Father's Day: Two-time Olympian Galen Rupp's advice to his four children

Father's Day: Two-time Olympian Galen Rupp's advice to his four children

American distance runner Galen Rupp has quite the track record. 

Olympic Experience

  • Three-time Olympian (2008, 2012, 2016); two-time Olympic medalist (silver, bronze)
  • Rio 2016 Olympic Games, 5th (10,000m); bronze (marathon)
  • London 2012 Olympic Games, silver (10,000m); 7th (5,000m)
  • Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, 13th (10,000m)

World Championship Experience

  • Most recent: 2015 – 5th (5,000m, 10,000m)
  • Years of participation: Outdoor – 2009 (10,000m); 2011 (5,000m, 10,000m); 2013 (5,000m, 10,000m); 2015 (5,000m, 10,000m, 5,000m); Indoor – 2010 (3,000m); 2014 (3,000m)
  • Top finish: 4th (10,000m) – 2013

The Portland, Oregon native and former Oregon track & field standout won five NCAA titles during his final season in Eugene, Oregon. 

[Listen to the latest episode of the Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Ernie Kent, former Oregon Ducks men’s basketball coach].

Now, as Rupp continues racing on the track on the big stage, he and his wife Even have entered another big stage in their lives: raising four children.

As a father, I hope I can inspire them to really go after their dreams and show them that if you really want to go after something, it takes a lot of hard work and discipline and hopefully when they’re older they can realize that more and more but I’ve always been one to try and lead by example. — Olympian Galen Rupp

Enjoy more in the video above.

Happy Father’s Day from NBC Sports Northwest!

Eugene, Oregon is becoming a sports Mecca with hosting the 2021 World Championships

Eugene, Oregon is becoming a sports Mecca with hosting the 2021 World Championships

Tracktown USA will never be the same. It only keeps growing not just on a national scale, but global.

It is a big deal that the United States, and more specifically Eugene, Oregon, landed the 2021 World Track and Field Championships at historic Hayward Field.

Former Oregon Track and Field star and Olympian Ashton Eaton joins the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent.

Here is an idea of the scale of this event:

The World Championships was a plan that was in the minds of folks who were building up the Oregon track program, Hayward Field and the ‘Tracktown’ idea years ago. And so, in order to get to that point, the 2008 Olympic Trials had to be had, 2012, 2016 and now 2021. So these things were all not random. They were leading up to this moment of bringing the entire world of track and field to Hayward Field, to Eugene, Oregon. -- Ashton Eaton

It was not a coincidence. It was not random. It was pre-planned and thought out to have Eugene be the home to such a prestigious world showcase.

It’s one of the biggest sporting events in Oregon history making it one of the biggest deals, I think in sport and Oregon history. Oregon is solidifying itself as definitely a track and field Mecca in the United States, but I think it’s starting to become almost a sport Mecca too where you see investment in these facilities, investment in these global events. — Ashton Eaton

The event will start on Friday, August 6, 2021 and will end on Sunday, August 15, 2021.

If you drive by Hayward Field today as it stands today, you may notice that it looks drastically different. The facility is getting a face lift, which comes at an abomination to some but a positive change to others. Some may even ague that if Hayward did not go through these modern renovations, the World Championships wouldn’t have even considered Eugene a host site for the event.

But Tracktown USA is only getting better and better.

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

Ashton Eaton advises fellow Olympian athletes to take advantage of this extra time

Ashton Eaton advises fellow Olympian athletes to take advantage of this extra time

Sometimes, the best kind of training is to re-train not just your body but your mind.

Finding a new way to train for a sport can be high beneficial in the long run.

That is the exact advice that former Oregon Duck Track and Field star and Olympian Ashton Eaton would give to other Olympians who had their Olympic training interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I would say, you have to use pretty much every adverse scenario as an athlete somehow to your advantage. Every step backward could potentially be a step forward. This could be an opportunity for you to really get more prepared for the Olympic Games. — Ashton Eaton

So I think you can use this ‘extra time’ if you will, to your advantage and just focusing on your training and getting better. — Ashton Eaton

You heard it also on the Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with Oregon men’s basketball guard Payton Pritchard. Since being forced inside with the StayHome initiative, Pritchard has continued sharpening his craft and doing his dribbling routine in his garage while also running the hills of West Linn, Oregon.

