2016 World Indoors Delivers Great Show,  Outstanding Peformances

EUGENE, Ore. – Within the first few bars of “O Canada,” the national anthem of our neighbors to the north, Brianne Theisen-Eaton could no longer contain her emotions, and tears of joy came flowing down her cheeks.

It was her golden moment. Just two hours earlier, Theisen-Eaton had won her first gold medal on a global stage, setting a national record and world-leading mark of 4,881 points in winning the pentathlon at the IAAF World Indoor Championships at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

The first one to greet her with a congratulatory hug was her husband, Ashton Eaton, who was in the midst of competition in the heptathlon, an event he would go on to win for the third straight time at the World Indoor Championships.

Later, Team Eaton would be reunited following the medal ceremonies at Pioneer Courthouse Square, where a tear-streaked Theisen-Eaton stood tall on the awards podium and received her gold medal as a crowd of over 1,500 people cheered wildly for the former University of Oregon standout.
“That was the coolest medal ceremony I’ve ever experienced, by far,” Theisen-Eaton said.

Bringing the medal ceremonies to Pioneer Courthouse Square was but one of many innovations undertaken by event organizers at the meet, which drew a four-day attendance total of 39,283, including sold-out evening sessions on Friday (7,016), Saturday (7,173) and Sunday (7,191) at the Oregon Convention Center.

“I think we exceeded all expectations,” said Vin Lananna, TrackTown USA president and head coach of the U.S. Olympic men’s track and field team. “Everyone has this idea that the track and field fans are only in Eugene, but the city of Portland, and the entire state of Oregon, has a real connection to the sport. This is just the start.”


One of the most popular innovations at World Indoors was the elaborate introductions before each final, where the athletes entered the stadium, one by one, descending a ramp with music blaring, the lights dimmed and enveloped in fog.

The pole vault drew 6,924 fans as a stand-alone event on Thursday; 144 high school athletes representing 36 schools competed on the same track as their heroes in six 4×400-meter relay races; and the official IAAF press conference eschewed formal suits and ties for a more casual setting outside at Pioneer Courthouse Square with the public invited to ask questions of the VIPs and athletes.

In the end, more than 500 athletes from 144 countries competed in Portland. Besides the sold-out crowds at the OCC, thousands more joined the festivities each day and night at Pioneer Courthouse Square.


Here’s what UO alum Laura Roesler told Jeff Smith of the Portland Tribune about her experience.

“Track and field really needed an event like this,” said Roesler, the 2014 Bowerman winner, who placed fourth in the women’s 800 meters in her first international championships. “I hope people walked away from it and bragged about what a good experience this was. Because even though I’m biased, it really was a great time in a great environment.”


On the track, it was a record-setting meet for Team USA, which enjoyed a home field advantage for the first time in 30 years:

  • Team USA won 23 medals, a record for any country at a single World Indoors, breaking the old mark of 19 medals won by the U.S. in 1999.
  • Team USA also won 13 gold medals, breaking the previous record of 10, achieved by the U.S. in 2012.
  • Michelle Carter set an American indoor record to win the shot put at 66 feet, 3 ¾ inches (20.21m); the first U.S. woman to win the shot at WIC.
  • UO alum Matthew Centrowitz claimed the first men’s 1,500-meter gold medal ever by a U.S. runner at WIC.
  • Ashton Eaton became the first man to ever win three straight golds in the heptathlon at the WIC.
  • Jenn Suhr and Sandi Morris gave the U.S. a 1-2 finish in the women’s pole vault for only the second time in WIC history.
  • Brittney Reese won her third straight WIC long jump title, raising her total global championship gold count to nine.
  • Nia Ali joined Lolo Jones as the only two American women to win successive 60m hurdle titles at World Indoors.
  • Trayvon Bromell (20 years, 252 days) became the youngest man to ever win gold in the 60m at the WIC.
  • Vashti Cunningham (18 years, 62 days) became the youngest American ever to medal at World Indoors and the youngest woman to win the high jump at WIC.


The final word belongs to IAAF President Sebastian Coe.

“During the past four days, we have experienced indoor athletics at its finest at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016,” he said. “Top-class entertainment, innovatively presented with light and sound effects, from the introduction of the athletes in the stadium to the medal ceremonies in the heart of the city center.

“We were thrilled by some outstanding performances. The four action-packed days produced 10 world-leading marks, with two championship, seven area and more than 40 national records set in the Oregon Convention Center.”

