History

By Tim Hooten

There is another story to be told about the building of this World Class Track at Aaron and Marie Jones Field. This is about the man who conceived and dreamed about this track amost thirty years ago. Jeff Sherman, a former teacher at McKenzie High School, with vision, energy, and complete devotion took the concept to reality. His relationship in the community brought forth unselfish assistance from the local residents and various support groups to work, donate, promote, and spiritually share in the development of this beautiful facility.

When the track was completed in the summer of 2010, a dedication date was set for Sunday, June 13th. A Eugene journalist caught the magic of the moment at the dedication when she best described the track completion and the beautiful surroundings as a kid of “Brigadoon” (the 1947 Broadway musical) which captured a dreamy, miraculous moment. I’ve heard local residents often refer to the track as a “Field of Dreams.” The spirit that permeates the attendees at the dedication has now resonated into a local personal pride.

As I continue my laps on this cold, rainy December morning, it is comforting to daydream about what has happened here and what the future holds in this verdant river valley because of the track. This has become an enchanting spot. It is here for everyone to use; park your car and read, walk your dog, walk or jog the track. You will feel the magic of this good and wholesome place.

Out of all the future middle school and high school athletes that will enjoy this unusual facility, who knows, maybe an Olympian, like Steve Prefontaine, or a delightful college phenom, like Jordan Hasay, will emerge.