Heat Forces Rescheduling of Olympic Track Team Trials | Athletic Business

Heat Forces Rescheduling of Olympic Track Team Trials

Extreme heat over the weekend in Eugene, Ore., forced scheduling changes at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team Trials, which were being held at Hayward Field.

Distance races were shifted earlier in the day after local forecasters warned "extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities.”

According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, the U.S. track federation (USATF) said it was taking athlete safety into account by moving the 25-lap women's 10,000 meter final into the morning on Saturday. The race was originally going to happen at dinnertime when the temperature on the track would have been around 100 degrees.

The 20 kilometer race walk start time was also moved up by two hours.

Related: AB Podcast: Beating the Heat with Dr. Douglas Casa 

The athletes themselves seemed less concerned about the heat.

"I'm not concerned," University of Oregon sophomore sensation Cole Hocker, a 1500 meter runner, told OPB. "I'm from Indiana. We have some pretty hot and humid summers. Definitely been in these conditions before and ran some pretty fast races in pretty hot heat."

"It's nothing that bothers me," said Oregon Duck alum Jenna Prandini, a sprinter who grew up in toasty Clovis, California. "Just got to stay hydrated."

USATF said in an emailed statement that it is following guidelines for athlete safety from the American College for Sports Medicine. The medical association's position statement on competition and heat illness recommends during summer months that all events and games be scheduled during the cooler hours of the day.

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