SPRINGFIELD, Oregon – It’s an exciting day here in Oregon for the Dartmouth track & field program as the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships gets underway at Hayward Field in Eugene.

Senior Megan Krumpoch is the first of the Big Green’s five runners to take to the track, doing so later this afternoon (early evening back home in Hanover) in the 800m national semifinals.

Being that it was a competition day and the facility was in use early on, Krumpoch opted to remain at our hotel in neighboring Springfield, Oregon, and partake in her normal race-day routine of stretches and a short 10-minute jog around the parking lot and surrounding area. The allure of the historic stadium and the buzz around it didn’t dissuade the Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, native from breaking the usual ways that have helped her reach her second national championship meet of 2014.

With Krumpoch focusing on her task at hand tonight and with the occasional guidance of The Marjorie and Herbert Chase ’30 Head Coach of Women’s Track & Field Sandy Ford-Centonze, the other half of our group set out to do some work in the Eugene wilderness.

The Marjorie and Herbert Chase ’30 Head Coach of Men’s Track & Field Barry Harwick ’77 picked up a map at some point since arriving in Eugene that listed all of the local track facilities where student-athletes could go to workout if Hayward was in use.

That map eventually led Harwick, assistant coach Scott Phelps and sophomore Curtis King to Amazon Park mid-morning for what they would deem a ‘leisurely jog.’ Starting at South Eugene High School, the three set out on the woodchip trail that worked its way from a residential neighborhood to the outskirts of the woods.

While Harwick opted for just four or five miles, Phelps and King pushed on beyond signs warning of bears and mountain lions for an out-and-back that was in the ballpark of nine miles when all was said and done.

The trail ran along a creek and ridgeline before making its way into a more densely wooded area. Since the men’s decathlon began this morning at 11:30 a.m. local time, the track at Hayward was limited for those seeking practice availability. That inability to run in Eugene forced several teams to the Amazon Park trails for workouts.

A venerable ‘who’s who’ of the collegiate track world sought the same respite from Hayward that the trio of Dartmouth men did as teams from Arizona, Villanova, New Mexico, Arkansas, Minnesota and others also utilized the trails on Wednesday morning.

Krumpoch is in the spotlight tonight, running in the first heat of the women’s 800m national semifinal. Ford-Centonze remarked last night that running in the first section of an event at this kind of meet is probably a good thing because it allows Krumpoch to go out and run her race independent of concern for how others have already done, giving her a clear mind at the starting line.

Dartmouth fans can tune in and watch Krumpoch live at roughly 7:45 p.m. EDT (4:45 p.m. local) on ESPN3.com.

UPDATE: Krumpoch advanced by finishing fourth in her heat and earning the final at-large berth. RECAP

- Pat Salvas, Assistant Director of Varsity Athletics Communications

Hayward Field from the press box side (top) and from the East Stands (bottom) looking out at the video board.