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The Genesis of Oregon Track and Field

The birth of track and field on the UO campus dates back to 1895. The student body (then numbering 353) built a quarter-mile dirt track at Kincaid Field, now the site of 13th Avenue and Kincaid Street, to practice for their annual field day, held in conjunction with commencement exercises. In 1900, the Ducks started competing in dual meets against regional universities and opponents and sported a 13-3 record in their first nine years – including an undefeated stretch from 1906-09. The first upgrade to the Kincaid track came in 1904 when it was covered partially to facilitate inclement-weather practice and competition. By 1912 the sport had started to outgrow the facility, and the university started to explore other possibilities.

The Origin of Hayward Field

Although collegiate sports went on hiatus temporarily in 1917 because of the first World War, a full schedule of meets returned in 1919 – the same year Hayward Field was built for football. Two years later, a six-lane cinder track bordering the football playing field was installed for $10,000, including a 220-yard straightway on the east end of the track. Bleachers were transferred from Kincaid Field, and in 1925, the wooden east grandstand was added. In 1928, the students paid to cover the bleachers on the north end that remained until 1950.

The Transition to Track-Only

With the construction of Autzen Stadium for football in 1967, Hayward Field became a track-only venue. One of the stadium's most famous former features was its south end bleachers that obscured nearly a quarter of the track. Oregon runners and eventual Olympians Otis Davis and Wade Bell were famed for trailing the field as they disappeared behind the bleachers, only to emerge into daylight with a commanding lead. The cinder track lasted until 1970 when the facility received its first all-weather surface. Five years later, the west grandstands were completely rebuilt to their current layout.

Recent Improvements

The University of Oregon continues to update the classic facility.

In 2007, distance running fans celebrated a new permanent lighting system that was unveiled for the Oregon Invitational distance carnival. The grand venue can now easily accommodate the most televised hours of Olympic Trials coverage ever, thanks to eight, 110-foot light poles and additional lighting system fixed to the top of west and east grandstands.

A complete facelift of the indoor practice area under the west grandstands was finished in the spring of 2006, and included a new urethane-coated competition surface, jump runways and pits, and several throwing rings. A pair of state-of-the-art underwater and anti-gravity treadmills were installed to enhance Oregon's national-class athletic treatment facilities

Powell Plaza – unveiled in 2005 to welcome fans into the fabled facility – details UO's rich track and field heritage and is named after the family of Lloyd Powell, a track teammate of former coach and athlete Bill Dellinger. That same year, the facility welcomed a new four-lane, fully-lit 400-meter all-weather track that encircles six new tennis courts on the southwest edge of the track.

Situated on the northwest corner of the facility, the $2 million Bowerman Building was completed in 1992 and dedicated to Bill Bowerman and his family who donated funds necessary to construct the all-purpose building. The two-story, 15,000-square foot brick building houses the university's hailed International Institute for Sport and Human Performance along with athletic treatment, locker rooms and meeting rooms. Memorabilia and various exhibits commemorate great athletes, teams and moments of the program's history.

One of the biggest renovations to date came prior to the 1988 NCAA Championships with a two-year project to convert the track from a 440-yard dimension to a 400-meter oval with 85-meter straightaways. To accommodate the size changes, the east grandstands were moved back to the east approximately 11 meters (or 35 feet, 9 1/2 inches) – with the structure reconditioned later in the process.

Major Collegiate and National Events Hosted

  • 2014 NCAA Championships
  • 2013 NCAA Championships
  • 2012 Olympic Trials
  • 2012 Pac-12 Conference Championships
  • 2011 USA Championships
  • 2010 NCAA Championships
  • 2009 USA Championships
  • 2009 NCAA West Regional Championships
  • 2009 Pacific-10 Conference Championships
  • 2008 Olympic Trials
  • 2007 NCAA West Regional Championships
  • 2006 Pacific-10 Conference Championships
  • 2005 NCAA West Regional Championships
  • 2001 NCAA Championships
  • 2001 USA Championships
  • 2000 Pacific-10 Conference Championships
  • 1999 USA Championships
  • 1996 NCAA Championships
  • 1993 USA Championships
  • 1992 Pacific-10 Conference Championships
  • 1991 NCAA Championships
  • 1988 NCAA Championships
  • 1986 TAC Championships
  • 1984 NCAA Championships
  • 1982 Pacific-10 Conference Championships
  • 1980 U.S. Olympic Trials
  • 1980 AIAW (Now NCAA women's) Championships
  • 1978 NCAA Championships
  • 1976 U.S. Olympic Trials
  • 1975 USA/USSR/Poland Decathlon-Pentathlon
  • 1975 Pan American Games Trials
  • 1975 AAU Championships
  • 1973 Pacific-8 Conference Championships
  • 1972 Olympic Trials
  • 1972 NCAA Championships
  • 1971 AAU Championships & Marathon
  • 1968 National Junior Championships
  • 1967 AAWU (Now Pac-10) Championships
  • 1964 NCAA Championships
  • 1962 NCAA Championships
  • 1962 Far West Championships
  • 1960 AAU Decathlon Championships