“Indoor athletics offers an intimate experience for sports fans who are separated by no more than a few feet from the athletes in competition. The capacity crowds this week have shown that indoor athletics delivers a great show when well packaged.”



TrackTown USA

Tracktown Welcomes the World

BEIJING – The IAAF’s crown jewel of track and field, the World Championships, will be held in the United States for the first time in 2021.

In a special vote at its meetings in Beijing, the 27-member IAAF Council awarded the 2021 World Championships to the United States and the state of Oregon. USA Track & Field, the national governing body for the sport in this country, the City of Eugene and local organizing committee TrackTown USA will host the meet at the University of Oregon’s historic Hayward Field.

It marks the first time in the 33-year history of the IAAF World Championships that it will be contested on U.S. soil. The 2019 IAAF World Championships were awarded to Doha, Qatar, last November in a close vote that saw the U.S. bid garner significant attention and support.

IAAF President Lamine Diack announced the decision Thursday in Beijing.

“We are humbled by the bold leadership shown by the IAAF Council,” TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna said. “We are thrilled to be able to welcome the world in 2021. We want to thank the IAAF for their decision, and we also want to thank the people of Oregon for their unwavering support. In hosting this meet at historic Hayward Field, on the beautiful University of Oregon campus, we believe we can ignite a spark that will leave a lasting legacy for track and field for generations to come.”

The 2021 World Championships will be the third IAAF championship event to be held in Oregon in the span of seven years. The highly acclaimed IAAF World Junior Championships Oregon14 made its U.S. debut in TrackTown USA last summer and the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 will be held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland on March 18-20, 2016.

“We are deeply honored to be given the opportunity to host the world’s greatest track and field athletes on U.S. soil,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said. “We thank President Diack and the IAAF Council for entrusting this meet to the United States. Team USA has established itself as the most successful track and field team in the world. We now have the opportunity and duty to rise to the same level as hosts of these championships.”

The IAAF World Championships – a biennial nine-day competition featuring the world’s finest track and field athletes – will be the largest sporting event in the world in 2021, with nearly 2,000 participants representing as many as 213 different countries from around the world.

The 2021 IAAF World Championships will join a long list of prestigious track and field events held in TrackTown USA. The University of Oregon has welcomed five U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials – including Eugene 08 and TrackTown 12, with a sixth coming in July of 2016 – the annual Prefontaine Classic, multiple USA Outdoor Championships and the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships through 2021.

IAAF World Indoor Championships – Portland 2016

The world’s best track and field athletes will gather at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon to compete in the 16th International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Indoor Championships. More than 600 athletes representing more than 200 countries will compete at the biannual event.

The Championships will be held in March 2016, marking the first time this event has been contested on U.S. soil since the inaugural competition in Indianapolis in 1987. Athletes will compete in 13 men’s and women’s events, ranging from track events such as the 400-meter sprint to the 3,000-meter run to field events such as pole vault, shot put and triple jump. Spectators will also enjoy the men’s heptathlon and women’s pentathlon. Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in each event.

Team USA looks to build on their strong performance from the 2014 World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland when they won eight gold, two silver and two bronze medals. Team USA also set the World Indoor Championships record in the 4×400-meter relay in 2014.

Facilities at the Oregon Convention Center will include a new 200-meter IAAF-certified track and seating to accommodate more than 8,000 track and field fans. The Championships will be broadcast worldwide to an estimated 140 million global viewers.

IAAF awards 2019 World Championships to Doha

Monte Carlo, Monaco – The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) voted to award the 2019 IAAF World Championships to the city of Doha, Qatar on Tuesday over competing bids from Eugene, Oregon and Barcelona, Spain.

TrackTown USA, the local organizing committee for the U.S. bid, in conjunction with USA Track & Field (USATF), was attempting to bring the IAAF’s crown jewel to U.S. soil for the first time in the 31-year history of the event.

The highly acclaimed 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships made its American debut at Hayward Field in Eugene last summer, and the IAAF World Indoor Championships will be contested in Portland at the Oregon Convention Center in March of 2016.

Statement from TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna:

“We would like to offer our heartfelt congratulations to Doha and our sincere thanks to the IAAF. It’s important to dream big and have ambitious goals. We made a bold attempt with an audacious vision for this event and we will continue to partner with USA Track & Field in attracting other major events to the U.S. I have no doubt that the U.S. will field another fantastic track and field team in the summer of 2019, and we look forward to welcoming the world to Portland in the spring of 2016.”

