CORVALLIS, Ore. – With the IAAF World Junior Championships set to begin at Hayward Field in under two weeks, three countries - Great Britain, the Czech Republic and Slovakia - will be descending upon Corvallis for training camps in advance of the milestone event, which is being held in the United States for the first time. The meet features the world’s top teenage talents and is also the first IAAF event staged on US soil in the last 22 years.
The trio is scheduled to arrive the week before meet – July 14 and 15 – and will utilize the Whyte Track and Field Center along with the athletic department’s sports medicine and sports performance facilities. Lodging will be provided by the Hilton Garden Inn and OSU’s International Living-Learning Center (ILLC). Additional services for the national teams will come from Dixon Recreation Center and OSU Housing and Dining.
This year’s World Junior Championships are expected to be the biggest IAAF event ever held in the United States. In terms of athletes, the largest ever World Athletics Series (WAS) event hosted by the US was the 1992 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Boston, where 580 athletes from around the world competed. Based on member federations, the biggest WAS event to be held in the USA was the 1987 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Indianapolis, where 84 nations took part. But this year’s IAAF World Junior Championships, held from July 22-27 in Eugene, is set to surpass both of those marks, as 177 member federations have expressed interest in the championships, with 1,758 athletes provisionally entered.
British Athletics officially decided to hold their camp at Oregon State in early January following a search and site visits at other locations in the state in November 2013.
TrackTown USA, Inc., in conjunction with USA Track & Field, are hosts of this event. TTUSA will be the local organizing committee for the IAAF World Junior Championships.
The Eugene-based organization also served as LOC for the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. It will perform those duties at the 2015 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland and the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.
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The Whyte Track & Field Center opened in September 2012 following a lead contribution from Jim and Luana Whyte. The scope of the initial project included an International Association of Athletics Federation certified Olympic-caliber polyurethane surface, FieldTurf infield, nine-lane track, dual high jump aprons, long jump, triple jump runways, pole vault and javelin runways, shot put throw sectors and discus rings.
Phase II, for which fundraising is ongoing, consists of a larger portion of the infrastructure needed to host a meet. Those items which will be constructed first as part of this phase include areas for hammer throw competitions, javelin practice, sprint starts, hurdle practice, staging and warm-up, as well as additional lighting and a distance plaza where coaches can gather during races.
Grandstands with concessions and a heritage wall honoring past OSU track and field greats, a press box, seating for viewing in the shot put competition area, berms on the west end to buffer the wind and an entry plaza to welcome visitors are also slated to be completed as part of Phase II.
In early 2014, Oregon State Athletics received a $2 million challenge gift in support of the second phase of the Whyte Track & Field Center, one which propelled the project forward and will allow the facility to be completed if others donate to fulfill the match. In late April, a $220,000 donation from an OSU alumnus was made to fully fund the warm-up, staging and javelin practice areas.
Those wishing to support this initiative with a tax-deductible gift of any size should contact Doug Oxsen at 541-737-7486 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Any further questions in regards to the second phase of the facility can be directed to Kelly Sullivan at email@example.com.