EUGENE, Ore. - The first 2013 TrackTown Tuesday event will commence this Tuesday, January 8 at 7 p.m. at Lewis and Clark Catering with guest appearances from University of Oregon head coach Robert Johnson and members of his coaching staff, along with new additions to the Oregon Track Club Elite.
University of Oregon Associate Athletic Director of Olympic Development Vin Lananna will serve as the night's Master of Ceremonies. He will be joined by Johnson, as well as Oregon's throws coach Erik Whitsitt and distance coach Maurica Powell, who aided the Ducks women's cross country team to an NCAA Championship this past fall.
OTC Elite head coach Mark Rowland will introduce three of the team's new athletes to the TrackTown USA community: Aisha Praught, Hassan Mead, and Ben Blankenship. Praught is a graduate of Illinois State and was the runner-up in the mile at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships. She competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field last June and will focus on that event as a professional. Mead also competed at the 2012 Trials, and hails from the University of Minnesota, where he was a six-time All-American with a personal best of 13 minutes, 28.45 seconds in the 5,000 meters. Blankenship is also from Minnesota and was a four-time All-American for the Gophers. He is a 1,500-meter specialist with a best of 3:37.23.
Lewis and Clark Catering is located at 2210 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, which is right next to Mercedes-Benz of Eugene. Parking is available at Mercedes-Benz, with overflow parking across the street in the Faith Center lot. With the success of the TrackTown Tuesday series in 2012, a packed house is expected, so get there early. Light refreshments will be served.
"With the NCAA Championships returning to Hayward Field this June, the Oregon men's and women's team looking very strong, and OTC Elite athletes training for the World Championships in Moscow; we have an exciting season ahead of us," said Lananna. "This first TrackTown Tuesday will give fans an opportunity to get to know some of our new coaches and athletes and welcome them to TrackTown USA."
The TrackTown Tuesday series will continue throughout the indoor and outdoor track & field seasons with events on February 5 (Hilton Garden Inn Springfield), March 5 (Downtown Athletic Club), April 2 (Holiday Inn Springfield), May 7, May 28, and June 11.