Hayward Field

Ashton Eaton’s most memorable moments at historic Hayward Field

Ashton Eaton’s most memorable moments at historic Hayward Field

They don’t call Eugene, Oregon ‘Tracktown USA’ for nothing.

Hayward Field, built in 1919 and home to the University of Oregon Track & Field teams, isn’t just recognized at the collegiate level, but on the national stage. 

Every passing season has brought changes, but the two constants have been excellence and accolades. More USA Olympic Track and Field Trials and NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted than any other venue; more “World’s Greatest Athlete” titles bestowed upon decathlon world record breakers than at any other venue; and more incredible performances than you could name in the time it took Pre to run a mile. (Hayward Field history).

When it was announced that historic Hayward Field would be remodeled, there was a lot of emotion on both ends of the spectrum. Some were happy about the remodel, making the stadium safer for fans and spectators, new track and field surface, updated design, etc. However, there was definitely some backlash as well for those who shared an emotional connection with the history of what made Tracktown USA so special.

Here are just some of the highlights:

- Hosted first NCAA Championships in 1962

- Football played its last game in Hayward Field in 1966

- Hosted U.S. Olympic Trials in 1972

- Appeared in the movie ‘Animal House’ in 1978

- Hosted IAAF World Junior Championships in 2014

Former Oregon track star and Olympian Ashton Eaton joins host Jordan Kent on the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast.

Eaton shared some of his favorite memories at the historic Hayward Field, specifically the Olympic Trials in 2012. 

I remember sitting basically off to the side where the 1500 meter starts for the decathalon. I was about to run, I knew I had to run a certain time to break the world record. I was basically sitting in the storage shed with the decathletes getting ready to run. I just remember it being really quiet in there, which is not normal for decathletes together waiting for an event. — Ashton Eaton

This is where things got interesting…

I think everyone just knew what was happening. My friends and athletes came up to me and said ‘Hey, just let us know if you need help. We’re here for you man, we think you can do it.’ Just that moment, sitting at Hayward knowing there’s fans out there waiting, knowing that 1500 meter line is the first place I remember meeting my future wife (Brianne). So many memories just bottled up into that moment. — Ashton Eaton

Eaton went on to break the world record in 2012 with 9,039 points to beat Roman Sebrle's 11-year-old mark by 13 points.

You can listen to the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast here:

2020 Pac-12 Championships coming to Eugene

2020 Pac-12 Championships coming to Eugene

Save the date for the Hayward Field grand opening! From the Oregon Athletic Department. 

EUGENE, Ore. – Hayward Field and the University of Oregon track and field program will host the 2020 Pac-12 Championships as announced Tuesday by the league office.
 
The conference championships will mark the first event hosted at Hayward Field since reconstruction started in summer of 2018. The 2020 Pac-12 Championships will be held May 15-16 in Eugene. The Combined Events meet will be hosted by Oregon State the previous weekend (May 8-9) in Corvallis.
 
"Hosting the Pac-12 Championships will be a fantastic way to re-introduce the world to Hayward Field," head coach Robert Johnson said. "It's an exciting announcement for our program and very fitting that the first event in our new yet still legendary facility will feature some of the top student-athletes in the NCAA.
 
"Hayward Field has a long-running tradition of hosting world-class meets and attracting big crowds, and with the level of the sport in the Pac-12 Conference, this meet should be no different."
 
The Hayward Field renovation will result in what is being billed as the world's finest track and field facility. The 2020 Pac-12 Championships will mark the 10thtime the conference meet has been held at Hayward Field. The meet was previously hosted in Eugene in 1967, 1973, 1982, 1992, 2000, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2017.
 
The 2020 Pac-12 Championships is the latest meet awarded to Hayward Field for next year. Last August, Eugene was selected by the USATF Board of Directors as the site of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.