The University of Oregon track teams head to Tucson for the Pac 12 meet this weekend. Athletes remain focused, even during Hayward field's total renovation for the 2021 World Track and Field Championships.
Athletes and coaches say track construction hasn't deterred their momentum this spring. Still, says senior sprinter Spenser Schmidt:
Schmidt: “We're not using our home court advantage really, because [with] Hayward Field, we have a great home court advantage or home track advantage, whatever you want to call it.”
Schmidt, a 2014 Churchill High School grad, says since middle school, he's not had a year he didn't race at Hayward.
Head Coach Robert Johnson says practicing at various local schools can be a challenge:
Johnson: “Everything is such a height of awareness because we're in championship season, and if I'm being honest, just yesterday we're out at Hamlin and all of a sudden there is 30, 40 kids out of nowhere.”
The Duck men defend a 12-year winning streak in the conference. The women vie to regain the title from USC.