INDIANAPOLIS - The USA Track & Field Foundation is very pleased to announce the inaugural recipients of a John W. James Endowment grant, USATF Foundation Chairman Bob Greifeld and Executive Director Tom Jackovic announced today.
Mark and Lori James & Frias Holding Company made the initial gift of $200,000 to the USATF Foundation to seed the endowment, which will be used to fund elite grants for men and women track athletes in the throwing events, and to promote and highlight the throwing events at major competitions.
“I can’t think of a better way for the Foundation to kickoff its grant season,” noted Jackovic.
The outstanding men and women receiving a $4000 grant include Noah Bryant (shot put), Lance Brooks (javelin throw), Mike Hazle (javelin throw), Britney Henry (hammer throw), Kibwe Johnson (hammer throw), A.G. Kruger (hammer throw), Stevi Large (hammer throw), Sarah Stevens (shot put) and Russ Winger (shot put). Please see below for additional athlete information.
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, CA.
“My Dad was the biggest track fan I ever knew, but he always wished that his favorite events—the shot put, discus, hammer and javelin—would be featured more at big meets. Although he is gone, this endowment is an effort to make that wish come true,” said son Mark.
John W. James would run seven or eight miles every day in the foothills around Reno, where he lived for many years. He even ran a couple of miles a day after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2001. As the disease worsened, he continued to walk up to the time of his hospitalization.
“Parkinson’s slowly took my Dad’s incredible strength away from him, but it couldn’t take his spirit. His spirit is in this endowment, and it’s going to be behind every US thrower that benefits from this fund,” said Mark.
2011 John W. James grant recipients:
> Noah Bryant (shot put) – 4-time All-American at the University of Southern California, 2007 indoor & outdoor NCAA Champion
> Lance Brooks (discus throw) – 2010, threw a personal best of 64.79 meters
> Mike Hazle (javelin throw) – 2008 Olympian, 2009 World Championship Team, 4-time USA National Championship runner-up (2007-2010)
> Britney Henry (hammer throw) – 2010 PR of 71.27 meters, 4th @ 2009 USA National Championships
> Kibwe Johnson (hammer throw) – 2010 1st place DecaNation, 2008 USA Indoor Champion, 2nd place USA Outdoor Championships
> A.G. Kruger (hammer/weight throw) – 2-time Olympian (’08, ’04), 4-time USA Outdoor Champion, 6-time USA Indoor weight throw champion
> Stevi Large (hammer throw) – 2009 NCAA Outdoor National Champion, 4-time NCAA All-American
> Sarah Stevens (shot put) – 2008 NCAA Outdoor Champion (discus throw), 2007 NCAA Indoor National Champion (shot put), 10-time NCAA All-American
> Russ Winger (shot put) – 2010, tossed a personal best of 21.25 meters
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 and from generous fans of track & field.