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Triathlon Championships, PE in Schools and Summertime Sports

The Oregon Sports Authority and the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Washington County are proud to be hosting more than 1,300 participants from throughout the nation in the 2007 USA Triathlon National Age Group Championships at Hagg Lake this Saturday. The event is one of the most competitive amateur triathlons contested at the Olympic distance in the U.S. and provides a rare opportunity to see the best amateur triathletes in the nation, competing at one of Oregon’s most beautiful event sites.

Click below to view the entire eUpdate.

P.E. bill clears the Legislature

The Senate on Tuesday gave final legislative approval to a bill that will require 2 1/2 hours a week of physical education in Oregon elementary schools. The requirement for middle school will be 3 hours, 45 minutes.

The Senate passed the bill, House Bill 3141, on a 28-1 vote.

“Today Oregon took a strong step toward fighting an epidemic” said Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, sponsor of the P.E. proposal. “The return of physical activity to our classrooms will lead to healthy bodies and healthy minds for our children.”

 — Excerpt from OregonLive.com, June 26, 2007

OSU Beavers Welcome Home Celebration

Wow!  What a couple of weeks. 

If I remember correctly I stood on the platform outside of Reser Stadium at about this time last year and said something to the effect – `I guarantee Oregon State won’t wait 45 years for another national title.’   Well, we didn’t even wait 365 days. 

What an incredible run for a bunch of gritty guys.  This team showed some real hallmark values that we preach around the south side of campus – teamwork, passion and determination come to mind.

I’m equally impressed by the passion and devotion of the `Beaver Nation.’ From the huge numbers who watched and listened to the games via TV and radio to the record numbers who visited our website to the thousands of fans who turned out yesterday to welcome our team home, the community support for Beaver Baseball was undeniable. Our only regret is that we could not overcome significant logistical issues that, in the end, prevented us from having a celebration at preferred public places in Portland such as the Pioneer Courthouse Square or the Waterfront Park. Unfortunately, so many of our student-athletes had scheduling issues later in the week that a postponed celebration would have only been possible for a fraction of the team, and we thought that wouldn’t be fair to the fans or the team. 
 
We have discussed with the Portland Beavers and the Oregon Sports Authority about hosting members of the team at PGE Park possibly in early September once our team reunites for the start of fall practice and the school year.  We are also striving to have head coach Pat Casey honored at a Portland Beavers game during the next couple of months.  I feel comfortable that the details will be worked out and that we will have announcement shortly (update – Eddie Kunz to throw out ceremonial pitch Tuesday June 26).

— Excerpt from the OSU Athletic Director Report, June 26, 2007

Securing Trials came quickly after UO hired Lananna

Late in 2004, Greg Erwin applied to USA Track & Field for a bid packet when there was scarcely a glimmer of hope that Eugene could successfully secure the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Erwin, then acting as president of the Oregon Track Club, was merely going through the motions and trying to act hopeful.

A quote by Erwin from December 2004 demonstrates his view of an uphill climb that seemed insurmountable.

  — Excerpt from The Oregonian, June 24, 2007

Volunteer for the USA Triathlon National Championships

The Oregon Sports Authority and USA Triathlon are seeking several hundred volunteers to help with the upcoming National Age Group Championship Festival at Hagg Lake near Forest Grove and the Washington County Fair Complex on June 28-30.  We are looking for both individuals and groups, including youth and civic organizations. 

All volunteers will receive a free t-shirt and have the opportunity to be part of one of the most competitive amateur triathlons contested at the Olympic distance in the United States.  More than 1,300 athletes, representing all 50 states, will compete for the chance to be crowned a national champion. Volunteers are needed for the following:

Event Set-up | Friday, June 29
Noon – 6:00pm at Hagg Lake

Race Day | Saturday, June 30 | Hagg Lake Boat Ramp C
Transition Area, 7:00am – 10:30am
Food Tent, 7:00am – 11am
Finish Line, 9:00am – Noon
Swim Course – Direction, 7:00am – 10am
Swim Course Clean Up, 10am – 1pm
Bike Course Directions, 7:45am – Noon
Run Course Directions, 7:45am – Noon
Aid Station, 7:00am – Noon
Parking, 5:00am – 7:00am

To volunteer, please visit http://www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=1453999 and complete the registration form. Because the volunteer registration is conducted through active.com, you will notice default references to “athlete” and “payment” during the registration process, both of which can be ignored.  If you have a group that is interested in volunteering, please e-mail info@oregonsports.org/ and we will provide further information on group volunteer opportunities. 

