Virginia Beach to host USATF Annual Meeting


Tom Surber
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field

INDIANAPOLIS - The 2010 USA Track & Field Annual Meeting will be held December 1-5 in Virginia Beach, Va., for the first time in its history. The Virginia Beach Convention Center will be the site of the Annual Meeting, where USA Track & Field and its constituents will celebrate the organization's storied 30 year history.

Traditionally held the week following Thanksgiving, the Annual Meeting brings together more than 1,000 of the sport's officials, coaches, administrators, athletes and supporters. The yearly gathering serves as a forum to chart the future of the sport by considering policy changes, selecting national team staffs and national championship meet sites. It is a forum where the individual's voice can be heard.But it is not all business.

The Annual Meeting also gives USATF the opportunity to recognize the achievements of both athletes and volunteers. Each year a new class is inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, and presentations for year-end award winners, including the Jesse Owens Awards for the top American athletes, are made.

Members attending the Annual Meeting have the opportunity to meet the sport's top stars, and USATF offers various social and recreational opportunities for attendees throughout the event. Attendees in Virginia Beach will receive a special double-issue of Fast Forward commemorating USATF's first 30 years of existence, along with a DVD featuring interviews with USATF Icons of the Sport over the last three decades: Gail Devers, Michael Johnson, Stacy Dragila, Carl Lewis, Joan Benoit Samuelson and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

The Annual Meeting will kick-off with the traditional Opening Session at 5 p.m., on Thursday afternoon, December 2 in Ballrooms 2 & 3 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Highlights include a report from USATF Chairman & President Stephanie Hightower.

Expo - Make Connections!

The 2010 USATF Annual Meeting Expo brings together equipment and technology suppliers, Convention and Visitors Bureaus, Sports Commissions and more! This is the once-a-year opportunity for Annual Meeting attendees to interact with the sport's top vendors all at one site. The Expo will take place Thursday, Dec. 2 - Saturday, Dec. 4 where everyone will have access to the best deals on equipment, along with information on the 2011 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships and Visa Championship Series. Also, mark your calendars for the Expo Breakfast on Friday, Dec. 3 at Exhibit Foyer BC in the Convention Center.

Merchandise "Warehouse" Sale

As part of the 30th Anniversary Celebration, USATF has released Limited Edition 1979 TAC merchandise.

Stop by the USATF merchandise table located in the Expo Area to see all of the newly released styles. Additionally, Annual Meeting attendees will have a chance to purchase USATF merchandise at a deep discount at the "Warehouse" Sale (up to 75%).

Green Initiative at USATF Annual Meeting

In 2009, more than 40,000 pages were printed at the Annual Meeting. In an attempt to lower costs and promote going "green", USATF has developed a Document Library. The Document Library will reside on the Annual Meeting webpage, where meeting agendas, minutes or other documents from various committees and meetings will be available. Documents will be organized by committee and labeled as directed. To submit items for the Document Library, contact Katie Landry at:

Annual Awards Breakfast

The annual Awards Breakfast Buffet will be held on Saturday, December 4 in Ballroom 2 & 3 at the Convention Center beginning at 8 a.m. Youth, Masters, Long Distance Running, Track & Field, Race Walking, Officials, Athletics for the Disabled, Athletes Advisory and Mountain Ultra Trail are just some of the committees and councils that present their end of the year awards at the breakfast.

Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Inductions

The must attend event of the Annual Meeting is the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Inductions Banquet that will take place on Saturday, December4 beginning with a reception at 6:30 p.m. in Ballroom 2 & 3 at the Convention Center. The banquet will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The Jesse Owens Award was established in 1981 as a tribute to the man whose accomplishments are forever enshrined in sports history. It is USA Track & Field's highest accolade, and is presented annually to the man and woman selected through a nominating and voting procedure as the outstanding American performers of the year in Athletics.This year's male Jesse Owens Award winner is David Oliver, who won nearly everything in sight in 2010 and posted the five-fastest times in the world (and 12 of the top 15 times globally) during the outdoor season, which included his pending American record 12.89 clocking from his win in Paris on July 16. Oliver's performance was the fourth-fastest time ever, and made him the third-fastest 110m hurdler of all-time. Oliver also won the inaugural IAAF Diamond League 110m hurdles title. Men's Jesse Owens Award finalists included: Christian Cantwell, Tyson Gay, Bernard Lagat and Chris Solinsky.

The women's Jesse Owens Award winner is three-time World Outdoor 200m champion Allyson Felix, who won the inaugural IAAF Diamond League titles in the women's 200m and 400m in becoming the only double champion in the history of the Diamond League. Her fastest 200m times last season of 22.03 and 22.14 were the second and third fastest times in the world, and her fastest 400m time of 50.15 from her win in Doha was the second-fastest by an American. Felix, who won the USA Outdoor 100m women's title for the first time in her career, won a gold medal in the 4x400m relay at the 2010 World Indoor Championships in Doha. Women's finalists included Molly Huddle, Chaunte Lowe and Kara Patterson.

Also during the evening, five new members will be inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame Board and Committees, and members of the media comprise the electorate for the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is located at The Armory Foundation at 216 Washington Ave., in Washington Heights, N.Y.

This year's inductees are five-time Olympic team member and numerous national champion, Jearl Miles Clark; Dyrol Burleson, who was a two-time Olympic finalist in the 1,500 meters, who twice won the Olympic Trials; Roy Cochran, who was the 1948 Olympic Games gold medalist in the 400m hurdles, and a world record holder in the 440y hurdles; and Ralph Craig, who won the 100m and 200m gold medals at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden, and held the world record in the 220y straight dash.

Track and field journalist James Dunaway was elected to the Hall of Fame in the Contributors category. In a career that has spanned more than 50 years, Dunaway has covered every summer Olympic Games since 1956 and has written countless articles about the sport and its athletes that have appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times.

Additional awards presented at the banquet include the Nike Coach of the Year (Brooks Johnson), Visa Humanitarian of the Year (Bernard Lagat), USATF Youth Athlete of the Year (Trevor Barron) and USATF Masters Athlete of the Year (Oneithea "Neni" Lewis).

For more information on USA Track & Field and the USATF Annual Meeting, visit: