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News & Notes
1-9-2004

Volume 5, Number 3

Contact:
Nick Karas
Communications Intern
USA Track & Field
(317) 261-0478 x357
Nick.Karas@usatf.org

USA Race Walking Grand Prix Series to debut

USATF is pleased to announce the debut of the USA Race Walking Grand Prix, which begins with the USA 30 km Championship in Chula Vista, California on January 11, and concludes October 31 with the USA 50 km Championship in Hauppauge, New York. The Grand Prix will crown the overall champions for the 2004 season in the men's and women's divisions for individuals and teams.

"We were looking for an objective way to measure performances across distances and declare the best race walker overall in the U.S., and this Grand Prix Series will do just that,” said Vince Peters, USA Race Walking Chairperson. “It will also help to create some excitement about race walking during an Olympic year as our athletes go for the gold."

The Grand Prix will consist of 11 races. All 11 events will offer individual scoring and eight of those events will also allow for team scoring. The races will be contested in nine different states. Grand Prix scoring and results will be available online at www.usatf.org. The 2004 USA Race Walking Grand Prix Series schedule follows.

Date    Event                                      Location           Scoring
1/11    USA 30 km RW Championships                 Chula Vista, CA    Individuals/Teams
2/15    U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Men's 50 km RW  Chula Vista, CA    Individuals/Teams
2/27-28 USA Indoor T&F Championships (3000m/5000m) Boston, MA         Individuals
4/4     USA 20 km RW World Cup Trials              Overland Park, KS  Individuals
5/23    USA 1 and 2 hr. RW Championships           Kenosha, WI        Individuals/Teams
6/13    USA 15 km RW Championships                 Lincoln, RI        Individuals/Teams
7/17-18 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - T&F (20,000m)   Sacramento, CA     Individuals
8/21    USA 10 km RW Championships                 Wilkes-Barre, PA   Individuals/Teams
9/12    USA 40 km RW Championships                 Ocean Township, NJ Individuals/Teams
10/9    USA 5 km RW Championships                  Kingsport, TN      Individuals/Teams
10/31   USA Women's 50 km RW Championships         Hauppauge, NY      Individuals/Teams

Coaching legend Blunt dies at 95

North Carolina prep coaching legend Russell Blunt died Wednesday at Duke Hospital in Durham following an extended illness. He was 95.

Blunt coached high school athletics, mostly at Hillside High in Durham, for more than 60 years. With Hillside, he won 17 state titles, his last one being the 1997 North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) indoor track championship. He retired the following year. Blunt was 88 years old when he won the 1997 state title, making him the oldest coach in the nation to win a state championship.

Blunt was a member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, the N.C. High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame and three other halls of fame, including one in his hometown of Andover, Mass. He graduated from St. Augustine’s College in 1936, where he began his coaching career.

Blunt coached every year until his retirement, except in 1944, when he earned his master’s degree from Boston University. His teams won 10 state outdoor track championships and seven indoor track championships.

Blunt is survived by two daughters, three grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

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