Statement from USATF CEO Max Siegel:

“The United States congratulates Doha on securing the 2019 World Championships. We look forward to Team USA competing in Doha against the best athletes in the world. We thank President (Lamine) Diack, the IAAF Council, and the IAAF evaluation commission for considering our bid and the tremendous collaboration the IAAF showed throughout this process.”


Curtis Anderson | TrackTown USA

WJC Crew – Thank You!

To all of you who were a part of the World Junior Championship Crew, I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your efforts during this event. However, to fully understand the significance of your achievements,  I need to let you in on a little history.

I have been working with the event management team for this project for almost 2 years. And now that the dust has settled, I can tell you that what we created during this 10-day event was far better than we ever imagined. The production plan was very complicated, with daily setup changes for the equipment and crew. And as an international audience tuned in to our coverage, the world witnessed one of the largest events ever to come to Eugene.

This was an unprecedented event at Historic Hayward Field. Not only because the extensive technical requirements of the IAAF, but also because the sheer size of the event. Over 1,700 athletes from 167 different countries travelled to Eugene to compete in the event.

I’ve been covering events at Hayward for over 20 years, and I have never seen a television production with so many production resources dedicated to coverage of the meet. All totaled, our 4 production teams produced over 110 hours of television coverage during the 6 days event.

Before the last day of competition, the IAAF Competition Director told me that he has never witnessed a Host Broadcast crew that were as courteous and easy to work with as our crew at Hayward Field. And for that, we should all feel a sense of pride.

Tracktown USA will be hosting another Championship Event when the IAAF World Indoor Championships comes to Portland in March of 2016. And because of the success of WJC14, they are putting together a bid to bring the 2019 Outdoor World Championships to Hayward as well.

So, on behalf of Tracktown Productions, the Tracktown USA Management Team, and the staff at USA Track & Field, I want to congratulate each and every one of you on a job VERY well done. And if we are successful in bringing another IAAF championship event to Eugene, you should feel a sense of pride in having contributed to those efforts.

Tim Lay
Executive Producer
Tracktown Productions

United States bids for 2019 IAAF World Outdoor Championships

INDIANAPOLIS – USA Track & Field and TrackTown USA this week officially submitted a bid for the 2019 IAAF World Outdoor Track & Field Championships, proposing Eugene, Oregon, as the host for the sport’s largest and most prestigious stand-alone event.The IAAF World Championships – a biennial nine-day competition featuring the world’s finest track and field athletes – will be the largest sporting event in the world in 2019, with nearly 2,000 participants representing more than 200 countries. The IAAF’s crown jewel has never been held in the U.S., dating back to the inaugural meet contested in Helsinki, Finland in 1983. The 2015 IAAF World Championships will be held in Beijing, and the 2017 edition is set for London.

The bid is the next step in an active two years for USATF and TrackTown USA on the international level.  On the competitions front, TrackTown USA served as local organizing committee (LOC) for the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships at historic Hayward Field last summer, the first time ever on U.S. soil, and will be the LOC for the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon. Away from the track, USATF in June hosted the IAAF Council meeting and earlier this year hosted the North American, Central American and Caribbean Women’s Conference in Miami.

“As one of the most successful federations on the track, USATF considers it a duty and an honor to be active in hosting the IAAF, its competitions, and fellow federations,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said. “We have worked actively with the IAAF and TrackTown USA for nearly two years to ensure we are able to put forth a bid that will elevate the profile of track & field internationally as well as in the United States. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with TrackTown USA to present this bid.”

Also bidding for the 2019 World Championships are Barcelona, Spain, and Doha, Qatar.  The IAAF Evaluation Commission will make site visits to each city in late October to verify their bid proposals. The final decision on the host city will be made by the IAAF Council in Monaco on November 18, after presentations from each candidate city.

The host of countless NCAA championships as well as World Juniors and World Indoors, TrackTown USA also has hosted the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field, and will do so again in 2016.

“After the exceptional success of the IAAF World Junior Championships last summer, we believe we are better positioned than ever to make a run for the World Championship,” said TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna. “The state of Oregon’s unrivaled fan base creates a special atmosphere when they fill the grandstands for the great competitions hosted on the beautiful University of Oregon campus. The rich tradition and history of TrackTown USA and Hayward Field make for an ideal and authentic global platform to stage this fantastic event.”

Since the founding of IAAF World Championships in 1983, the United States has won 275 medals – 132 gold, 74 silver and 69 bronze. Germany is next with 180 medals (54 gold), Russia third with 150 (45 gold) and Kenya fourth with 100 (38 gold). At the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Team USA led all participating countries with a total of 25 medals, including six gold, 14 silver and five bronze.