News & Notes, Volume 8, Number 97

12-17-2007

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

Millrose Tickets available now

The nation's most historic indoor track meet, the 101st Millrose Games, will hit the track on Friday, February 1 at New York's Madison Square Garden, as part of USA Track & Field's Visa Championship Series.

Tickets are available at Ticketmaster (call 212-307-7171, visit www.Ticketmaster.com or at New York City area Ticketmaster outlets); or at the Madison Square Garden box office. USA Track & Field welcomes you to pay with your Visa. For information about the 101st Millrose Games, visit www.Millrose-Games.com.

Felix completes degree requirements

2007 Jesse Owens Award winner Allyson Felix has completed her studies at the University of Southern California and will graduate with a degree in Elementary Education.

Felix, who became a professional athlete out of high school, made her degree a high priority while becoming one of the world's most dominant track and field stars. She will wait until Commencement in May 2008 to formally walk.

At just 21 years old, Felix became the second woman in history to win three gold medals at a single World Outdoor Championships with her triumphs earlier this year in Osaka, Japan. She first won the 200m in a personal-best 21.81 seconds. It was the fastest time by a woman since 1999 and was the largest margin of victory in World Outdoor history (.53). She then ran a decisive second leg on the winning 4x100m relay team, which clocked 41.98.

In her final event of the World Championships, Felix ran perhaps the fastest 4x400m relay leg ever by an American woman at a major championship and the fastest by any woman since the 1980s. Again running second leg for Team USA, she clocked a 48.0 split to move Team USA into a comfortable lead that propelled the Americans to a win in 3:18.55. It was the fastest time in the world since Team USA won the 1993 World title in 3:16.71.

Felix ran the three 200m fastest times in the world in 2007 and five of the top eight fastest times by an American, including the 22.34 she ran to win the U.S. Outdoor Championships.

For more information on Allyson Felix, including a complete bio, visit: www.usatf.org

McBarnette sets new masters record

Bruce McBarnette set a new USA M50 high jump record Sunday with his clearance of 1.86 meters, 6 feet 1 inch, at the Sportsplex Track Showcase at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Md.

Recently, USA Track & Field chose McBarnette, who just turned 50, as Athlete of the Year for 2006in the M45 age group. McBarnette, who is also president of the real estate investment firm, Summit Connection, has broken several age group world records, has won four world masters championships, and 18 USA Masters Championships for his age group.

A member of the Potomac Valley Track Club, McBarnette's personal record is 2.16m/7-1 set at the 1984 Rutgers Relays.

Masters running great Andberg dies

Known throughout masters track and field as "Bullet Bill" and "The Flying Finn," William Andberg died Tuesday of prostate cancer. He was 96.

During his masters running career, Andberg set more than 20 national and world records from ages 50 to 90. A longtime veterinarian in his hometown of Anoka, Minn., Andberg's favorite nickname was the "Gray Ghost," a moniker that was given to him after being seen running through an Anoka cemetery in a gray sweatsuit. Anoka's annual Halloween Gray Ghost 5 km run was started by Andberg in the mid 1970s.The official starter for the race for many years, Andberg's health caused him to miss the event this year for the first time in three decades.

Andberg took up running at age 55 in an effort to keep weight off his 5-foot-7-inch frame. During his running career he ran 35 marathons, and during one masters tour in Europe he ran 11 races in 23 days, winning 10 of them.

He is survived by his daughter Wendy and other daughters, Chris Gorham and Julie Andberg, son Paul; seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Congressional Medals Awarded to 1980 Olympians Officially Honored

Twenty-seven years after Congress authorized President Jimmy Carter to present a congressional medal to the 461 athletes of the 1980 United States Olympic Team, the medal has now been confirmed as being the highest civilian honor that can be bestowed by Congress. Until this recent designation, the medals awarded to the 1980 Olympic Team have been denied full recognition due to a technicality in production.

Earlier this year, members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team began working with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the United States Olympians Alumni Association and Representative Todd Tiahrt (Kansas) to properly designate the medal as a Congressional Gold Medal. The Congressional Record from 1980 clearly indicated that the intent of Congress was to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the OIympians, partly to record the historical sacrifice the Olympians made to preserve freedom as well as to record the patriotic role of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team in the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

In September, Representative Tiahrt and USOC Chief Executive Officer Jim Scherr sent letters to Lorraine Miller, Clerk of the House of Representatives, requesting the medal authorized by the 96th Congress and presented to the 1980 U.S. Summer Olympic Team by President Carter to be officially listed as a Congressional Gold Medal. The Clerk's office has since designated the medal as a Congressional Gold Medal and added the 1980 U.S. Summer Olympic Team to the official list of Congressional Gold Medal recipients.

In March 1980, President Carter announced that the United States would boycott the Olympic Games in Moscow as a protest to the Soviet Union's military aggression in Afghanistan. Congress overwhelmingly supported the boycott by the Carter administration and, following the decision to boycott the Olympic Games, enacted Public Law 96-306 authorizing President Carter to present a gold-plated medal to the 1980 U.S. Summer Olympic Team on behalf of Congress.

The U.S. Mint produced 650 medals to be awarded to the members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team, but because of the considerable cost of producing so many medals, financial constraints dictated that they be gold-plated rather than solid gold. As a result, because of this technical difference, the official listing of Gold Medal recipients maintained by the Clerk of the House of Representatives did not carry the ones awarded to the 1980 Team even though Congress intended that they be fully-recognized Congressional Gold Medals. Now with the recent designation, the medals awarded to the 1980 Team hold the same standing as the ones that have been awarded during the last 231 years to such luminaries as George Washington, who was so honored on March 25, 1776.