Roe opens 2008 USATF Annual Meeting

12-03-2008

Contact:
Tom Surber
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field
317-713-4690

RENO, Nev. - Celebrating a theme of "Waves of Change-Mountains of Opportunity," the 2008 USA Track & Field Annual Meeting began Wednesday night with the event's Opening Session at the Silver Legacy Resort in Reno, Nev. Each year the USATF Annual Meeting welcomes approximately 1,000 volunteers, officials, coaches, athletes and administrators who chart the future of the sport.

State of the Sport

Completing his final days of service after eight years as USATF President, Bill Roe delivered his final "State of the Sport" address at the Opening Session. In his address, he recounted the challenges the organization faced - and conquered - in 2008, including the move of the National Office to a new location in Indianapolis, the search for a new CEO, the successful restructuring of USATF and the hosting of four highly successful Olympic Trials events.

Roe also described the continued growth of USATF's annual Associations Workshop, and reported that the organization's membership has grown to very near the 2006 numbers achieved before membership fees increased. USATF's Visa Championship Series enjoyed an increase in attendance, and television ratings numbers were up as well. Roe also spoke of scholastic participation numbers in track and field and race walking that are still growing for both high schools and two- and four-year colleges, and that Team USA won the medal count at every international championship in 2008, including the World Junior Championships and Olympic Games in Beijing.

President's Award winners

In continuing an annual tradition, Roe announced his President's Awards for 2008, recognizing individuals within the organization who have made unique contributions to the sport. The 2008 President's Award winners are:

Bill Mongovan: Connecticut Association President, Youth Chair and Junior Olympics Regional CoordinatorJoan Benoit Samuelson: Women's running pioneer, National Track & Field Hall of Famer, winner of the inaugural women's Olympic Marathon at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

Laurie Boemker: New England Association Board of Governors, member of national Youth Athletics and Officials' committees

Joetta Clark Diggs: Olympian, member of Athletes Advisory Council, community activist, member of USATF CEO Search Committee

Adam Nelson: Olympic silver medalist, world champion, volunteer coach, member of USATF CEO Search Committee, member of the IAAF Athletes' Commission

Cathy Griffin: Founder of the Griffin Network, who coordinated the USATF CEO Search

Mary Elizabeth Aude: West Zone Representative for National Youth Committee, event organizer, active member of USATF's Montana Association

Skip Stolley: Key figure in USATF's growing elite development club program and the Club Council, club coach and manager

Patrice Wilson: Involved in local, regional, and national Youth programs and events for nearly three decades. A past national Junior Olympics Championships meet director, she is also a regional coordinator.

Bob Rush: An active member of USATF's Pacific Association, Rush is a running enthusiast who has provided the timing for countless cross country events.

Herb Nicolls: Membership Chair of USATF's Potomac Association, serves as an official at all levels of the sport.

Charlane Engelhardt: Has served as the USATF Pacific Northwest Association regional Junior Olympics coordinator for over a decade.

David Greifinger: Counsel to the USATF Board of Directors. Served as a trusted confidante to USATF President and acting CEO Bill Roe in 2008, and wrote the majority of USATF's 2008 restructuring language. Greifinger becomes only second individual ever to earn two USATF President's Awards.

For more information on USA Track & Field and the 2008 Annual Meeting, visit: www.usatf.org