More than 20 years ago I made a decision that would eventually lead me to Eugene, OR. I wasn’t good enough to make the High School Baseball team so I thought I’d give Track a shot. My father ran track in college and I hoped I had inherited some of his speed. I was wrong. After the first week of practice my coach told me I needed to move to hurdles because I was tall and too slow to be a sprinter. Although I wasn’t too thrilled about the idea I didn’t have much of a choice if I wanted to be on the team. If I was a slow sprinter I took hurdling to a whole new level of slowness. I was last place nearly every race. I decided I would finish out the season, but that the next year I was definitely not going out for the team. With two races left in my freshman season I finally figured out how to hurdle and it started to become fun. I went out for the team every year after that and was able to earn a scholarship to college.
A few years ago I decided to move to Eugene, OR and one of the reasons was because of it’s track history. Inside the track world Eugene is known as Track Town USA. Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman was a long time coach at the University of Oregon and the iconic runner Steve Prefontaine was one of his runners in the early 70’s. While Bowerman was a coach here he started All Comer’s Meets that are held each summer at historic Hayward Field. The meets are open to any runner (including kids).
After rupturing my Achilles tendon last summer training for the races my goal next year is to beat my wife (that doesn’t sound too good) in the Jogger’s mile. I’ve been to track meets all over the country but never experienced anything like watching a meet at Hayward Field.
One of my favorite Hayward Field moments was last summer at the NCAA championships. University of Oregon runner Andrew Wheating came from behind to edge out two of his teammates to lead the sweep of the 1,500 meters (after winning to 800 meters the day before). Whether it’s running on Pre’s trail or watching World Class athletes compete at Hayward Field, Eugene is truly Track Town USA.
Next summer the 2012 Olympic Trials will be held at Hayward Field. I have my tickets – do you?
Trevor Betenson is responsible for leading the company’s accounting and finance efforts. He has spent time working as a Financial Controller in ad agencies, as well as in the healthcare and transportation industries. Before joining Palo Alto Software, Trevor was the Assistant Controller for publicly traded McCann Erickson at their Salt Lake City, UT office. Trevor is a School of Accountancy graduate from Utah State University and earned his MBA from the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.
An avid track & field fan, Trevor also enjoys hiking and camping with his wife and 3 daughters.