Recently by Jeff Benjamin

Jeff Benjamin

Jeff Benjamin

Bio: Jeff Benjamin has written for more than 25 years for American Track and Field along with RunBlogRun. The Former President of the Staten Island AC was the 5th man scorer for his Susan Wagner High School NYC XC City Championship team. Also a member of the College of Staten Island Sports Hall of Fame for XC, Jeff currently serves as the LDR Chairman for USATF NY. A passionate (or fanatical) follower of the Sport, Jeff's subjects have included Sebastian Coe, Jim Spivey, Joe Newton, Tom Fleming, Bill Rodgers, Abel Kiviat, Marty Liquori, Rod Dixon, and Jim Ryun as well as Book Reviews and articles covering meets and races in the Northeast U.S.

IMG_5528.JPGThe Greats of York- Past Present and Future!!, L-R, Ron Craker, Jim White, Marris Baaken, Don Sage, Charlie Kern Jr., photo by Jeff Benjamin.

IMG_5477.JPGNewton, the Coaches and Marris Baaken, photo by Jeff Benjamin.

IMG_5458.JPGCoach Kern greeting Newton, photo by Jeff Benjamin

IMG_5430.JPGCharlie Kern JR- the future! with Jeff Benjamin

IMG_5436.JPGCraig Virgin and Don Sage, photo by Jeff Benjamin

On Sunday, November 6, Joe Newton, one of our most important high school coaches and role models was honored by the past, present and future of sport at York High School. Joe Newton groomed and developed a high school program, over the past six decades, at York High School in Elmhurst, Illinois. Coach Newton is one of our most respected coaches and role models. His kindness, powers of observation, dedication and genuine love of his athletes and staff are well known.

RunBlogRun was fortunate enough to have Jeff Benjamin, a long time writer for RunBlogRun (before that, American Athletics and American Track & Field), visit with Joe Newton and write about the amazing celebration of Joe Newton's career and the reach of the long Green Line of York cross country.

Many American fans are still smiling over the amazing race of Matthew Centrowtiz, who won the Olympic 1,500 meters in Rio, to the delight of many who have observed the young American, and to the consternation of those who had not watched his development into an Olympic champion.

Centrowitz_MattFlexA-Rio16.JPGA jubliant Matthew Centrowtiz, photo by

Jeff Aktinson was a 1988 Olympian and a fine 1,500 meter runner in his own right. Jeff Benjamin caught up with the Stanford grad, and now, fine high school coach. Atkinson was animated, as he is, in his response to athletes who run well and win what author John Parker noted, " Miles of Trials and Trials of Miles."

Centrowitz_MattFVR1c-OlyGame16.jpgMatthew Centrowitz, just after his Rio victory, photo by

FullSizeRender_1.jpgTop photo: Vladamir Kasentsev (silver), Horace Ashenfelter (gold), John Disley (bronze), 1952 Olympic steeplechase medalists, Bottom Photo: Horace Ashenfelter took lead over final water jump, Vladamir Kasentsev. Photos courtesy of Jeff Benjamin.

FullSizeRender_2.jpgPhoto: Dedication of Horace Ashenfelter Track Invitation, Photo courtesy of Jeff Benjamin.

FullSizeRender_3.jpgPhoto: Tom Fleming speaking at Dedication, Photos courtesy of Jeff Benjamin.

FullSizeRender.jpgPhoto, L-R, Jorge Lopes, Tom Fleming, Horace Ashenfelter, Ken Christensen, Jeff Benjamin

IMG_5201.JPGEssex County Plaque, photo by Jeff Benjamin

The dedication of the Horace Ashenfelter Track in Essex County took place on October 14, 2016. Jeff Benjamin covered the event for RunBlogRun. Horace Ashenfelter's gold medal victory and World Record run at the 1952 Olympics, a victory in an event dominated by Europeans and Soviet bloc runners in the 1950s. Horace Ashenfelter was a fine athlete, and a FBI agent. His story is one for the ages. At the wonderful age of 93, Horace Ashenfelter has been honored with the naming of the track where he completed some of his most formative workouts. That his lovely wife, Lillian, who supported him those 64 years ago, was able to enjoy the day made it even more spectacular day for a spectacular Olympian.