Still time to tackle a weighty issue

Denise Martin of Vancouver had an excellent letter in The Oregonian’s June 13 edition.

She described how much she and her family enjoyed watching the Grand Floral Parade during this year’s Portland Rose Festival, but how dismayed she was by something she couldn’t help noticing.

“Too many of the kids twirling, cheering and trumpeting their way down our streets were carrying way more weight than is healthy,” she wrote, “and so were their adult counterparts.”

 — Excerpt from The Oregonian Editorial, June 23, 2007

More tickets available this year

The Olympic Trials are a hot ticket.

The initial release of ticket packages sold out more than a month ago for the 10-day run from June 27 to July 6, 2008.

But fans still hoping to buy tickets should have another window of opportunity, said Greg Erwin, co-chairman of the Eugene Local Organizing Committee. 

 — Excerpt from The Oregonian, June 24, 2007

Blazers go to Nike for president

On Tuesday, Larry G. Miller was head of a Nike division that brings in billions of dollars in revenue a year, counts the NBA’s biggest names among its endorsers and owns about 90 percent of the footwear market.

On Wednesday, he took over as the president of the Portland Trail Blazers, an NBA franchise that loses tens of millions of dollars a year, has missed the playoffs four seasons in a row and is only recently seeing a rebound in fan support after years of decline.

But Miller, 57, said he remembered coming to Portland about 15 years ago and getting swept up in its Rip City fervor for the Blazers.

 — Excerpt from The Oregonian, June 21, 2007

Vote provides money for PE

A budget subcommittee approved legislation Wednesday that starts the ball rolling toward mandatory physical education classes for elementary and middle school students.The Ways and Means Subcommittee on General Government voted 6-2 for House Bill 3141, which would provide $1 million to launch the mandatory PE program: 2 1/2 hours a week in elementary school and 3 1/2 hours in middle school. School districts would not have to comply until 2017.

 — The Oregonian, June 21, 2007

Please click here to contact legislators and express your support for healthy kids by passing House Bill 3141.

Sports enhance economy

As the organization charged with enhancing the state’s economy through sports, our attention was caught by something on June 10. Viewers nationwide tuned in to watch events that were almost exclusively Oregon — Oregon State University in the College World Series on ESPN, the Champ Car Grand Prix on ABC and the Prefontaine Classic on NBC. It’s likely that this marked the first time Oregon had three nationally televised sports events broadcast simultaneously.

Viewers throughout the country, and even around the globe, had the opportunity to watch the Beavers defend their title, learn about the upcoming Olympic Trials at Hayward Field and witness the amazing speed of Champ Car beneath the scenic backdrop of Mount Hood.

While the combined value of these telecasts is immeasurable, the direct tourism and economic impact of an event such as Champ Car is more quantifiable. At more than $8 million annually, there’s no doubt it’s an event that Portland can’t afford to lose.

We need more weekends packed with nationally televised sports events, and we plan to work with Champ Car and the city to ensure that happens.

JOHN HERMAN
President

DREW MAHALIC
Chief executive officer
Oregon Sports Authority
Southwest Portland

 — Letter to the Editor, The Oregonian, June 19, 2007

Champ Car might bump Portland

Mike Nealy, the president of Global Events Group, says he would love the chance to promote Portland’s 25th Champ Car race next summer.

But that is entirely up to Champ Car.

A disappointing three-day attendance of 72,211 — figures released by Champ Car — including a crowd of perhaps 25,000 to 30,000 on Sunday has again put Portland on the bubble.

 – Excerpt from The Oregonian, June 13, 2007

Fake grass gets toehold in Oregon

Oregon might be the natural grass capital of the planet, but its high schools are in an athletic arms race to add artificial turf.

In 1999, Jesuit High was one of the first Oregon high schools to take the synthetic plunge. By last fall, the final 16 teams in the 6A football playoffs included 11 with artificial turf fields for football and soccer; one school that is building a field now; and at least two that are working like mad to get one, at up to $900,000 a pop.

Baseball is following suit: Jesuit installed an artificial turf diamond this season, this time behind schools such as Wilsonville, Tigard and West Linn. The Oregon State Beavers, last year’s NCAA national champs, went artificial in the infield this season.

 – Excerpt from The Oregonian, June 12, 2007

Champ Car could get on track
by going off track

When the first Champ Car practice session ended at 11:30 a.m. Friday, I’m guessing there were an equal number of paying customers and Porta Potties on hand at Portland International Raceway. It might not have been the best of times to ask Champ Car President Steve Johnson about the future of open-wheel racing in Portland.

“We’re investing millions in Portland, and we’re not getting near enough corporate support to make this a viable event,” Johnson said.

