TrackTown Youth League Championship celebrates 5th year

(KVAL image from newscast)

EUGENE, Ore. -- Despite the rain, the fifth annual TrackTown Youth League Championship took place Saturday night at Hayward Field.

It's the last event to be held at historic Hayward Field as it currently stands.

Young athletes across Oregon competed with the goal to make new records - personal or ones that will stand at Hayward Field.

"When I do have time to practice, I like to practice and I practice hard," athlete Charity Reckmann told us before the meet, a statement echoed by more than 550 young athletes under the lights at Hayward Saturday, representing 125 communities across the Pacific Northwest. "My sister threw javelin and I thought it was really interesting, so I tried throwing it and I really liked it."

Now, these competitors are making their own mark in the track and field world.

"The atmosphere is always really nice; it brings out the best adrenaline," said competitor Evan Gonzalez.

Others looked to set new numbers after practicing their entire lives.

"My goal is to set a record here and be one of the last finishers across Hayward Field in all its glory before it gets remodeled," Gonzalez said.

But Oregon Sports Authority says the day is for everyone - if you're 6-to-14 years old.

"The purpose to get kids excited and interested in track and field but we try to strike a balance between the kid who really wants to be competitive and the kid who just wants to come out and try and have fun," explained Oregon Sports Authority's Lauren Elgee.

Attracting track and field fans straight to TrackTown USA to watch the games: "I hope in a couple years to be back here running NCAA," added one athlete.

The event helped bring Oregon together to watch the next generation pave their way in the world of athletics.

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