Jeff Benjamin caught up with 1964 Olympic champion Billy Mills, who has joined many concerned Americans over the new pipeline that passes through Lakota lands. Billy Mills is part Lakota and is concerned about his people's historic lands.

Billy Mills.jpgBilly Mills, photo courtesy of

Update October 16. Billy Mills asked Jeff Benjamin to provide some clarification on key matters with the story. We have provided that and are republishing.


At the 1992 Olympic Trials in New Orleans, L-R, Joe Newton, Longtime York runner and volunteer -the Late Vito "Fido" Purpura,The Late Dr. John Durkin,Jeff Benjamin
The word came out in August, that this would be the last season for coaching icon Joe Newton. Jeff Benjamin sent me a note about it and reached out to Craig Virgin and Jim Spivey for their thoughts on Joe Newton.
Joe Newton has changed generations of athletes's lives with his coaching and his encouragement. RunBlogRun, American Track & Field and the RunningNetwork wish Joe the very best in his final season and in his retirement (if that actually exists for such a high energy man).

image1.JPGDonn Cabral with his young fans, photo by Jeff Benjamin

image1-2.JPGLeon Manzano and his fans, photo by Jeff Benjamin

image2.JPGFord Palmer, Kyle Merber, David Torrence, photo by Jeff Benjamin

The HOKA ONE ONE Long Island Mile was an amazing success, and I watched it from three thousand, three hundred miles away! Watching the excellent coverage of Runnerspace and USATF TV, the event came to life. Reading the article below by Jeff Benjamin and the previous piece by Race Results Weekly, it is obvious regarding two things: the meet is a success and it has to be on my bucket list.

Congrats to Kyle Merber, one of the fine young milers who is emerging in this country, who not only races but puts on events. Brands like HOKA ONE ONE are getting it. In this age of brands fusing together, brands that combine stellar social media, actual events that reach out to a local community, tie ins with brick and mortar specialty running stores, and actual coverage of the events, will stand out. There are many fine shoe brands out there, but how do the good ones stand out? This event is a fine example.

Jeff Benjamin has written for American Athletics, American Track & Field and now, RunBlogRun. He is both journalist and track fan, a his track version of TMZ, shown below, is one of the reasons why I enjoy his assistance so much! Here are some of his favortie moments from Rio!

jeff-benjamin-story-image1.jpgJeff Benjamin with Caster Semanaya

Caster Semenya will be the likely winner of the 800 meters. A fine athlete, she is caught in a controversy that could be easily fixed, but, due to much politics is not. In the end, several wonderful human beings will be thrown into public and social media because of their chromosomal makeup.

Caster met with our man in the seats, Jeff Benjamin and he wrote this short peice, asking for respect and kindess to be shown to Caster.

We ask for the same.


Delayed at JFK (L-to-R: Josh Gulotta, Jeff Benjamin, Ollan Cassell, Tony Gulotta)
Photo by Emma Uible

Ollan Cassell was a 1964 Olympic bronze medalist at 400 meters and also on the 4x400m gold medal winning relay team. Ollan Cassell, after that, worked for the AAU first, and then, ran our sport for TAC/USA and for nearly forty years, controlled the fortunes of the sport of track & field in this country and influenced the world sport. I have always had time for Ollan as his stories from the old days always helped me understand how things were being done today. Jeff Benjamin was able to catch up with Ollan as their flights were delays to Rio!


Jeff Benjamin with Tom FitzSimons and friends! Photo by Josh Gulotta

If you have read American Athletics, American Track & Field , or RunBlogRun for the last thirty years, you have read Jeff Benjamin's tomes. Jeff is both fan and journalist. He wears his love for athletics and Staten Island on his shirt sleeve and we love him for it. Here is his first column from Rio!

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