Spokane is rare Left Coast nationals, so don’t complain about cost, travel

Ten years ago, Spokane City College hosted our meet. This year, it's at Eastern Washington University.Ten years ago, Spokane Falls Community College hosted. This year, it's Eastern Washington University in Cheney.

Starting in 1968 (yes, 50 years ago), seven of the first 10 masters outdoor nationals were held on the West Coast — six in David Pain’s home of San Diego and once in Gresham, Oregon. But in the past 20 years, the Left Coast has hosted our showcase meet only four times — Sacramento 2010, Spokane 2008 and Eugene 2003 and 2000. (I don’t count mid-Pacific Honolulu 2005.) So cry me a river when people complain about the cost of 2018 Spokane nationals. Some are griping about this year’s locale on Facebook. But the ones on the East Coast have been much closer to the Midwest and Southern nationals since the Left Coast’s last meet. Spokane was chosen in 2016 — a year after nobody bid for outdoor nationals in 2015. So we gotta be grateful Spokane stepped up to the plate. Ames, Iowa, will host 2019 outdoor nationals. 2020 hasn’t been chosen. But maybe Eugene could be recruited, since the Oregonians say they’ll be ready for the Olympic Trials. While waiting, check out my photos from Spokane 2008.

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About the Author

Ken Stone
Ken has followed track as an athlete, writer and webmaster since the late 1960s, and saw most sessions of track and field at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He also attended the 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Trials. He worked for 10 newspapers and now reports for Times of San Diego. Write him at TrackCEO@aol.com or kens@timesofandiego.com. Story tips always welcome!

7 Comments on "Spokane is rare Left Coast nationals, so don’t complain about cost, travel"

  1. Milan Jamrich | July 5, 2018 at 6:02 pm | Reply

    Isn’t it like in Canada 😉

  2. See you there, Ken.

  3. David E. Ortman (M65), Seattle, WA | July 14, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Reply

    The Cheney Chamber of Commerce will not be pleased that USATF, NMN, and blogs continue to refer to this meet as the “Spokane” Masters Outdoor Nationals. It’s not. It’s the Cheney Masters Outdoor Nationals at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, WA – 17 miles southwest of Spokane.

    You can also improve your stay if you learn how to pronounce Cheney. It is pronounced in a way that sounds like Cheeeneeey or Chee-knee, not like the name of past Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney(Chayney). It was named after an official of the Northern Pacific Railroad(which had been granted an acreage of land for railroads equivalent to all of New England). And Spokane is Spokane with the last syllable “can” not “cain”.

  4. David E Ortman (M65) Seattle, WA | July 14, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Reply

    P.S. Cheney is approximately 267 miles along I-90 from the nearest salt water (Puget Sound) in Seattle, and over another 100 miles (as the seagulls fly) west to the true Washington Coast. 400 or so miles would take you through about 10 England States, so Cheney considers itself part of the Rocky Mountains and not the West Coast, so think Boise or Reno (without the casinos).

  5. David E. Ortman (M65), Seattle, WA | July 14, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Reply

    P.S. Cheney is not the “Left Coast” or even the “West Coast.” Cheney is approximately 267 miles along I-90 east of the nearest salt water (Puget Sound) in Seattle and it takes another 100 miles west as the seagull flies to reach the actual Washington Coast. At nearly 400 miles, that would take you through 10 New England states. Cheney considers itself part of the Rocky Mountain West, so think Boise, or Reno (without the casinos). Don’t start fights by calling it the “Left Coast.”

  6. Ken,

    I’m not able to access the 2008 Spokane photo gallery past the first page. I get an error message stating the page isn’t archived. Thoughts?

  7. Michael Jaqua | July 18, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Reply

    We’ve got a large nation geographically speaking…I agree that there should be no complaining about travel costs to attend this championship meet. It is no less costly for me to travel to any other part of the country than it is for somebody else from those places to travel here. Honestly, the only time it is really inexpensive for me to compete in a National Championship meet is when it’s held in Portland or Gresham…but I travel when I can afford to because I love the competition. We’re all in the same boat. Good luck at the Championship!

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