Iconic Springfield Track and Field athletes honored in Oregon22 Heritage Trail 

Three commemorative plaques are now installed in Springfield

Three new commemorative plaques in Springfield honor the historical accomplishments of local track athletes Maria Mutola, Nicholas Symmonds, and Bill Dellinger. Willamalane and Springfield Public Schools installed the plaques in partnership with Travel Lane County. All three plaques are part of the statewide Oregon22 Heritage Trail, an initiative that honors 22 iconic Oregon athletes. The Eugene-Springfield area is home to nine plaques honoring local athletes in the Oregon22 Heritage Trail.

Maria Mutola 
Maria Mutola was born in Portuguese Mozambique, and at age 15, she competed in her first Olympic games. In 1991 she was awarded a scholarship to train abroad and enrolled at Springfield High School, forever connecting her to the running community in Oregon. During her illustrious career, she competed in six Olympics and holds nine world titles in the 800-meter event.

Plaque Location: Shana Barr Trail Marker at Willamalane Park, Springfield (1276 G Street)

Nicholas Symmonds
Originally from Boise, Idaho, Nicholas Symmonds attended Willamette University (Salem, Oregon) and won seven NCAA Division III titles in the outdoor track. After college, he joined the Oregon Track Club Elite and became a fan favorite at Hayward Field. During his running career, he won the 800m race in the 2007 Prefontaine Classic and competed in the same race at two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008 and London 2012). After retiring from the competition, he moved to Springfield and co-founded Run Gum. 

Plaque Location: Island Park, Springfield (200 W B St)

Bill Dellinger
Bill Dellinger, a Springfield High School graduate, trained as a middle-distance runner under Bill Bowerman at the University of Oregon and was an NCAA winner, All-American, and Pacific Coast Conference Champion multiple times. Bill was a three-time Olympian and brought home the bronze from the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo for the 5,000 meters. He later coached at Thurston High School, Lane Community College, and the University of Oregon. As head coach for Track and Field at the University of Oregon, he worked with Steve Prefontaine, Rudy Chapa, Matt Centrowitz, and Bill McChesney. Bill retired in 1998 and lives in the Eugene-Springfield area with his wife.

Plaque Location: Silke Field, Springfield High School (849 N 10th St)

Oregon22 Heritage Trail
The Oregon22 Heritage Trail was established across the state in partnership with the Museum of World Athletics. Along Oregon22's Heritage Trail, each plaque is installed in a special location important to that athlete and community. The public may visit and view the plaque at the sites above. Learn more about the athletes at Oregon22HeritageTrail.org. The Museum of World Athletics gifted the plaques to commemorate the World Athletics Championships Oregon22.
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