Tracktown12 – Best Show Ever!

This summer, all eyes in the track and field community were on Historic Hayward Field, where the top athletes from the United States competed for the chance to represent the US in London, at the 2012 Olympics. While the weather could have been better, the competition was as good as it gets.

In the first event on Day 1, Ashton Eaton set a World Record in the Decathlon competition, when he ran 100 meters in 10.21 seconds. Then, in the very next event, Eaton set another World Record in the Decathlon Long Jump.

And for those lucky enough to have a ticket, the experience inside Hayward was one of the best track events ever. There was sizzling action, both on the track, record performances in the field events, and a parade of Hall of Fame athletes.

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View from All Angles

TrackTown Productions keeps fans updated and entertained


For The Register-Guard

Appeared in print: Tuesday, June 26, 2012, page D7

A complaint among track and field fans is that they can see more from home — from a webcast or telecast and online results — than they can by attending a meet.

Like a judge signaling foul in a jump or a throw, Tim Lay has raised a red flag to that. He is executive producer of TrackTown Productions, which is responsible for displaying what’s on Hayward Field’s video screens and scoreboards for the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials.

Lay’s mission is to entertain fans in the stands. That’s why the local organizing committee employed TrackTown for the 2008 and 2012 Trials.

“I don’t think we’re doing anything revolutionary in the coverage of track and field,” said Lay, 52, of Eugene. “What we are revolutionizing, I think, is bringing things that have never been used in a board stadium show.

“We’re utilizing a lot of things that we do in network television.”

Lay’s production company has covered college football and basketball for ESPN, Fox Sports Net and the Oregon Sports Network. Track is complicated, he said, because there so many simultaneous events and relevant statistics. The sport, he acknowledged, is hard to cover.

That’s why some in TV hate it. That’s why he loves it.

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