That’s a familiar lament of late, and Champ Car has several familiar issues. The series’ most recognizable driver, Paul Tracy, is best known for dressing up as Nacho Libre, sticking it to the French, and promoting the “Michael Andretti Driving School for the Blind.” Big bad NASCAR has “mainstreamed motor sports,” Johnson said, but the series is also monopolizing corporate ad dollars.

 — Excerpt from The Oregonian, June 10, 2007

OSU to host gymnastics regional

In 2008, Oregon State will host the NCAA Gymnastics West Regional for the 12th time in history, as announced recently by Christie Purks, chair of the NCAA’s Women’s Gymnastics Committee.

“This is a great opportunity to have another postseason championship meet at home,” said OSU head coach Tanya Chaplin. “It helps eliminate the questions of where will we be in the postseason. Our athletes love to compete at Gill Coliseum in front our incredible fans and it is a bonus that we don’t have to travel and won’t have to interrupt our school schedule.”

OSU last hosted an NCAA Regional in 2004 when the Beavers narrowly missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships by .050 as Oklahoma and Alabama reached the championship event ahead of Oregon State.

 — Excerpt from the Albany Democrat-Herald, June 7, 2007

Safeway Classic seeks volunteers

The Safeway Classic, the Northwest’s premier LPGA tour stop since 1972 is seeking volunteer help for this year’s event, August 20-26 at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.  There are a variety of jobs available and those who are interested can apply by contacting volunteer coordinator Shannon Smith at 503-626-2711 (shannon.smith@tgfigolf.com).  To download an application, please visit their website at www.safewaygolf.com.
 
“Volunteers are the foundation of what makes this event so successful,” said Tom Maletis, President of Tournament Golf Foundation, the organizers of the event.  “They help us to raise needed funds for local children’s charities in Oregon, and we truly feel that they have an exciting and rewarding experience during this great event.”

Last year the Safeway Classic donated $1,010,000 to local charities through the Safeway Foundation.  To date the event has given over $11 million to local organizations in need; $7 million have been generated in the ten years that Safeway has been the title sponsor.

Vasser likes race in Portland

Jimmy Vasser became one of the greatest open-wheel racing drivers of his generation in the 1990s when he claimed a Champ Car title in 1996, was third in 1997 and second in 1998.

In each case, the road to success ran through Portland, where Vasser has been racing since his quarter-midget days in the 1970s.

“I love the place,” he said without any prompting.

 — Excerpt from The Oregonian, June 5, 2007

Portland to host amateur triathlon’s premier event

For three days in June, Portland will serve as home to more than 1,300 athletes taking part in one of the premier events for USA Triathlon: the 2007 Age Group Triathlon National Championship.

The Intermediate distance triathlon – 1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run – is scheduled for Saturday, June 30 at 8 a.m. amid rolling hills around Henry Hagg Lake near Forest Grove, just 30 miles from downtown Portland.

The days leading up to the race will include a number of other activities, including the Aquathlon National Championship at Hagg Lake on Thursday, June 28 at 3 p.m. Aquathlon features a 750m swim followed by a 2.5k run. (Note: The typical aquathlon format is run- swim-run, but the race has been modified to swim-run to allow for the use of wetsuits.)

 — Excerpt from Runner’s Web, June 5, 2007

MLS site search shifts to suburbs

The city of Hillsboro has vaulted into a viable option for the owners of a potential Major League Soccer expansion franchise in the Pacific Northwest.

James Keston, a member of the California family that said it holds the exclusive rights to add an MLS franchise in the Portland or Seattle area, described Hillsboro as “by far, the most interesting development right now.”

The idea of converting the 7,000-seat Hillsboro Stadium into a “first-class soccer-specific” venue that could hold 17,000 to 24,000 fans and surrounding the facility with amateur soccer fields “would be spectacular,” Keston said.

 — Excerpt from The Oregonian, June 1, 2007

Owner acquires potential gold mine

It was amusing to note that when the Portland Beavers and Timbers changed hands last week, a whole lot of people seemed to think it was a sign that there was something wrong with our minor-league franchises.

Nothing could be further from the truth. This wasn’t some sort of bargain-basement fire sale. This wasn’t a case of “Out of business – everything must go!” It was a shrewd investment paying off in a big way.

Sacramento, Calif., restaurateur Abe Alizadeh knew what he was doing when he bought the Beavers and Timbers for around $10 million a little more than a year ago. We know this, because he just happened to call his company the Portland Baseball Investment Group.

 — Excerpt from The Portland Tribune, June 1, 2007