Track clinic attracts top national names

HOOD RIVER — Hoping build early-season momentum and excitement, the HRV track program hosted the 21st annual “Learn by Doing” Track Clinic last Saturday.

Organized by Eagles cross-country and track distance coach Rich Hedges, the all-day clinic attracted some of the finest young athletes in northern Oregon as well as some top national names such as Mac Wilkins, Dave Johnson, Tim Bright and Julie Bright.

“This is a great learning opportunity for the kids in our track program and others in the area,” Hedges said.

The clinic covered everything from distance running to sprinting; pole vaulting to javelin; high jump to hurdles; and every discipline in between.

Wilkins is a former national champion and Olympic gold medalist in discus and holds the discus world record of 232 feet, six inches. He also holds the world record for the discus, shot put, javelin combination.

Johnson, who is best known for his appearances with Dan O’Brien in the “Dan and Dave” Reebok commercials, also competed at the Olympics and won the 1992 bronze medal in the decathlon.

Tim Bright is one of Oregon’s all-time great athletes, having won four world championships in pole vault and competing in three Olympic Games. He is a world-class decathlete and currently coaches track and field at Lewis and Clark College.

Bright’s wife, Julie, who has been involved with the clinic for years, won fourth place in the long jump at the 1993 national meet, a bronze medal at the Pan American Games, and was an Olympic alternate as well as an NCAA All-American.

Other notable names making an appearance Saturday were University of Oregon javelin coach and former NCAA national champion Sally Harmon; Dave Cornell, coach of four-time state champion The Dalles High School; former U or O All-American discus thrower Kevin Carr, and many more.

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