Hayward Field is a great place to watch fireworks | PostIndependent.com

Hayward Field is a great place to watch fireworks

Blake Risner
Special to the Post Independent

Happy 4th of July to all of the readers in Glenwood Springs and the Roaring Fork Valley. I will be spending my Independence Day at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in the city of Eugene.

Hayward Field is one of the most famous track and field stadiums in the world. The stadium was initially constructed in 1919 for the university football team and has housed the sport of track and field solely since 1967.

Countless U.S. championship-level meets have been contested at Hayward, and a renovated stadium will play host to the IAAF World Championships in 2021.

This place was made for track and field. The track views are sensational from most anywhere in the grandstands, and, to my knowledge, this is one of the only American stadiums where all field events are held within the oval.

Making the experience at Hayward even more memorable is the fact that a spectator is surrounded by the most knowledgeable and fanatical track fans anywhere. These people know the sport, enjoy the sport and give their all to the athletes.

It goes without saying that there is no other place on the planet that I would rather watch fireworks on the 4th of July.

Sunday at the trials, Hayward spectators witnessed seven finals and 21 more qualifiers for the 2016 Olympic Games. Ashton Eaton successfully defended his title in the men’s decathlon, scoring 8,750 points over the two days of competition, highlighted by his first place finish in the 110 meter hurdles.

Other event-winners from Sunday include Chaunte Lowe in the women’s high jump, Jeffery Henderson in the men’s long jump, Allyson Felix in the women’s 400, LaShawn Merritt in the men’s 400, English Gardner in the women’s 100 and Justin Gatlin in the men’s 100.

The most frequently heard phrase from Hayward’s public address announcer on Sunday was, “That performance was the fastest time (or highest jump) in the world this year.” No fewer than eight athletes established world-leading marks on this day. It appears that the Americans are ready for big things in Rio later this summer.

For more information on the Olympic Trials, including schedule and results, go to http://gotracktownusa.com/events/united-states-olympictrials/.

For a complete listing of the television coverage, go tohttp://www.nbcolympics.com/news/how-watch-us-olympic-track-and-field-trials.

Blake Risner is head coach of the Glenwood Springs High School track and field team.

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