St. Lous will play host to two big USA Track and Field in the next three months as the USATF Annual Meeting begins today in the ‘Lou. In February St. Louis will host the USATF Cross Country Championships for the first of two consecutive years. The cross country races are the national championships and will determine the world championship junior and senior teams.
Besides meetings of coaches, officials, and administors of the sport, there is also an exhibitior expo, Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction, and the Market Street Mile, a series of age-group related races.
This is the third time the Show Me State will host the annual meeting in its 32 years. St. Louis also hosted in 1994 and Kansas City hosted in 2002.
Several Hall of Fame Inductees come from just across the Missouri Border. Craig Virgin, the legendary distance runner, is from just across the St. Louis border in Lebanon Illinois. Maurice Greene, one of the top American sprinters of all-time is from Kansas City, Kansas, and Bob Timmons was the long time University of Kansas Coach. Also Jackie Joyner Kersee is schedule to be in attendance. The East St. Louis native is one of the greatest female athletes of all-time as standout heptathlete and long jumper. We’ll try to catch up with them and hear about what they’re doing and about their careers.
Special Events and Highlights: http://www.usatf.org/events/2011/AnnualMeeting/highlights.asp
If you’re interested in running the Market Street Mile here’s info:
RACE MORNING SCHEDULE:
6:30 – Packet Pickup Opens
7:20 – Open Women & Men Wheelchair
7:30 – Open Women & Men 70+
7:33 – Open Women & Men 60-69
7:36 – Open Women & Men 50-59
7:39 – Open Women & Men 40-49
7:42 – Open Women & Men 30-39
7:45 – Open Women & Men 20-29
7:48 – Girls & Boys 13-19
7:51 – Girls & Boys 12 & Under (may be accompanied by a registered or unregistered adult)
8:10ish – Elite Women (introductions started immediately after the youth races are finishes)
8:20ish – Elite Men (introductions started immediately after the elite women’s race finishes)
8:30ish – Awards Ceremony
Jackie Joyner Kersee bio: http://www.usatf.org/events/2011/VIP/JJKBio.asp
Devers, Greene lead Hall of Fame Class of 2011
Born: July 23, 1974
Already a world champion, Maurice Greene became one of the all-time greats when he establish a world 100m record of 9.79 in 1999. From that point, Greene would collect four Olympic medals (two gold) and another six World Championships Indoor and Outdoor gold medals. 1999 was a breakthrough season for Greene. He won three gold medals at the World Outdoor Championships (100m, 200m, 4x100m) and the 60m gold medal at the World Indoor Championships. The world indoor record holder at 60 meters, he traveled to Sydney for the 2000 Olympic Games and came home with gold in both the 100m and 4x100m. Perhaps his most memorable race occurred at the 2001 World Outdoor Championships when he injured his leg 60m into the final race and yet held on for the win. The injury nearly ended the brilliance of his career, but at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens Greene he added a silver medal in the 4x100m and bronze in the 100m. By career’s end, Greene ran under 10 seconds in the 100m a total of 53 times, which was more than any other sprinter in history at that time. After retirement, he was known for competing in the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars.
Born: August 2, 1955
In the late 1970s and early 1980s Craig Virgin established himself as one of the best distance runners in the the world. His most impressive accomplishment was becoming the only American to win an individual World Cross Country championship, which he did twice (‘80, ‘81). The 1976 NCAA Cross Country champion, Virgin set seven U.S. national records on the roads and in track events. Virgin broke Steve Prefontaine’s national high school two-mile record before attending the University of Illinois. At Illinois, he won nine Big Ten Conference championships and eventually became the only American to qualify three times for the Olympic Games in the 10,000m (‘76, ‘80, ‘84). A three-time USA Outdoor champion (‘78, ‘79, ‘81) and 1980 Olympic Trials champion, Virgin broke Prefontaine’s American 10,000m record at 27:39.4 in 1979, which was also the second-fastest time ever run in the world at that time. Virgin is also a member of the National Distance Running Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.
