Demolition is slated to get underway in the renovation of the fabled Hayward Field tomorrow, and in its honour, we have put together a compilation of the coolest track and field moments at the historic University of Oregon facility.
One of the main objectives of the renovation is to create a theatre-like experience for track and field. The reconstruction will ensure unobstructed sight lines throughout, great acoustics, new nine-lane track, along with generous and comfortable seating.
Here are five of the coolest moments at historic Hayward Field:
Steve Prefontaine at the 1972 U.S. Olympic Trials: Prefontaine was trying to make his first Olympic team. He was running against seasoned athlete George Young, who was trying to make his fourth Olympic team. The two men battled for 5,000m, both breaking the American record of 13:29.6 to set a new record of 13:22.8. Prefontaine won that day and made his first Olympic team.
Below is a scene from the film Without Limits, which reenacted the historic 5,000m race. The film stars Billy Crudup as Steve Prefontaine.
Hayward field appears in the movie Animal House: The cult classic directed by John Landis and starring John Belushi in 1978 centers around an attempt to expel a fraternity from an American college.
Canadians Jaimie Phelan and Ben Flanagan win NCAA Championships: In June of 2017, Canadian 1,500m runner Jaimie Phelan wowed crowds with an insane kick to win the NCAA Championships. One year later, this time over 10,000m, Ben Flanagan pulled a similar stunt, moving to the front of the race with 50 metres to go.
— NCAA Track & Field (@NCAATrackField) June 7, 2018
Alan Webb Mile U.S. Prep Record: In 2001 the high school prodigy ran the fastest high school mile time ever run on American soil. Webb ran his mile in a time of 3:53.43. His record stood for 17 years until it was recently broken by Jakob Ingebrigtsen, also at Hayward Field, in a time of 3:52.28.
Genzebe Dibaba in the 2015 Prefontaine Classic: Dibaba ran a blazing 5,000m to set the meet record of 14:19.76, which still stands today. She smashed the previous meet record by 14 seconds. Dibaba won the Prefontaine Classic again in 2018, running 14:26.89 to take the title.