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.

Minor, almost mockable: NCAA serves penalties for Oregon Ducks' violations

Minor, almost mockable: NCAA serves penalties for Oregon Ducks' violations

On Wednesday, the NCAA announced Oregon committed violations in men’s and women’s basketball, women’s track and field and football.

The violations and the penalties are very minor…. Almost mockable, considering the level of corruption that exists around the nation in NCAA college sports.

The stiffest penalty? NCAA put Oregon Athletics on two years probation from Dec. 5, 2018, to Dec. 4, 2020. A team already on probation for violations can get substantially worse penalties for similar infractions. Probation can have a negative impact on recruiting and could make the federal NCAA basketball corruption case, that Oregon was mentioned in, more interesting. 

To summarize, Oregon committed violations by having basketball staff show up at practices and voluntary workouts when they weren’t allowed, a professor who allowed a track and field athlete to submit coursework after the course had ended (which he said he would do for any student, regardless of athlete status), and a football electronic presentation that included each prospect’s name, statistics and a high school highlight video displayed in the football equipment area.

Relatively tame infractions that were mostly self-reported. What’s next? The Oregon Golf team penalized for having too many golf tees per bag? I kid, but if you are a worried Duck fan… Don’t be. 

Here are the violations and penalties:

Women’s basketball

The NCAA ruled that coach Kelly Graves failed to monitor his program and failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance by allowing an assistant strength and conditioning coach to participate in on-court activities.

Graves will serve a two-game suspension this season and must reduce the number of countable coaches by one at regular practice for 10 hours during the 2018-19 season (self-imposed by the university). Also, the school must pay a $5,000 fine plus one percent of the women’s basketball budgets.

Men’s Basketball

The NCAA ruled that the director of basketball operations participated in and observed voluntary workouts, which is a violation. 

As a penalty, that individual received a two-year show-cause order from the NCAA. The men’s basketball program must reduce the number of countable coaches by one at regular practice for 5 hours during the 2018-19 season (self-imposed by the university). Also, the school must pay a fine of one percent of the program’s budget.

Track and Field

The NCAA found an adjunct instructor changed a course grade for a women’s track and field student-athlete, which allowed her to maintain her eligibility and earn her degree.

The professor stated this was due to the system not allowing him to give the athlete an incomplete, with the grade coming following the submission of said coursework.

Oregon's senior vice provost for academic affairs said the athlete did not violate the school's misconduct policy, and the professor said he would have made the same accommodation for any student regardless of athlete status. 

Oregon must vacate all records compiled while the athlete was ineligible.

Oregon Football

Lastly, the NCAA ruled the football program gained a recruiting advantage when it impermissibly displayed personalized statistics of visiting recruits during unofficial and official visits on a new electronic reader board in the football facility.

Oregon athletics self reported the violations above. All in all, not much to worry about, Duck fans… Except maybe those golf tees (kidding!).

Eugene to host 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Eugene to host 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Press Release from USATF Communications

INDIANAPOLIS - Eugene, Oregon, has been selected by the USATF Board of Directors as the site of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field.

Showcasing more than 1,000 Olympic-hopeful athletes competing for the right to represent the United States at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field are slated for June 19-28, 2020, at Hayward Field. With eight days of competition over a 10-day span, the Trials will be contested in a new, state-of-the-art Hayward Field, slated for completion in the spring of 2020. Just over one year later, Hayward will again take center stage when the country welcomes the world to the state of Oregon for the 2021 IAAF World Championships.

"No domestic event is more important to athletes and fans than the Olympic Trials," USATF Chairman of the Board Steve Miller said. "The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials is even more critical because it will lead off an unprecedented opportunity to elevate track & field in this country. Having continuity in location as we move from the Olympic Trials into 2021 will enhance and amplify everything around the sport in the United States, from marketing and promotions to operational efficiencies."

