NCAA Championships: 'Oregon is known as the mecca for track and field'

EUGENE, Ore. - The best college track and field athletes from across the country converged on Hayward Field starting Wednesday for the NCAA Championships.

"I'm looking forward to competing," said Ethan Dennis, a hammer thrower from the University of Michigan. "Should be my main highlight this weekend."

Family, friends and fans are joining athletes at Hayward.

"We're all excited," said Jim Calusso, the grandfather of an Arizona State University athlete. "We have 11 people here from out of state to help her and push her on. We're really looking forward to it."

"I've been to a lot of meets this year with the Buckeyes," said Ohio State dad John Batcha, "but this is the ultimate race, so I feel great."

For locals, the crowds of visitors could mean you'll need to wait a little longer to get into your favorite restaurants as the championships continue through Saturday.

"We're going to have visiting coaches and athletes, we'll be running drink specials," said Jason Boyer at the Wild Duck east of campus, "and as you can see we're gearing up for a big party here. We've set up this infrastructure to handle a little bigger crowd than normal."

For the athletes, visiting Track Town USA holds special meaning.

"Oregon is known as the mecca for track and field, so it's always cool to come here and go to Track Town Pizza and see all the pictures on the wall."