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TrackTown USA president Vin Lananna will refocus after the IAAF rejects Eugene's bid for the 2019 World Outdoor Championships

Published Jan 01, 0001

Lananna said he is undecided about trying again in 2021.

TrackTown USA president Vin Lananna was disappointed but philosophical after the IAAF decided Tuesday in Monaco to award the 2019 World Outdoor Championships to Doha, the capital city of Qatar.

"I thought we had a fantastic story to tell," Lananna said, speaking by phone from Monaco shortly after the IAAF Council announced its decision. "It was an ambitious story."

The IAAF, the governing body of international track & field, picked Doha over finalists Barcelona and Eugene.

TrackTown USA is the local organizing committee, which spearheaded Eugene's bid.

IAAF president Lamine Diack said the 27-member council took two ballots to reach a decision, with Doha prevailing over Eugene 15-12 on the second ballot.

"Of course I'm disappointed," Lananna said. "We made a fantastic bid. We had a fantastic team that came with us. It was an incredible collaboration with a whole bunch of agencies and partners that it hasn't always been easy to get collaboration with."

Lananna said he is undecided about whether to lead another bid for the 2021 IAAF World Championships.

"I don't think I can answer that question right now," he said. "Who knows? For now we're concentrating on the next six or seven years, between the NCAAs, the renovation of Hayward Field and the World Indoor Championships in Portland in 2016."

Eugene will play host to the NCAA Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field through at least 2021.

The 2015 USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships and the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials for track & field are scheduled for Eugene.

TrackTown USA will stage the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in the Portland Convention Center.

"I'm very excited about that," Lananna said. "I will be directing my attention there."

A successful bid for the 2019 World Outdoor Championships would have required a major renovation of Hayward Field. The University of Oregon's track stadium has a listed capacity of 10,500, far short of the 30,000-seat IAAF minimum, and is lacking in many amenities.

Lananna said the renovation would go forward.

"We clearly need to take that crown jewel of the sport, that centerpiece, and modernize it," Lananna said.

He said no timeline for the renovation has been set.

"We have to engage a lot of stakeholders, the people who use the facility and would use it regardless of whether we received the bid," Lananna said. "We have to make sure we cater to the needs of the people who practice there, the home meets, the Prefontaine Classics, and the NCAAs."

Lananna said he remained bullish on Eugene's potential for holding major track & field events.

"Eugene has all the passion and enthusiasm," he said.

-- Ken Goe | @KenGoe

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The IAAF Council awards the 2019 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships to Doha

Published Jan 01, 0001

Eugene's bid is not accepted.

(UPDATED with reaction from TrackTown USA president Vin Lananna.)

Doha, the capital city of Qatar was selected Tuesday to play host to the 2019 IAAF World Outdoor Championships.

The 27-member IAAF Council, which governs international track & field, made the decision after deliberating for about two hours.

The council picked Doha over Eugene and Barcelona.

All three cities made final presentations before the council, which then retired to deliberate and vote.

IAAF president Lamine Diack said that none of three cities had the required 14 votes on the first ballot. Barcelona was eliminated. Doha won on the second ballot with 15 votes.

Among the Eugene presenters were TrackTown USA president Vin Lananna, world record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj and Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix.

Lananna told the council members: "Destiny is calling. America is waiting. Eugene is ready."

Lananna and the TrackTown USA organizing committee apparently waited in vain for this, but still have plenty to do in the weeks and months ahead.

They will stage the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in the Portland Convention Center and the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials for Track & Field in Eugene at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field.

On the immediate horizon are the 2015 NCAA Track & Field Outdoor Championships and the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships.

In a statement released by TrackTown USA, Lananna praised the effort that Eugene made.

"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.," Lananna said. "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."

The obvious issues with Eugene's bid for the 2019 World Outdoor Championships concerned infrastructure.

Hayward Field needs a major renovation to meet minimum IAAF requirements.

The population of Eugene's metropolitan area 351,715 is much smaller than cities that have staged or will stage the championships. The city's hotel space is limited.

In a statement released by USA Track & Field, USATF CEO Max Siegel said: "The United States congratulates Doha on securing the 2019 IAAF World Championships. We look forward to Team USA competing in Doha against the best athletes in the world. We thank President Diack, IAAF Council and IAAF bid evaluation commission for considering our bid and for the tremendous collaboration the IAAF showed throughout this process."

-- Ken Goe | @KenGoe

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Oregon men and women both ranked third in the year's final college cross country polls

Published Jan 01, 0001

The University of Portland men are No. 7.

Lystad_Tansey_web.jpgTansey Lystad 

The Oregon men's and women's teams both will carry No. 3 rankings from the USA Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association into the NCAA Championships Saturday at Terre Haute, Ind.

The University of Portland moved up one spot in the men's poll, from No. 8 to No. 7.

The Ducks swept last Friday's West Regional Championships at Stanford. The UP men were second.

The Oregon men and women and the UP men qualified their entire teams for the NCAA Championships. Tansey Lystad of the University of Portland placed sixth in the women's race at the West Regional, and qualified as an individual.