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field is the world's largest and best track meet outside of the Olympic Games and IAAF World Championships and is a collaboration between the U.S. Olympic Committee and USATF. Led by CEO Michael Reilly, TrackTown USA will serve as the local organizing committee for the Olympic Trials.

"The USOC is pleased with the selection of Eugene as the host of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials," USOC Chief of Sport Performance Alan Ashley said. "From a performance perspective, the USOC's top considerations are that the Olympic Trials provide the best competitive experience to athletes and serve as a platform to select the best Olympic Team possible. Eugene is a well-established host, and we look forward to the 2020 Olympic Team that will be selected there."

"We could not be more excited to host the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials," TrackTown USA CEO Reilly said. "We are confident that the Eugene-Springfield community, our public and private partners, and the fans who travel from across the country will ensure an extraordinary atmosphere for this event. A new, state-of-the-art Hayward Field on the beautiful University of Oregon campus will be a perfect setting for the athletes striving to become a part of the World's #1 Track & Field team."

Eugene and the University of Oregon's Hayward Field have been the previous site of six U.S. Olympic Team Trials, the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, sixteen NCAA Outdoor Championships and the annual Nike Prefontaine Classic.

The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field is part of an Olympic qualifying journey that also includes the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Marathon, which will be held February 29, 2020 in Atlanta. The site of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - 50 km Race Walk, will be announced in coming weeks.

Oregon receives Notice of Allegations from the NCAA

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Oregon receives Notice of Allegations from the NCAA

The Ducks are in hot water. The NCAA has alleged that the Oregon football, track and field, and both the men’s and women’s basketball teams committed rules infractions, some dating as far back as 2013.

The notice, which was received by the University on Monday, includes the following allegations:

  • In March 2016 an adjunct professor in the anthropology department “knowingly arranged for fraudulent academic credit or false transcripts” for a member of the women’s track and field team. Specifically, the professor changed the student’s grade from an F to a B-minus to ensure the student remained academically eligible to participate in athletics.

 

  • Multiple allegations state that during varying periods from 2013 to 2017 both the men’s and women’s basketball programs “exceeded the numerical limitation of four basketball coaches” by allowing members of the staff to participate in on-court basketball activities.

 

  • That coach Dana Altman was fully responsible for the previously stated violations by the men’s basketball program, and that Altman “did not demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere for compliance and monitored his staff within the program due to his personal knowledge of and/or involvement in the violations”

 

  • That coach Kelly Graves was fully responsible for the previously stated violations by the women’s basketball program, and that Graves “did not demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere for compliance and monitored his staff within the program due to his personal knowledge of and/or involvement in the violations” 

 

  • From August to November 2016 the football program “arranged personalized recruiting aids for 36 football prospective student-athletes during unofficial and official paid visits. Specifically, the football program created an electronic presentation that included each prospective student-athlete's name, physical attributes and high school highlight video and displayed it on a video board located in the football performance center."  

 

(READ THE FULL NOTICE OF ALLEGATIONS HERE)

The NCAA violation structure has four levels, with Level I being a “severe breach of conduct” and Level IV being “incidental issues.” All of the allegations levied against Oregon are considered Level II violations.

A Level II violation is considered a “significant breach of conduct.” According to the NCAA, Level II is described as “violations that provide or are intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage; includes more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit; or involves conduct that may compromise the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws.”

The University, which self reported all the infractions, has acknowledged the infractions took place, but doesn’t agree with the level of infraction to which the NCAA enforcement staff assigned.

“Coach Altman and coach Graves are committed to compliance with NCAA bylaws, they have the highest ethical standards on and off the court, and each acknowledges the infractions that took place within their programs,” said UO Athletic Director Rob Mullens. “In both cases, our monitoring program identified the issues and they were reported to the NCAA. We have addressed the matters with the responsible employees and enhanced compliance training within the department. These cases do not merit the level of charges against the coaches sought by the NCAA.”