Nick Symmonds, GM, San Francisco, photo by PhotoRun.net
RunBlogRun opines: One of the most well run press conferences via phone that I have been on. Silly point, but important, all reporters were actually given a couple of questions to ask, and the GMs, Vin Lananna and Mike Reilly, were all game. I will be following up with a second piece later today, once I get on a plane (off to Boston), but I am liking what I hear about the TrackTown USA series for 2017!
TrackTown Summer Series General Managers Announced
EUGENE, Ore. – TrackTown USA announced today that four of track and field’s most celebrated athletes have signed on as General Managers of the four teams set to compete in the expanded TrackTown Summer Series this season.
The newly hired General Managers are Allyson Felix, Bernard Lagat, Sanya Richards-Ross and Nick Symmonds. As a group, they bring widespread public recognition and global star power to each of the franchises in the 2017 TrackTown Summer Series – New York, Portland, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Felix, a six-time Olympic gold medalist, will serve as General Manager for New York City, the site of this year’s Championship meet on July 6. Lagat, a five-time Olympian, assumes the reins in Portland; Richards-Ross, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, takes over in Philadelphia; and Symmonds, a six-time U.S. 800-meter champion, will be in charge in San Francisco.
“I’m so excited to be a part of the 2017 TrackTown Summer Series,” saidRichards-Ross, who retired from competition last year. “I couldn’t be happier for our athletes to have more opportunities to compete, especially on U.S. soil. This is just the beginning of something great and I feel blessed to be a part of it.”
She is not alone in her sentiment. “I am confident that the future of track & field is extremely bright,” said Felix. “That’s why I wanted to sign on as a General Manager in the TrackTown Summer Series – to continue to work toward shining a spotlight on our sport and our athletes.”
Besides being the public voice of each team, the four General Managers will be tasked with helping finalize team rosters for the 2017 TrackTown Summer Series. Working in conjunction with the TrackTown Summer Series investors, those duties will include contributing to and announcing athlete draft selections, advising on free agent signees, and helping to determine which athletes from last year will be offered one-year contract extensions.
“I love the concept of team competitions to give our domestic athletes a chance to showcase their talents right here in the U.S.,” Lagat said. “Team USA has the best team in the world and it’s through opportunities like the TrackTown Summer Series that we can truly grow our sport. The teams will be comprised of world-class athletes and I hope I can help guide them to top performances and give our fans some great events to watch.”
After a highly acclaimed debut at Hayward Field last summer, the 2017 TrackTown Summer Series returns with three meets and a renewed commitment to provide top American track and field athletes with opportunities to compete in the U.S. during the summer months. The official dates and venues for the 2017 TrackTown Summer Series are as follows:
- San Francisco: June 29 at Stanford University
- Portland: July 2 at Mount Hood Community College
- New York: July 6 at Icahn Stadium
“I have argued for over a decade that professional runners need more domestic opportunities to compete,” Symmonds said. “It is no surprise that TrackTown USA is the entity that finally got it done. Vin Lananna and his team have done a wonderful job hosting events in Eugene and I have no doubt that their execution of this year’s Summer Series will be a resounding success.”
Tickets are now on sale for the TrackTown Summer Series Championship meet in New York on July 6. Prices are as follows:
$20 – General Admission
$40 – Reserved Seating (includes one complimentary beverage)
$100 – Premier Reserved Seating with VIP Hospitality
To purchase tickets or for more information, go to:tracktownsummerseries.com
GENERAL MANAGER BIOS:
Allyson Felix is the most decorated female athlete in track and field history. The three-time Olympian is the only female T&F athlete to win six Olympic gold medals – 2008 (4x400m relay); 2012 (200m, 4x100m relay, 4x400m); 2016 (4x100m, 4x400m). She is also tied for the most Olympic medals in history with nine. Felix earned 13 medals – nine gold, three silver and one bronze – in five appearances at the IAAF World Outdoor T&F Championships in 2005, ’07, ’09, ’11 and ’15. The 10-time U.S. champion was ranked #1 in the world in the 200m seven times and twice in the 400m.
Bernard Lagat became the oldest U.S. track Olympian in history last summer when he competed in the 5,000 meters in Rio at the age of 41. The seven-time U.S. 5,000m champion was the first athlete to complete the historic 1,500m-5,000m double at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan. The five-time Olympian won bronze and silver medals for his native Kenya in the 1,500m at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, respectively. He still holds five U.S. records – outdoors 1,500m, 3,000m and 5,000m and indoors 1,500m and mile.
Sanya Richards-Ross retired from competition after the 2016 outdoor track and field season. She won a total of 13 medals – 10 gold, three silver and one bronze – at the Olympics and World Championships during her illustrious career. She won a gold medal in her signature event, the 400 meters, at the 2012 London Olympics. She also won Olympic gold medals in the 4x400m relay in 2004, ’08 and ’12. She is a five-time World Champion, a six-time U.S. champion in the 400m, a two-time winner of the USATF Jesse Owens Award and the reigning U.S. record-holder in the 400m at 48.70 seconds.
After winning seven Division III national titles at Willamette University, Nick Symmonds joined the Eugene-based Oregon Track Club Elite and went on to claim six U.S. outdoor titles in the 800 meters, including the famed hometown sweep at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field. At the 2012 London Olympics, he placed fifth in the 800m final with a personal best of 1 minute, 42.95 seconds, the sixth-best mark in U.S. history. He also won the silver medal in the 800m at the 2013 IAAF World Championships.
About TrackTown Summer Series:
The TrackTown Summer Series is a U.S. circuit of professional track and field meets which features scored competition between four teams representing the cities of New York, Portland, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Team rosters are split evenly between men and women. The TrackTown Summer Series is designed to provide top American track and field athletes with innovative competitive opportunities on U.S. soil.
Curtis Anderson | TrackTown USA
Director of Communications