Join/Renew Now

Latest news

Dr. Norbert W. Sander, Jr. to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at USATF Black Tie & Sneakers Gala


NEW YORK -- Dr. Norbert W. Sander, Jr., founder of The Armory Foundation and a key partner in bringing the USATF National Track & Field Hall of Fame to The Armory, will posthumously receive the USATF Lifetime Achievement Award at the Black Tie & Sneakers Gala November 2 at The Armory Track & Field Center in Washington Heights.


Dr. Sander’s many contributions to the sport will be recognized during USATF’s annual Gala, which features the National Track & Field Hall of Fame induction ceremony and special award presentations to Carl Lewis and Kathrine Switzer.


“Dr. Norbert Sander’s leadership and dedication to track & field was unparalleled in his transformation of The Armory to what it is today,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel. “As significant as his legacy is to track & field, his impact on the city and the community of Washington Heights has been especially significant. It is fitting to honor Dr. Sander with the USATF Lifetime Achievement Award at his beloved Armory, surrounded by his colleagues, friends and athletes who have benefited from his efforts.”


The 2000 recipient of the Heliodoro and Patricia Rico Lifetime Achievement Award and a 2005 USATF President’s Award winner, Dr. Sander was an advocate for bettering the opportunities for young people to get involved in track & field. Dr. Sander was the President, CEO and founder of The Armory Foundation, which revitalized The Armory to accommodate over 100 events annually, serving more than 180,000 athletes and 300,000 visitors every year. Its off-the-track educational enrichment programs assist young people in preparing for success in college.


For nearly 25 years, Dr. Sander led The Armory toward becoming the foremost indoor track and field facility in the country, with the venue now home to over 57 high school and a dozen American records. Dr. Sander’s efforts made possible historic moments such as Alan Webb’s sub-4:00 mile in 2001, the first ever by a high schooler, which was bested by Drew Hunter, also at the Armory, in 2016. In 2014, Dr. Sander was the recipient of the NYRR Abebe Bikila Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Sport of Running.


Dr. Sander was also an active competitor, winning championships at the Penn Relays (1963), the NYC Marathon (1974), and many masters events. By profession, Dr. Sander was a physician and practiced medicine for over 45 years. A lifelong resident of New York, he resided in Hastings-on-Hudson with his family until his passing in March 2017, at the age of 74. He is a 2017 inductee into the New York Road Runners Hall of Fame.


USATF and The Armory are longtime partners, teaming up together on the NYRR Millrose Games and Dr. Sander Invitational (previously The Armory Invitational) as part of the USATF Championship Series, and most recently, by reinventing the Hall of Fame induction ceremony as the Black Tie & Sneakers Gala. USATF recently committed to support The Armory Foundation’s after-school educational program with a monetary donation over a three-year term, beginning in 2017.


The USATF Black Tie & Sneakers Gala will be hosted by A.J. Calloway of TV’s “Extra,” and attended by Team USATF star athletes. The evening is set to feature performances by V. Bozeman and celebrity presentations by Machine Gun Kelly, Jacob Latimore, Annie Ilonzeh and more. In addition to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame Class of 2017 induction ceremony, USATF will honor sports icons Carl Lewis with the USATF Legend Award and Kathrine Switzer with the USATF Pioneer Award.


Visit to learn more about the November 2 event.

About USATF Black Tie & Sneakers Gala

Now in its third year, USATF's Black Tie & Sneakers Gala is a red-carpet evening held at the Armory Track & Field Center in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood. The Gala includes the induction of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame Class of 2017, with legendary athletes, business executives, current USATF stars and celebrities from sports and entertainment on hand for an opening reception, dinner, the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and after party. Guests walk the red carpet in festive attire and sneakers, giving the night a USATF twist on athletic elegance and excellence.

Tickets on sale

Tickets for USATF's Black Tie & Sneakers Gala are available now at For table sponsorship information, please contact


Nike Toyota Hershey Garden of Life UCS Gatorade NCSA KT Nationwide St. Vincent Normatec
© 2001-2019 USA Track & Field, Inc. All Rights Reserved.