Recently in Oregon21 Category

Niels de Vos stepped down at UK Athletics on September 14, 2018 per BBC sports, after 11 years at the helm. On October 5, 2018, Niels de Vos was announced as new CEO for Eugene 2021.

Niels de Vos headed UKA for 11 years. During that time, he oversaw one of the finest periods in British Athletics. During this time, Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis, among others have emerged, and two retired. London 2012 and London 2017 hosted 2 of the finest events of their caliber and British fans reminded the world that they love athletics.

During his tenure, Fast Track Agency, under Alan Pascoe and Jon Rigdeon(now CMO of IAAF) were uncerimoniously sacked as sponsor development team, and Nike contract was signed after a controversial ending of a long term adidas agreement. Niels de Vos did it, to use the line attributed to the late Frank Sinatra, "his way."

We reached out to Niels de Vos via social media and he graciously answered the questions noted below. We thank him for his time and wish him well. While de Vos has been surrounded by sharks before, the first World Champs in U.S., and in the land the Nike built, has its own challenges.

The job of CEO is not a beauty contest. It matters little if one is well liked, one must be respected. Actually, it is much better if the CEO is feared. The job of heading a global event is fraught with land mines, and land sharks for that matter. Niels de Vos knows that he must deliver on a major event with many constituencies fighting for his time, his money and for the control of this event.

In the end, Niels de Vos was hired, because, at the end of the day, he must keep control of the event for Eugene 2021 to succeed.

Niels+de+Vos+IAAF+LOC+Press+Conference+zNuQoGnmsu2l.jpgNiels de Vos, photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images Europe/IAAF

It was announced by the Oregonian/Oregon Live site tonight, and in an article by respected athletics writer Ken Goe, that Vin Lananna, President of Track Town USA has resigned his position. In the article by Ken Goe, an unnamed source noted that Vin Lananna had told the staff of Tracktown USA about his decision on Tuesday at a group meeting.

Lananna_Vin-USOlyT08.jpgVin Lananna, photo by

In the article, it noted that Vin Lananna will keep his position as asistant Athletic Director at the University of Oregon. Vin Lananna has lead the Olympic Trials held in Eugene, Oregon in 2008, 2012, 2016. It the article Ken Goe notes that sources claim the reason for Lananna's departure from Tracktown USA was so that he can concentrate all of his energy on the 2021 World Championships.

Well, the hot mess that is the rebuild, renovation, razing of Hayward Field, take your choice, is growing. Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike, graduate of the University of Oregon (and Stanford, for that matter), has done an interview, and a very good one at that, with the hometown paper, Eugene's Registar-Guard.

First question. Is track & field the ONLY sport that complains when someone donates $200 million plus to redo an icon? Baseball stadiums are redone, football stadiums are redone. Track & Field seems to be the only sport that truly eats its young, or old, for that matter.

HaywardFieldFE1-USOlyTr16.jpgHayward Field, July 2016, photo by

The interview features great photos, audio bites, and a well written story, by Austin Meek. In the story, Phil Knight notes that, the University of Oregon is important to him, hence he and his wife, Penny, have given several hundred million to the university. Mr. Knight also supported the rebuild of Hayward Field, sacred ground for Mr. Knight and his brand, Nike, for many reasons. At first, Mr. Knight was asked to give $50 million, and he and his wife agreed, then, it was $75 million, and he noted approval, then, it was $100 million, and by $125 million, Mr. Knight was, well, not a happy camper. He pulled out of the project, per the story. And then, he came back to the project.

Price_DeAnnaW1-WC17.jpgDeAnna Price, hammer throw, photo by
Price 76.27 WL, young Taylor beats Merritt
KINGSTON (JAM, May 19): Not sprints but women hammer throw brought World leading mark of Jamaican Invitational (IAAF World Challenge) on a wet track after some rain. US DeAnna Price improved to 76.27 what is also second best ever by an American. Women sprints gave the crowds home wins. Elaine Thompson in 11.06 (-0.3) over 100 m and Shericka Jackson 22.55 (+0.4) in the 200 m beating Blessing Okagbare 22.66 and 400 m World champion Phyllis Francis 22.76. Also women 400 m hurdles were an home affair for Janieve Russell 54.26 over Ashley Spencer 55.23. In flat 400 m US runners Jessica Beard 50.52 life-time best and Jaide Stepter 50.72 PB beat home Stephanie-Ann McPherson 50.82. In 100 m hurdles Jasmine Stowers 12.83 (-0.3) over 400mHurdles World champion Kori Carter 12.87. Men 100 m had Ronnie Baker as winner in 10.00 (+2.0) over Michael Rodgers 10.04 and Tyquendo Tracey as top Jamaican 10.14. Sensational 200 m win for youngster Christopher Taylor 20.49 (0.0) over LaShawn Merritt and Anaso Jobodwana, both 20.70. Another Jamaican win in the 400 m by Demish Gaye 45.08 over Javon Francis 45.35 and Grenada´s Bralon Taplin 45.41 with European leader Matthew Hudson-Smith fourth 45.70. TJ Holmes clocked 48.67 to win the 400 m hurdles over Shawn Rowe 49.12 and Olympic winner Kerron Clement 49.37. Distance races winners were Puertoricans Ryan Sanchez 1:46.60 (800 m) and Alfredo Santana 8:01.52 (3000 m) with US Stephanie Brown 4:12.81 (1500 m). Olympic finalist Esa Brume from Nigeria leaped to excellent 682 (+0.2) just 1 cm shy of her PB over Shakeela Saunders 665 (+0.1) and Jamaican Tissanna Hickling 660 (+0.1). Jamal Wilson of Bahamas cleared 228 to win the high jump, Omar Craddock got 16.59 (+1.0) in triple and Jeneva Stevens with 18.17 beat Commonwealth Games winner Jamaican Danniel Thomas-Dodd 17.96 in shot.
Price_DeAnnaQW1-WC17.jpgDeAnna Price, photo by

