.

For complete results and information on the 2008 U.S. Olympic track and field trials, log on to http://www.eugene08.com.

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