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Board welcomes new members


DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. - The USA Track & Field Board of Directors has announced three new members, while four members have renewed their four-year terms at the conclusion of the USATF Annual Meeting in Daytona Beach, Fla.

New to the board of directors are Fred Finke, Becky Oakes and Darvis “Doc” Patton. Approved by the Nominating and  Governance Panel to renew their terms were current board members Eve Wright and Ken Taylor; the Athletes Advisory Committee also renewed the term of Aretha Thurmond as their board representative.

Most recently chair of USATF’s High Performance Division, Finke has served USA Track & Field for more than three decades, contributing in long distance running, high performance, cross country, and budget and audit. He is a USATF Level III certified coach in sprints and jumps and a Level II certified coach in endurance events who has served on multiple international teams as a coach for Team USA. Finke is also co-owner and executive vice president of business development for

Oakes will serve as the 5-C organizational representative.  As the current director of sports for the National Federation of State High School Association, Oakes works directly with track and field, cross country, gymnastics, swimming and diving, water polo and volleyball. A former teacher and coach, she serves as a liaison across all levels of these sport with the NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, YMCA and national governing bodies. She has served on numerous governing boards including USATF, USA Volleyball, USA Gymnastics, National Federation of State High Schools Associations, and the NFHS Foundation Board.

Patton will represent the Athletes Advisory Committee alongside Thurmond and Deena Kastor. Patton is a three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic medalist in the 4x100m relay who has been competing at an elite level for more than a decade. Patton also won silver at the 2003 World Championships in the 200m and is a two-time World Championships gold medalist in the 4x100m.

In its meeting Sunday morning, the board of directors re-elected their officers: Chairman Stephanie Hightower, Vice Chair Steve Miller, Treasurer Ken Taylor and Secretary Darlene Hickman. Larry James was re-appointed as board counsel.

For more information on USATF’s Board of Directors, visit

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