EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- As TrackTown 12 wraps up at Hayward Field on Sunday, a new documentary film is premiering in Eugene Saturday, highlighting the champions and untold stories in women’s track & field.
The documentary “We Grew Wings” premieres Saturday, June 30th, 2012, at 9 p.m. in downtown Eugene’s McDonald Theatre.
The film chronicles two different NCAA Championship women’s track teams from the University of Oregon: the 1985 outdoor track team and the 2011 indoor track team.
The film’s producers interviewed more than 150 women for the project, with the goal of showing the parallels and differences between the two “Women of Oregon” track teams.
Filmmakers looked at how the 1985 team inspired the 2011 team, also the differences in challenges they faced as women in competition.
Melissa Gergel, the 2011 NCAA outdoor pole vault champion was interviewed for the documentary, as she was a part of the 2011 Women of Oregon team. Gergel got a chance to sit down and speak with the 1985 team in the process.
"I kind of clung to a couple of things that they had said and they had shared and I really used that as inspiration,” said Melissa Gergel an interview with NewsSource 16 on Saturday.
“Now, Oregon Track and Field is big on the men's and women's side but back then, it was so heavily about the men, so I think that's a whole 'nother set of obstacles that they had to overcome.”
Gergel is moving on to the professional world of competition now. She helped give out free tickets to the documentary on Saturday with two others professionals, Alysia Montano and Lauren Fleshman.
Montano will represent the U.S.A. Olympic Team in the 800M race. Fleshman continues to compete in middle and long distances running events.
Both hope that “We Grew Wings” will help further the level of respect for women in athletics and putting their championship stories on the main stage.
"Women are powerful, women are strong, unfortunately the story tellers in our sport and in the news media are usually men, usually the men's story get highlighted more and that's one of the reasons "we Grew Wings" is so special,” said Lauren Fleshman in an interview with NewsSource 16.
"It's going to take a change in how the media views women and strong vocal women like Lauren and myself and also, us passing down the torch and allowing them to have a voice,” said Montano.
“We Grew Wings” premiere Saturday, June 30th, 2012, at the McDonalds Threatre starting at 9 p.m. Tickets are still available at the door, 17 dollars for adults and 12 dollars for students.
The documentary will continue to show in Portland in July 2012. For more information about it, visit the following website: www.wegrewwings.com