On April 19th in Portland there will be a special screening of the documentary We Grew Wings, which chronicles the growth of the women’s track program at the University of Oregon, from very humble beginnings to its rise to the status of national powerhouse. I would certainly urge anyone in the Portland area to come and see this important film.
One of my all time favorite running books is Kenny Moore’s Bowerman and the Men of Oregon. Kenny is a terrific writer, and Moore’s inside look at the legendary coach and the runners he influenced is a must read for any running enthusiast. I couldn’t, however, help but ask myself several times during the book, but what about the women?
For those of you who might also want to learn more about the history of the women’s track program at the University of Oregon, here’s your chance. There will be a new documentary released this year entitled We Grew Wings. The documentary will be first shown in its entirety at the McDonald Theater in Eugene on June 3oth during the Olympic Track trials.
But you can see a twenty minute capsule version of the film on April 19th in Portland and talk to some of the people involved in the project too. I have attached a promo for this event below.
“We Grew Wings” – Film Preview
A Documentary Film Chronicling the History of the Univ. of Oregon’s Women’s Track Program.
Thursday, April 19, 7:00
Lucky Lab Public House
7675 Southwest Capitol Highway
Portland, OR 97219
The Portland Track Festival is hosting a free screening and panel discussion for the documentary film – “We Grew Wings” on Thursday, April 19. Guests will see the extended trailer for the film and will be able to participate in a panel discussion and Q+A with former Oregon track greats, Leann Warren and Eryn Forbes, along with the film’s executive director and producers.
Film makers Sarah Henderson and Erich Lyttle have produced several running films including “Fire on the Track: The Steve Prefontaine Story”, “There is No Finish Line”, and “Builderman” and now, with the help of executive-director Ellen Schmidt-Devlin, they are taking a look at the history of the University of Oregon’s women’s track program. The film examines the relationship of two of Oregon’s NCAA championship teams, 1985 and 2011, and explores and questions the progression of women’s sports through an intimate lens—from training to competitions in a quest for a national title.
A trailer of the film can be seen here: www.WeGrewWings.com
For those of you who weren’t around then, Leann Warren was a world class runner in the eighties. She excelled at distances from the 800 meters to 10 kilometers, and would have been even better if injuries hadn’t cut her career short. One of the highlights of her years at Oregon was the 1985 NCAA championships, when the women won the team title
Eryn Forbes was a multiple time all American at UO, and later became a lawyer. Leann and Eryn were the first and second scorers for the 1981 NCAA runner up cross country team (2nd and 13th overall). Eryn also became well known for her flamboyant racing outfits that she ran in during her post collegiate days.
I would encourage everyone to see this film in one form or another as it explores an important chapter in the growth of women’s running.