After Friday night's fireworks, the patriotic weekend continued at Hayward Field. The country's best track and field athletes under 20 competed Saturday and Sunday for a chance to represent the United States at the World Junior Championships.
The U.S. has never hosted a world championship track meet. In two weeks, Eugene will welcome junior athletes from 212 countries. This weekend, several local competitors earned their right to compete for the United States at the event.
U of O red-shirt freshman Cole Walsh won the pole vault Saturday. He says having the world meet in Eugene is intimidating, in a good way:
Walsh: "I think it adds a little bit of pressure. But I think that pressure helps me out a lot. I'll look up in the stands and see my parents, and I'll know, hey, I'm doing this for them. I'm doing this for Oregon. And I just put in a little bit more effort."
Nate Moore, another incoming freshman, won the triple jump with a huge personal best. He summed up many of the young athlete's feelings, saying the world meet would be the biggest event of his life so far.
Incoming Duck freshman Raevyn Rogers won the 800 after leading the entire race. She's happy to have been practicing on the home track:
Rogers: "I think it's gonna be good, it’s a huge step up that I have against some of the other athletes that (are) coming from around the world. I'm definitely going to use that to my advantage.
The World Junior Championships begin July 22 in Eugene.
Note: Nate Moore had not achieved the qualifying standard for the triple jump, so he will not be competing at the World Junior event.