By Lemor Abrams

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — How’s 150 degrees for hot?

That was the ground temperature on Thursday afternoon at Sacramento State, where thousands of athletes are competing in the much anticipated US track and field championships.

The pavement sizzling, TV Cameras taking cover, and truckloads of ice melting by the second.

But the Track and Field Championship is off and running despite record-setting temperatures.

Sidney Mcloughlin is from New Jersey, where it’s currently about 30 degrees cooler. But she’s one of the thousands of athletes, some of the best in the nation, prepared to use the heat to their advantage.

“From a performance standpoint, the muscles work better, function better. No pulls, no nothin’ when those muscles get warmed up,” said Mike Sophia.

Sophia is the man who helped make this happen at Sacramento State. He’s the director of the Sacramento Sports Commission. Triple-digits aside, he says the competition is on to bring the trials back in 2020. And braving the scorching sun sends a serious message to the decision makers.

“There’s just a great feeling on the track there’s energy in the stands,” he said.

For now, those stands are sweltering. And so are the fans sitting in them.

“I got my little, wet towel, you know, one of those cold towels,” said Darrien Bell.

A cold towel?

“What’s the difference between this and a regular towel? It’s a fabric that breathes; the air goes through it,” said another fan.

Misting centers and medical teams are on standby. But these pros–jumpers runners and spectators alike are sweating it out together.

“One big team we all help each other,” said a firefighter on duty.

Thursday is Day 1 of the four-day meet, and the good news is, it’s expected to cool down in the coming days.


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