Track Talk

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  • Wed, March 05, 2014 10:38 AM | Connie Huff (Administrator)

    The track season is off and running!  (I’ve been waiting all winter to write that)  The official start was last Saturday morning as hardy and dedicated runners took part in the annual 16K Relay race.  The event is always a popular training event for Eugene’s Oregon Track Club Elite runners.  This year was the first time the participants and spectators were able to shelter in the new AMJ Building, as once again we enjoyed Oregon’s liquid sunshine.  It was also a chance for the MCTF to make use of the new refreshment center which I affectionately refer to it as “Judy’s Cafe”.  Our first hot drinks and snacks were served from a spiffy new facility which Judy and George have been working very hard at making ready for the busy season ahead.

    Last weekend’s race is only a precursor for what is being anticipated as a great year for track in our area.  Monday of this week was the first gathering of the McKenzie Eagles HS Track and Field team under the leadership of an entirely new coaching staff, headed up by Coach Dustin Pearce.  Coach Pearce met with his staff and track team members and practice sessions are now underway.   Once again, a first for the track teams as they now have indoor storage of equipment and shelter from the weather.  The Eagles middle school track team begins its season next week under the guidance of Coach Amber Price. The first school meet is planned for 18 March as an intersquad warm-up in preparation for the biggest meet of the year, the AMJ Invitational.

    Much work lies ahead not only for the track teams but for the volunteers busy making final preparations for the dedication of the new AMJ building and readying the track ready to host as many as 10 area schools in this year’s AMJ Invitational on April 4.  Recruitment of volunteers is well underway both within the school and the community to provide maximum support for the teams.  Information is always available at the track’s web site

    Now to go off track just a bit here (always like using that one too), I want to share a recent experience that turned out to be quite inspirational.  Picture the scene: it’s Monday morning, it’s raining and cold, and you’ve been recruited to help reconstruct one of our lovely roadside village signs that was taken out by an impaired driver in Leaburg.  Three of us show up and begin the process of wrestling in the mud with huge sections of utility poles used to support the sign.  We found ourselves in need of helpers and as if prayers were answered, they came.  A couple from the neighborhood, a young dad with his two  daughters, a man from the service station across the road with heavy equipment heavy to lift the pole upright and provide proper placement, even a neighbor with water and brush to clean the sign.  An event that had all the makings of being a miserable day of toiling turned into an inspirational event.  Renewing the faith I have in the good folks of our river valley and yet one more reason to feel good about where I live.  See you at the track.  

  • Wed, March 05, 2014 8:06 AM | Judy Casad (Administrator)

    Wet, Fast and Hot Chocolate!

    The new AMJ Building was a hit for warming up after a great run on the McKenzie Track.

    Oregon Track Club Elite participated along with local athletes making the day fun for all.

    First event of the season at the Track & the new AMJ Building.

    Aaron & Marie Jones (AMJ) donated a new field house complete with concession!

    OTC Head Coach, Mark Rowland

    OTC Assistant Coach, Ian Dobson

    Administrative Assistant, Nick Johnson

    OTC Elite Women’s Team Result – 54’ 12”

    Aisha Praught

    Bridget Franek

    Lauren Johnson

    OTC Elite Men’s Team 1 – 45’44”

    Ciaran O’Lionaird

    Pat Casey

    OTC Elite Men’s Team  2

    Harun Abda

    Aaron Evans

    Elijah ran on his own

    Spirit of Oregon

    Heather Spinney

    Helen Rarick

    Chelsea Oda

    McKenzie Platypus'  1:08:42

    Mary Sherman

    Sarah Sherman

    Nicole Price

  • Sat, August 17, 2013 8:33 AM | Judy Casad (Administrator)
    Bob King teaches Katie how to carve a bear peaking out of a log!

    KMTR News

  • Sat, August 17, 2013 8:32 AM | Judy Casad (Administrator)
  • Thu, April 11, 2013 7:35 AM | Judy Casad (Administrator)
    Honoring Aaron & Marie Jones, Jones Family and Seneca Timber Co

  • Sun, April 07, 2013 7:23 AM | Judy Casad (Administrator)

      Seven schools participated in the AMJ Invitational at the McKenzie Community Track & Field.  Many athletes endured the rain-soaked day while competing for field & running events. SportHill sold many warm clothes at greatly reduced prices!

      The Jones Family cut the cake for all, in celebration of the upcoming AMJ Building.   
      This building will house storage, concessions, restroom facilities, meeting space and wellness/fitness classes.  Construction is expected to be completed by summer of 2013.

  • Fri, April 05, 2013 3:00 PM | Judy Casad (Administrator)

      The Jones Family of Seneca Lumber participated in celebrating the new AMJ building. Ground breaking included Becky, Marie and Jody Jones, MCTF President, Jeff Sherman and Lane County Commissioner, Faye Stewart. This building will house storage, concessions, restroom facilities, meeting space and wellness/fitness classes. It is made possible by substantial contributions from the Jones Family. Thank you!

