Wednesday, November 30, 2016

USATF to elect new president, IAAF releases WC 2017 standards & NCAA rule change delayed one year...

As the calendar year begins to wind down, many of the country’s top athletes, officials and volunteers are in Orlando, Florida for the USA Track & Field annual meeting, which started on Wednesday at the Hilton at Walt Disney World.

The most important item that the delegates attending the annual meeting will need to take care of is to elect a new USATF president to replace Stephanie Hightower, whose two four-year terms is up.

Running for the presidency of the organization are TrackTown USA president, University of Oregon associate athletic director and former head track/cross country coach Vin Lananna (center, with Katie Mackey & Baylee Mires of the Brooks Beasts/photo by Paul Merca), and multiple Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who is currently on the USATF Board of Directors.

The position of president of USATF is a volunteer position.  

Former Club Northwest team manager Becca Peter, who runs the web site polevaultpower.com, sent both Lananna and Joyner-Kersee a series of questions about various issues and how they would handle them if elected president, the contents of which you can read here.

In other news:

—The IAAF recently announced the qualifying standards for next summer’s world track & field championships in London.

The qualifying period for the world championships began October 1st, and ends on July 23rd.  The meet begins August 4th and runs through the 13th.


—In a move that would’ve affected post collegians and athletes from smaller schools who wish to compete in large collegiate invitational meets such as the indoor series hosted by the University of Washington, the NCAA Men’s & Women’s Track & Field Rules Committee decided to delay for one year the implementation of a rules change requiring verifiable entry performances to be published through an online NCAA reporting system (currently TFRRS.org). As a result, the rule goes into effect on December 1, 2017.

Some of the concerns about this new rule include the unintended effects on incoming freshman athletes, injured athletes and distance runners who would have to be entered with a “no mark” performance until a verifiable current season performance is established. 

This rule also potentially shuts out post collegians entering collegiate meets, since TFRRS.org doesn’t track marks made in post-collegiate competition, such as USA nationals or international meets. forcing deserving athletes to enter with a ‘no mark’ performance, which leads to a meet director’s worst nightmare in trying to seed a meet.

The intent of the rule was to disallow speculative marks, which coaches and meet directors use to set up fields.


NOTE:  USA Track & Field, the IAAF, and the NCAA contributed to this report.

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