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'I'm standing right here behind the finish line and I have the best seat in the house'

There are 136 officials working the U.S. Track and Field Trials. (SBG photos)

EUGENE, Ore. - About 20 percent of the officials working at the U.S. Track and Field Trials are from Oregon. But, the remaining 80 percent are from other parts of the nation.

The officials do everything from escorting athletes around Hayward Field to keeping correct times on the events.

They help determine the athletes' futures from the sidelines and whether they'll punch their ticket to Rio.

"I'm standing right here behind the finish line and I have the best seat in the house," said Lloyd Cornelius, finish line coordinator.

Officials are putting their best foot forward.

A total of 136 officials of all ages are at the event, helping make the tough calls on the sidelines.

"People who want to help. People who want to be about the sport, not about them," Cornelius said.

For Cornelius, the long flight from New York to Eugene was worth it.

"There's a sound that you can't get from TV," he said.

These top officials are selected from applicants by USA Track and Field.

Dispersed throughout the stadium, three officials are set to monitor the finish line.

"On the hundred yard dash it's like a straight line. They just zoom by," said Richard Kallunki.

Kallunki has officiated four Olympic trials from the finish line.

Kalunki says one of his favorite memories was meeting Steve Prefontaine.

"Those were the days when it was just mystical and he would come out on the track and the place would be full," he said.

All eight field events have their own crew of officials.

Mark Heckel is working the trials as an electronic measurement judge.

"It's a privilege to be here. It's a privilege to be on the same field with some of the best athletes in the world period," Heckel said.

The men and women are decked out in dark blue shirts, white hats.

The officials say putting their time and effort into the trials is worth it.

"That's why we're all in the job of officiating. Is we want to be fair and impartial. And we want to give them the best opportunity to represent the United States at the Olympics," Heckel said.

Cornelius says the toughest part about being an official is the weather.

He also says they need fans and more young people interested in being an official for future track events.

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