The USATF Convention ended on Sunday in Daytona, Florida. We have heard good comments from the athletes, coaches, delegates on the Convention. Here is the wrap-up from Elliott Denman.
Aries Merritt reacts to his new WR of 12.80, photo by PhotoRun.net
USATF Annual Meeting 2012 wrapup...
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
"I don't know about you, but I think this has been one of the best annual meetings I've
ever been part of,"
Stephanie Hightower told her constituents at the Sunday morning session that put a wrap on
the yearly conclave of USA Track and Field's movers and shakers.
By the time the thousand-plus delegates in all categories finally found their way
around the maze of designated
meeting rooms of the double-towered, multi-level, many-corridored Daytona Hilton, the
four-day (for most attendees) gathering was over.
And most agreed it was as successful as Hightower, the former hurdles great who has
been USATF president for the past four years, had called it.
For Hightower, it was also a personal success - she was elected to a second four-year
presidential term by landslide margin over challenger Pat Rigby. She was right
- USATF was able to revel of the success achieved on every level in 2012.
Team USA again led the way at the Olympic Games, collecting 29 total London medals and
nine golds (even though
just three were earned by American men, an all-time Olympic low.) And for those keeping
score, Team USA won the unofficial points race in both the Olympics and March's World
Americans played dominating roles at the World Junior Outdoor Championships
in Spain and World Masters Indoor
Championships in Finland, too. And in so many major global events, as well.
A major USATF innovation in 2012 was the launching of Fans Choice Awards,
in six different vote classifications.
With track enthusiasts around the nation casting their ballots, the winners
- all USA Olympians - were announced at USATF's
gala Jesse Owens Hall of Fame Banquet held Saturday night.
And, envelopes please, the winners were.....
An obvious pick for "Inspirational Athlete of the Year" was Manteo Mitchell.
All the unsung North Carolinian did was run the opening lap of the semifinal round of
the London men's 4x400 on a broken leg,
thus keeping his team in position to run the next day's final, where it took the
silver medals back of the Bahamas's gold.
"I felt something pop about midway through," said Mitchell. "But I had to get the stick
around, to keep
USA in it; not for me but the three other guys."
The "pop" was soon diagnosed as a broken fibula - but the good news is that Mitchell
has fully mended and walked onto the stage of the banquet event with no limp or gimp
or stride impairment.
"It's fully mended now," said Mitchell. "I can't wait for my first race back."
Moving right along, other Fans Choice winners were.....
Best women's Olympic performance - Allyson Felix, sprint and relay superstar.
Best men's Olympic performance - Will Claye, who medaled in both long and triple jumps.
Best Olympic Trials performance - Ashton Eaton, world decathlon record-breaker.
Clutch performance of the year - Brittney Reese, taking London gold in her final long
Breakthrough athlete of the year - Aries Merritt, Olympic 110 HH champion and
"Thank you for your vote of confidence, and the honor and privilege of serving you,"
said Hightower, the former hurdles great.
And when final approvals for legislative amendments were OK'd by USATF delegates,
it was time for all to head home and do the work of transforming plans into action.
Among the big events on the 2013 calendar:
Feb. 2 - USA Cross Country Championships, St.Louis.
Feb. 2- New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, Reggie Lewis Center, Boston.
Feb. 16 - Millrose Games, The Armory, NYC.
March 1-2 - USA Indoor Combined Event Championships, Albuquerque.
March 2-3 - USA Indoor National Championships, Albuquerque.
March 9-10 - USA Youth Indoor Championships, Landover, Md.
March 22-24 - USA Masters Indoor Championships, Landover, Md.
March 24 - IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Bydgoszcz, Poland.
April 15 - The Boston Marathon.
April 25-27 - The Penn Relays, Philadelphia.
April 25-27 - The Drake Relays, Des Moines, Iowa.
May 25 - Adidas Classic Diamond League Meet, Icahn Stadium, NYC.
June 1 - Prefontaine Diamond League Meet, Eugene, Oregon.
June 19-23 - USA Outdoor Championships, Des Moines, Iowa.
June 19-23 - USA Junior National Championships, Des Moines, Iowa.
June 25- 26 - USA World Youth Trials, Edwardsville, Illinois.
June 25-July 1 - USA Youth Championships, St. Louis.
June 29-30 - USA National Club Championships, Icahn Stadium, NYC.
July 10-14 - IAAF World Youth Championships, Donetsk, Ukraine.
July 25 -26 - National Junior Olympic Championships, Greensboro, NC.
Aug, 2-4 - Pan American Junior Championships, Lima, Peru.
Aug. 10-18 - IAAF World Outoor Championships, Moscow.
Sept. 15 - USATF 30K Walk Championship, Valley Cottage, NY.
Oct. 26 - Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Oct. 13 - USATF 40K Racewalk, Oakhurst, NJ.
Oct. 15- 27 - World Masters Championships, Brazil.
Nov. 3 - The ING NYC Marathon.
Nov. 24 - USATF National 50K Racewalk, Florida.
Dec. 14 - USA Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, San Antonio.
And more to come. Stay tuned.