Time for Vin Lananna, USATF to get on the same page

by Austin Meek, for the Register-Guard (February 21, 2018)

Vin Lananna.jpgVin Lananna, associate athletic director at the University of Oregon and president of TrackTown USA, talks with reporters on the final day of the the IAAF World Indoor Championship at the Oregon Convention Center. (Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard)

Time for Vin Lananna, USATF to get on the same page, by Austin Meek, for the Register-Guard (February 21, 2018)

Maybe I'm naive, but I believe Vin Lananna when he says Eugene's bid to host the 2021 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships was conducted on the up-and-up.

I also believe that when the Department of Justice gets involved, that's a big deal.

Outside of the Willamette Valley, track and field in this country is almost invisible as a spectator sport.

We can debate causes. The effect is indisputable.

Few people go to meets. Few watch on television. Few care.

This means it's difficult for athletes who are extraordinarily successful in college to pursue the sport post-collegiately because it can be almost impossible to make a living as a professional track and field field athlete.

I don't blame the leadership of USA Track & Field for this. But I also don't see the leadership thinking creatively for ways re-engage with the public.

by Ken Goe/OregonLive/The Oregonian

The way you feel about the USATF board of directors' stewardship of the sport in this country and the way it represents the organization's membership probably colors how you feel about the board's decision to put USATF president Vin Lananna on temporary leave.

The move was made Sunday when the board met in executive session in Albuquerque, and announced in a Monday release.

Lananna, remember, was elected by the membership in late 2016 by acclamation after several years of discord between the board and the rank and file. The USATF presidency is an unpaid position.

USA Track & Field president Vin Lananna said Monday night he was surprised when the organization's board of directors placed him on temporary administrative leave for what the board called "potential conflict of interest concerns" in light of a Department of Justice Investigation.

The DOJ is investigating the bids of several international championships, including the successful 2015 bid by USATF and TrackTown USA to bring the 2021 world outdoor track championships to Eugene.

HaywardFieldFE-USOlyTr16.jpgHayward Field, Summer 2016, photo by

Originally posted January 20, 2018

Reposted February 2, 2018

So, what do we need to understand about the visit by the IAAF to Eugene?

First of all, the IAAF finally gets it. There should have been a World Championships in the US thirty years ago. There is absolutely no excuse. But they sure get it now. The site team from the IAAF was fifteen people and they spent three days meeting with all the players.

Nike is paying for the redo of Hayward Field. Philip Knight, the founder of Nike has put Howard Slusher in charge of the redo of the stadium. That is the highest complement that Nike could give the importance of the remake of Hayward field. Think a European type track only stadium, seating about 35-40,000, with permanent and temporary seating. Mr. Slusher was the man behind Oregon's football stadium. He is formidable and no whining is permitted.

That the University of Oregon, Tracktown and other parties were not playing well has been rumored for some time. USATF and the LOC will do their job, and the IAAF will make sure that the event is done according to the rules and regulations of the sport.

When IAAF's CEO Olivier Gers says that the IAAF is not worried about the renovation or rebuild of Hayward Field they know that the Field will be done in time and honor the past as well as the future of the sport.

One final note. That the IAAF was able to forge a state wide relationship and support is a huge feather in the event's cap.

More to come!

Rupp_GalenW1-USOlyTr16.jpgThe glory of Hayward Field, photo by

EUGENE (USA): informs that the TrackTown USA organizing committee is standing by the successful bid for the 2021 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships after The New York Times reported on Wednesday that U.S prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas in connection with a wider corruption investigation. In a two-sentence prepared statement, TrackTown USA CEO Michael Reilly said: "Our role was to put the best bid forward. We are proud of our bid and stand by it." Writes

RunBlogRun opines: The New York Times piece ( is pretty typical of the genre. No additional information as no one will go on the record to speak on sports corruption. The supoena, however, is pretty damning. For the IAAF, the lack of transparency, and the imperial nature of how decisions are explained bites our global federation in the proverbial backside. Suggestions of corruption on the Doha 2019 bid were and are rampant. The truth is, that was the bid that Eugene should have won. The 2021 victory for the US is thirty years late. That the IAAF has been unable to figure out the strength of the sport in the U.S. is mind boggling. But, the US is at fault as well, as the lack of government support has hurt any US bid in the past.

The state of Oregon's invovlement in the 2021 championships is truly unique and is an example of how things have changed. Tracktown has a great team of people and they have a Herculean task in front of them. The rebuilding of Hayward Field now has Howard Slusher managing the project, and that is a huge positive.

Mike Reilly responded well to the NYT story. It is all he can do. Mike Reilly is one of those rare people who can put on a major championship in any venue you throw at him. Remember, he managed Stanford, Oregon, and London 2012. And on top of that, Mike Reilly can work with Vin Lananna, no mean feat.

That the investigation has not gone away is telling, even with no new information. Stay tuned for more updates.

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