It is 1:30 PM local time, and this writer is a) looking forward to the final session and b)dreading the end of the Olympic Trials. Here is why….
As I came back from the Media restaurant, I saw Mike Reilly, the man behind the meet scenes, calmly walking, in his crisp white shirt, tie and shades, behind the warm up area. Mike is part of the team that makes Vinn Lananna’s dreams a reality. The quiet optimism, letting the meet do the talking, with an average of 20,000 plus each day, a perfect facility, a wonderful Track Festival, tremendous athletes and an appreciative and educated crowd.
Many here have suggested that Eugene should be the perpetual home of the US champs and Oly Trials. I have some reservations about that, but would not rule that out. I think that the sport has so much potential, and that sponsors seem to be quite happy with the Eugene presentation.
Athlete stories abound. Each day, from Kara Goucher and Amy Begley on Day 1, to the shot put and Muna Lee on Day 2, to Tyson Gay running 9.68 on Day 3, to Sanya and Jeremy Wariner in the 400 meters! And many have said the 800 meter finals were the best of the week!
Each day has had its rivalry, its behind the scenes stories, and intrigue. The men’s 1,500 meters certainly has lived up to the hype. The men’s 10,000 was a true classic and the herculean battles between Shalane Flanagan, Jenn Rhines and Kara Goucher in the 5,000 meters was amazing!
The men’s long jump came down to the last jump–you can not plan that type of drama!
And day eight, with the 200 finals for both, the 1,500 meter finals and the women’s pole vault will be a fitting end to Olympic Trials 2008!