Even the tiniest of limbs are important to your every day life. I once broke my thumb, which made writing, typing, and even eating that bowl of cereal extremely difficult. How bad would it be to injure a back, leg, or foot so bad that simply moving around is unbearable? Unfortunately, Oregon track star Mac Fleet could tell you all about it.
During his sophomore year, Fleet suffered severe plantar fasciitis in his left foot, along with a deteriorating fat pad underneath his heel. He was also impaired by a stress fracture in his trabecular that blew up during the Penn Relays in the 2009-10 season, and during this same season, injured his sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the human body and which connects the spinal cord with the leg and foot muscles.
It was the perfect storm of injuries that sidelined this premier middle distance runner for his entire junior year. It was a crushing blow to his promising career – 3-Time All-American, member of Oregon record-holding mile and distance medley relays, with the second-fastest time in NCAA history in the distance medley – and to the Oregon track & field team as well.
Fortunately for the Ducks’ squad, the all-star track runner returned this past Saturday to Hayward Field for the first time since 2010 in the Pepsi Team Invitational. Despite past injuries, Fleet ran a personal best 1:48:70 800 meters, easily winning and contributing to the Ducks’ upset of #1 ranked Texas A&M.
Fleet’s commitment, resiliency, and leadership highlights his importance to the team. Fleet may be the final piece to the puzzle in our now #4 ranked men’s track & field team’s quest to win its first national championship since 1984.