BEND, OR -- Mountain View alumnus and Gold Medal winner Ashton Eaton dedicated the new track, Wednesday afternoon. Eaton honed his skills at MVHS in Bend, and told the large, enthusiastic crowd he's honored to have the new track named after him. "I love this place. I receive this honor not as one person, but on behalf of everyone and everything that made me who I am. That means, I receive this on behalf of you, Central Oregon. I am a manifestation of the love and support that you have given me and that you continue to give this community. If I've done anything to deserve this recognition, it was simply giving my best for something I love."
Eaton told athletes taking part in this week's IMC Championship Meet, "When you experience doubt, I want you to believe. When you experience fear, I want you to face it. When you experience failure, I want you to try again. And, when you experience success, I want you to push harder. I want you to do these things because you will discover how to pursue whatever you put your mind to."
Mountain View High School's track will now be known as "Ashton Eaton Track & Field." Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Ron Wilkinson says the district wanted to name the track in Eaton's honor, to recognize one of the high school's greats. The remodel was paid for as part of a 2013 bond passed by voters, which also included the construction of two new schools.
His mother, Roz, also spoke, telling the crowd what the dedication means for students in the future. "Today, you are on 'Ashton Eaton Track.' And, I say there is a magic and a legacy; but it isn't from the accomplishments of Ashton Eaton. You see, today, you aren't following in Ashton's footsteps. You are forging your own path."
Eaton plans to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
Mountain View's new track features Ashton Eaton's signature.