Here are the top five in the final men's poll: Colorado, Syracuse, Oregon, Oklahoma State and Villanova. Colorado held the top spot for the entire season. Syracuse and Oregon traded places this week.

The top five in the women's poll looks like this: Michigan State, Georgetown, Oregon and Iowa State.

Here are the final men's rankings from the USTFCCCA.

Here are the final women's rankings from the USTFCCCA.

-- Ken Goe | @KenGoe

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Eugene organizers are confident as they await Tuesday's decision about the 2019 World Outdoor Championships

Published Jan 01, 0001

Eugene, Barcelona and Qatar are the three finalists.

Representatives of TrackTown USA and USA Track & Field are in Monaco putting the last touches on their final sales pitch for Eugene's bid for the 2019 IAAF World Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Eugene, Doha and Barcelona, the three finalists, will appear before the 27-member IAAF Council, make presentations and take questions.

The Council then will vote to award the bid.

It will take 14 votes to secure the bid. If none of the three cities gets 14 on the first ballot, the city with fewest votes will be eliminated and there will be a second ballot.

The decision is expected to be announced at 4 a.m. PST.

"We're excited to be in this position," TrackTown CEO Michael Reilly said Monday on a conference call with reporters. "We've put together a fantastic team, and we know the IAAF Council will have a difficult choice."

Reilly said the Eugene bid is built around a theme of creating a positive experience for the athletes, although he declined to reveal specifics.

USA Track & Field CEO Max Siegel said that Eugene has a history of putting on major events, noting that the city has staged the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials for Track & Field and the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships.

"We feel very confident," Siegel said, "We've put together a very competitive bid."

To be successful, Eugene will have to surmount nagging infrastructure questions.

The Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area has a population of 351,715, which makes it substantially smaller than Barcelona or Doha, the capital city of Qatar.

Eugene would not seem to fit the profile of other cities that recently have hosted or will host the World Championships, among them Osaka, Japan; Berlin; Daegu, South Korea; Moscow; Beijing and London.

Hotel space in the Eugene-Springfield area is limited. Eugene would need to rely on University of Oregon dormitories and apartments that cater to UO students to fill the gaps.

There would have to be a substantial renovation of Hayward Field, the UO track stadium that would stage the competition.

Hayward Field, which TrackTown USA president Vin Lananna has compared to Wrigley Field or Fenway Park, has a permanent capacity of 10,500, and has been expanded to 20,000 for the Olympic Trials.

The IAAF minimum for the World Championships is 30,000.

However, in view of the overflow support Eugene has shown the Olympic Trials and the annual Prefontaine Classic professional track meet, presenters can reasonably argue the stands would be full. This would be in marked contrast to some recent World Championships that took place in bigger stadiums.

"All the elements of our bid meet or exceed the IAAF requirements," said Jill Geer, the IAAF's chief public affairs officer.

In addition, the Eugene bid has the backing of Nike, the athletic apparel and equipment giant that was co-founded by former Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman and former UO mid-distance runner Phil Knight.

The IAAF World Outdoor Championships have never been held in the U.S., although the World Indoor IAAF World Indoor Championships will take place in the Portland Convention Center in 2016.

"I think the IAAF recognizes the potential in the United States to elevate the sport globally," Siegel said.

He mentioned that increasing the sport's visibility in the U.S. might enable the IAAF to cultivate new sponsors.

Barcelona is a known commodity. The city played host to the 2012 World Junior Outdoor Championships and the 1992 Olympics.

Qatar is flush with money and trying to raise its profile as a destination location for major championships, already having secured the 2022 soccer World Cup.

-- Ken Goe | @KenGoe

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Oregon sweeps the NCAA West Regional Cross Country Championships

Published Jan 01, 0001

The University of Portland men finish second.

ZEOEOSZXZDHOFKY.20121018224610.jpgMolly Grabill 

The University of Oregon men's and women's cross country teams swept the NCAA West Regional Championships Friday in Stanford, California.

The University of Portland men's team finished second.

Stanford's Maksim Korolev won the men's individual title in the 10,000-meter race in 29 minutes, 33.5 seconds. He was followed to the finish line by Oregon's Edward Cheserek (29:35.0) and Oregon's Eric Jenkins (29:39.6).

Scott Fauble of Portland was fourth in 29:40.0.

Oregon finished with 60 team points. Portland had a second-place total of 71. Stanford was third with 97.

Shelby Houlihan of Arizona State won the women's individual title, covering 6,000 meters in 19:31.6.

Molly Grabill was Oregon's top individual. She crossed in 11th place with a time of 20:36.5.

The Ducks finished with 60 team points, followed by Boise State and Stanford, who tied with 103. The University of Portland placed seventh with 214.

The UO men and UO women, and the UP men all qualified as teams for the NCAA Championships next week in Terre Haute, Ind.

Here are complete results for the men's meet.

Here are complete results for the women's meet.

-- Ken Goe | @KenGoe

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