    Construction is expected to be completed summer of 2013.
  • Thu, March 14, 2013 5:36 AM | Judy Casad (Administrator)

    Photo by West Coast Action Photos

    BLUE RIVER: The McKenzie Community Track and Field drew a collection of world class athletes to the area last Saturday. Twelve teams from the Oregon Track Club, along with other amateur runners, participated in a 16K Relay Race.
    I have to begin this edition of Track Talk by giving shout outs of thanks to folks for their support of our McKenzie Community Track and Field and the Aaron and Marie Jones Community Park. A huge thank you to Mr. Ken Engelman, the publisher and editor of the River Reflections, for giving us space for this column. It is very much appreciated and so helpful for sharing news of our Blue River facilities. We had our first spring work party recently and want to thank those that spent part of their day sprucing up our park for a busy season ahead. Special thanks to our good friend, Brad McNutt for bringing his skills and heavy equipment. We really are blessed to have such community spirited people.
    The cleanup day was conducted in part to prepare for our first event of the season held last Saturday morning. For the third year in a row, the McKenzie Community Track and Field played host to Oregon Track Club members and other runners in a 16K Relay Race. Twelve teams of both world class runners and amateurs enjoyed a picture perfect day on our track. Thanks to the generosity of area merchants, artists and supporters we were able to conduct a raffle for the runners. Prizes were donated by our friends, Jack and Sam at Organic Redneck McKenzie River Farm in Leaburg, Carol Tannenbaum of McKenzie River Lavender, Jerry & Julie at the Vida Market, Tom Lincoln of the McKenzie River Gift Shop in Springfield, Debbie Dersham of the Eagle Rock Lodge in Nimrod and glass artists, Josh Carter of Vida and Terry Brown of McKenzie Bridge. Raffle contributions also came from several sport shops in Eugene. Thanks also to the volunteers that helped stage the event. The running action was recorded by the photographers of West Coast Action Photo, Chris, Lily and Todd. Pictures have been posted on Special kudos to them for spending the day with us. All in all, a very successful and fun day at the Aaron and Marie Jones Community Park.
    Our next big event will be the Aaron and Marie Jones Invitational on Friday, April 5. Our volunteers will be hosting over 200 student athletes from all over our area in a day long competition and overnight at the school. The athletes will then be spectators at the Pepsi Invitational at Haywood Field on the U of O campus the following day. This is a major event for our community track and there will be many opportunities for volunteering and spectators. For up to date information, check out our fantastic website and become a member, it is free! Be sure to” like us” on Face book to find out more this great area asset, The McKenzie Community Track and Field.
    Now a note about how we hope to sustain our gift of the park and facilities in Blue River. Many may be aware the park and track and field grounds were given to the people of our area by Aaron and Marie Jones and the Seneca Lumber Company and it is now our responsibility to maintain it. This of course takes money, in addition to volunteers working to manage the upkeep. Raising the necessary funds can often be challenging for the volunteers serving on the board of directors of a non- profit organization. We hoping to have hit on a great idea to help raise funds and make use of the additional land donation made by the Jones family. The land adjacent to the track and field will be an excellent venue for fairs and festivals, the first of which will be the McKenzie River Chainsaw Art Festival on August 16-18th. We’re very excited about the prospects of this becoming an annual event to sustain our community park. Once again, lots of opportunities for everyone to become involved as a volunteer in making this happen. We will be holding the event the same weekend as the Art Festival in Leaburg and are partnering with the Emerald Art Center in conducting a logo design contest for our Chainsaw Art Festival. Information about the Logo Contest is on the Track’s website.
  • Mon, February 25, 2013 3:26 PM | Judy Casad (Administrator)

              TRACK TALK

    By Pete Petty

      Thank you for taking time to read the new “Track Talk” column.  It’s our hope to keep the community advised of the activities of the McKenzie Community Track and Field (MCTF) in Blue River, which was primarily donated by Aaron and Marie Jones.  This world-class track is managed and maintained by a nonprofit organization of volunteers who are preparing for a very busy year.  The highlight for the coming year is the construction of a two-story building.

      Thanks to the continued generosity of Aaron and Marie Jones, the MCTF has received additional acreage to the park facility and funds to provide a multi-use building and timing hut.  This new building will provide storage, indoor concession and restroom facilities. It will also include space for meetings and activities such as Yoga, aerobics and health wellness classes. We anticipate the new building will be ready for use by late summer. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for April. Watch for updates on the progress of the building in monthly “Track-Talk” columns.

      The first track event of 2013 is the 16K-Two Person Relay, Saturday, March 9 at 10am. Members of the Oregon Track Club Elite (OTC Elite) are participating again this year. This will be an amazing spectator event.  The race is open to any 2 or 3 person team. Register by visiting the track website:    There is no admission fee for spectators. Please come watch and cheer on these athletes!

      As spring approaches the high school track season begins. There will be increased activity at the McKenzie Community Track and Field.  The MCTF welcomes a new McKenzie School track team coach, Devin VansCoy, and look forward to providing Coach VansCoy and his MHS team with community volunteer support.  Opportunities for volunteering: timekeepers, officials, events & more… for more information view the MCTF website, or contact Jeff,

      Volunteers are needed for a work (cleanup) day at the track this Saturday, March 2 from at 9am-12noon.  Typical spring-cleaning work is planned so bring your gloves, rakes, clippers, leaf blowers, weed whackers, wheelbarrows and shovels.  We’re hoping for a sunny day and a lot of helpers!  While it’s important to understand that our community track facility is dependent on volunteers for all aspects of its management and maintenance, it is truly a great asset for all McKenzie River residents. If we all pitch in to help, it will continue to be so. 

      See you on Saturday!



  • Fri, October 26, 2012 3:43 PM | Judy Casad (Administrator)

    A beautiful new building is planned for late Spring or early Summer of 2013. Concessions, restroom facilities, offices and a meeting room to accommodate wellness and fitness is in the plan. A small score keeping building will also provide more efficient use, out of the path of the athletes and bystanders. This is an architectural rendition.
    A generous donation was given by Aaron & Marie Jones for this project.
    Additional funds are needed for operations, maintenance and utilities.

    To Donate Click Here

    Keep informed of what's happening - by signing up today!

    Thank you for your Support!

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