Few people influenced more athletes than Bob Timmons. When his Hall of Fame career finally came to an end, Timmons had coached seven Olympians, 16 world record holders, 77 NCAA All-Americans and 24 NCAA champions. One of his more famous protégés included Jim Ryun, who he coached at Wichita East High School and at the University of Kansas. Under Timmons’ tutelage, Ryun, in his junior season, became the first high school runner ever to break four-minutes in the mile. Timmons then left for the track and field program at his alma mater of Kansas where his career spanned 22 seasons and included four NCAA championships, 13 Big 8 indoor conference titles, 14 outdoor conference titles and four cross country conference titles. At the high school level, Timmons won 17 state titles in swimming, cross country and track and field. Always expecting the most from his athletes, Timmons is also a member of the University of Kansas Hall of Fame, the Drake Relays Hall of Fame, the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Kansas High School Activities Hall of Fame and the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame.
St. Louis to host USATF Annual Meeting
INDIANAPOLIS – Beginning today and running through December 4, the Hyatt Regency in St. Louis, Mo., will play host to the 2011 USA Track & Field Annual Meeting. It will be the second time the meeting will be hosted in St. Louis as it was also there in 1994.
Traditionally held the week following Thanksgiving, the Annual Meeting creates a platform to bring together more than 1,000 of the sport’s officials, coaches, administrators, athletes and supporters. Among other things, the yearly gathering hosts discussions surrounding policy changes, selecting team staffs and national championship meet sites. Smaller meetings allow the opportunity for individual voices to be heard.
The Annual Meeting also serves as an ideal stage to honor award winners. Each year a new class is inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame and presentations for year-end award winners including the Jesse Owens Awards are made.
The Annual Meeting officially kicks off Thursday with the Opening General Session, which is slated for 5 p.m. For specific highlights pertaining to the Annual Meeting please see below.
Blackmun to be keynote speaker at Welcome Reception
This year’s Welcome Reception will include a keynote address from United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun.
Blackmun, who was named CEO of the USOC in January of 2010, will be a timely keynote speaker as USATF and other National Governing Bodies prepare for the upcoming 2012 London Olympic Games. Blackmun will discuss the importance of the continued positive relationship between USATF and the USOC and especially as both organizations begin an Olympic year. He will also detail the future goals for the USOC.
Market Street Mile adds unique touch to Annual Meeting
Specific to the 2011 Annual Meeting will be the USATF Market Street Mile, which is slated for 7:30 a.m. Saturday, December 3.
Being held in downtown St. Louis, the Market Street Mile will feature a series of age group races. Awards will be given to the top three finishers in each age group and a USA Track & Field spike bag to each participant.
Jesse Owens Hall of Fame Banquet
Also on the agenda will be the Jesse Owens Hall of Fame Banquet, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday evening. The banquet serves as a platform to announce standout performances in the sport both past and current. A list of six individuals will receive their inductions into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame along with the announcement of the Jesse Owens Awards for Athletes of the Year, the Nike Coach of the Year and the Visa Humanitarian of the Year.
Being inducted into the Hall of Fame includes modern athletes Gail Devers and Maurice Greene, veteran athletes Vince Matthews and Clarence Demar and coaching legend Bob Timmons. Craig Virgin, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2010, deferred his induction until this year and will be inducted as one of the modern athletes.
Winning the yearly awards include Jesse Williams and Carmelita Jeter as the Jesse Owens Male and Female Athletes of the Year. Bryan Clay will be named Visa Humanitarian of the Year and Rana Reider will be named the Coach of the Year. Ajeé Wilson will be named the Youth Athlete of the Year, while Christine Kennedy takes the same honor for the masters category.
USATF Exhibitor Expo
As is the case each year, beginning today the 2011 Annual Meeting will feature an exhibitor expo, which features exhibits from everyone ranging from convention and visitors bureaus to equipment and technology suppliers.
Exhibitor Expo schedule
Wednesday, November 30 (noon until 5 p.m.)
Thursday and Friday, December 1-2 (8 a.m. until 5 p.m.)
Saturday, December 3 (8 a.m. until noon)
For more information regarding the 2011 USATF Annual Meeting please visit www.usatf.org.