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USATF Foundation announces 16 John W. James Endowment Grant recipients

INDIANAPOLIS –The USA Track & Field Foundation announced its sixteen elite athlete recipients of the 2013 John W. James Endowment grant on Friday.

Mark James & Frias Holding Company made the initial gift of $200,000 to the USATF Foundation in July of 2010 to seed the endowment.  The endowment is used to fund elite grants for men and women track athletes in the throwing events, which are traditionally under-funded, and to promote and highlight the throwing events at major competitions. A total of $54,000 in grants to elite track & field Olympic hopefuls will be distributed in the next few weeks.

John W. James was passionate about track & field. In addition to playing tackle at the University of Oregon, he was a Golden Gloves boxer and a top shot putter in high school, in Roseville, Calif. James was Nevada’s state climatologist for many years along with being a geography and meteorology professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. A respected authority on alpine climate, he was the official meteorologist of the 1968 Olympic Trials held high in the Sierras at Echo Summit, above South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

“My father died before his time from Parkinson's Disease. I miss him every day. But when I see the athletes excel for our country in the events he loved, the throws, and they have been aided in their training by the endowment in his name, he lives on for me, and he will not die,” Mark James said. “These athletes will know how much he loved these events, how much he respected the training and sacrifice that goes into success in these incredible strength and skill pursuits, and how much he wanted to see the USA become the best in the world in these events. I won't stop, and the John W. James Endowment will not stop until we are."

Sixteen outstanding men and women have been selected to receive a 2013 James Endowment Grant, including: Aubrey Baxter (hammer throw/$3000), Gwendolyn Berry (hammer throw/$3000), Amanda Bingson (hammer throw/$3000), Lance Brooks (discus throw/$3000), Britney Henry (hammer throw/$3000), Cyrus Hostetler (javelin throw/$3000), Kibwe Johnson (hammer throw/$3000), Craig Kinsley (javelin throw/$3000), A.G. Kruger (hammer throw/$3000), Joe Kovacs (shot put/$3000), Cory Martin (shot put/hammer throw/$5000), Kurt Roberts (shot put/$5000), Kara Patterson (javelin throw/$5000), Sarah Walker (shot put/hammer throw/$3000), Russ Winger (discus throw/$3000) and Jason Young (discus throw/$3000).   

The Foundation Elite Athlete Grant Program contributes to the pursuit of world-class performances by American post-collegiate track and field athletes. Athletes must meet minimum performance and financial need standards to be eligible.

The USATF Foundation provides a means to attract and guide funds to new and innovative track and field programs with an emphasis on providing opportunities for youth athletes, emerging elite athletes, distance training centers and anti-doping education. The Foundation depends upon donations from its Board of Directors, major gifts and from generous fans of track & field.

Elite athletes are supported by the Foundation via monetary grants, career counseling (mentoring & jobs) and participation in Run With US!. Youth athletes are supported via monetary grants to youth clubs.

For more information, or to contribute to the USA Track & Field Foundation, visit or contact Tom Jackovic at (412) 398-2484 or

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