Yesterday’s newsy email from USATF Masters has raised concerns that our 2021 national outdoor meet won’t be held in Sacramento as previously awarded.
All we know is: “Summer 2021 – USATF Masters Outdoor Championships: To be announced soon.”
But the newsletter also says: “July 17 – Northwest Region Masters Outdoor Track and Field Meet: Seattle, WA – details forthcoming soon.”
Given that the Sacramento Sports Commission website shows dates of July 15-18 for Sacto masters nationals, we now have dueling mysteries: When and where will outdoor nationals be held? (Meanwhile, the official USATF Masters website says: “USATF Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships; Sacramento State University, Sacramento, CA Late July/Early August 2021.”
I’ve written to USATF Masters Prez Jerry Bookin-Weiner and others but haven’t heard back. I also wrote to the LOC (the Sacto Sports Commission) as well as the hosting USATF Pacific Association.
In early January, Jerry wrote:
We’ve seen quite a few rumors about the 2021 USATF Masters Outdoor Championships in recent days. Four points:
The meet is currently “on” for Sacramento, CA;
The dates are currently under discussion between the MTF Executive Committee and the Sacramento Local Organizing Committee, led by the USATF Pacific Association;
No firm decisions on dates have been made – there are many moving parts to putting on a masters outdoor championships and many factors need to be taken into account;
If you read something purporting to say the meet is cancelled or will be held somewhere else or will be held on any specific set of dates, DO NOT BELIEVE IT UNLESS IT COMES FROM THE MTF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.
So that’s all I know. California’s capital was the site of 2010 nationals and 2011 worlds — and today was moved into a less restrictive “red tier” for public gatherings.
I’ll keep y’all in the loop as intel arrives.
Here’s the email note, for posterity:
With new COVID-19 cases dropping and the vaccine rollout gaining steam for our athletes over age 65, USATF Masters is preparing to return to competition during the course of 2021. In doing so, our official USATF Masters meets will comply with all USATF’s COVID-19 Protocols in effect at the time of the meet.
USATF Masters Track & Field Schedule:
Early June – Mega Regional Masters Meet (East/Midwest/Southeast Regions combined): South Carolina – details forthcoming soon
July 17 – Northwest Region Masters Outdoor Track and Field Meet: Seattle, WA – details forthcoming soon
Summer 2021 – USATF Masters Outdoor Championships: To be announced soon
August 11-12 – National Masters Combined Events Championships: Colorado – details forthcoming soon
August 14-15 – Mid America Region Masters Outdoor Track & Field Meet: Colorado – details forthcoming soon
August 21-22 – National Masters Throws Championships: Seattle, WA – details forthcoming soon
USATF Masters LDR Schedule:
USATF Masters 1 Mile Championships – Rochester, NY – June 12 as part of the Rochester Mile
USATF Masters 12k Championships – Sandy Hook, NJ – September 19 as part of By Hook or By Crook 12k
USATF Masters 5k XC Championships – Boston, MA – October 17
USATF Half Marathon Championships – Syracuse, NY – November 14 as part of the Syracuse Half Marathon
USATF Club Cross Country Championships – Tallahassee, FL – December 11
Points for the 2020-2021 Grand Prix can be earned in each of the first four events. The Grand Prix individual and team awards will then be awarded at a special award event in Tallahassee on December 11.
We have already begun work on our 2022 Masters Grand Prix schedule and plan to have a full schedule of high-quality events, with much more geographic diversity. Importantly, we are committed to publishing the entire 2022 schedule by October 2021. The 2022 Masters Grand Prix schedule will kick off with the 2021 USATF Club Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee.
Inaugural Rex Harvey Memorial Masters Exhibition Event at Drake Relays – Long Jump in 2021
The Masters Exhibition Long Jump will be the inaugural Rex Harvey Memorial Masters Exhibition Event at the Drake Relays. Up to four men and four women in the 40-59 age groups will be selected to compete in the event to be held during the 2021 Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa in April (likely date for the event is Friday, April 23, with the possibility that it may be shifted to Saturday, April 24).
Masters long jumpers interested in competing in this event should complete this formor contact MTF Exhibition Events Subcommittee Chair Linda Carty at email@example.com by Friday March 19, 2021. Those selected to participate will have their accommodations and local transportation in Des Moines covered by funds generated by the Rex Harvey Memorial Endowment at the Drake Relays.
WMA Championships Schedule
In December 2020, World Masters Athletics announced the following schedule for upcoming WMA Championships; no dates have been announced for any of these events at this time:
2022 – WMA Outdoor Championships Tampere, Finland
2023 – WMA Indoor Championships Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2024 – WMA Outdoor Championships Gothenburg, Sweden
2025 – WMA Indoor Championships Spokane, WA bid to be voted on in 2022
2026 – WMA Outdoor Championships Daegu, South Korea bid to be voted on in 2023
MTF Announces Subcommittee Chairs, Liaisons, USATF Committee Representatives, Task Force Managers, and Other Officials for 2021-2024
After interviewing nearly 50 applicants for positions as MTF Subcommittee Chairs, Liaisons, USATF Committee Representatives, Task Force Managers, and other positions, the MTF Officers presented a slate to the Executive Committee for approval. The following list of nominees were all approved and have assumed their duties:
Active Athlete Representative
Championships Games Subcommittee Chair
Communications Subcommittee Chair
East Region Coordinator
Mid America Region Coordinator
Midwest Region Coordinator
Northwest Region Coordinator
Southeast Region Coordinator
Southwest Region Coordinator
West Region Coordinator
Anti-Doping and Substance Abuse
Budget and Finance
Combined Events (Co-Chairs)
Hall of Fame
Calvin T. Williams, Jr.
REPRESESNTATIVES ON USATF COMMITTEES
Diversity & Leadership
Law & Legislation
Sports Medicine and Science
TASK FORCE MANAGERS
Strategic Plan Implementation
James W. Pearce
General Assembly Delegates
Carroll DeWeese (term expires in 2022)
Robert Thomas (term expires in 2024)
Women’s Delegate (term expires in 2022)
General Assembly Alternates
(terms expire in 2022)
Women’s Delegate Alternates
(terms expire in 2022)
International Team Manager
USATF Board Representative (term expires in 2022)
MLDR Athlete, Sean Wade, Sets 4 American 55-59 Records in February
Three American Records were set on February 6 at one event in Houston, Texas, where Wade established new records for the 12K (40:14), 15K (50:22), and 10 Mile (54:06). The 12K and 15K were also World Best marks. Two weeks later on February 21, he broke the American 8k 55-59 Record by 8 seconds with a 26:11. That works out to 5:16 per mile and tied for World Best!
Masters LDR Ambassador Calls
We appreciate all those who are supporting our Masters LDR Ambassador calls. There were a record 140 participants from 70 clubs on our February 11 call and another 39 who registered and received the presentation online. They were able to hear directly from two of this year’s race directors, Terry Mullane and Rick Streeter, as well as Amanda Scotti from National Masters News. This is a great opportunity to stay up to date with the very latest information on 2021 and 2022. CLICK HERE to register for the next call.
Masters LDR Grand Prix Update
Points for the 2020-2021 Grand Prix can be earned in each of the first four events. CLICK HERE for the scoring and rules of this year’s Grand Prix. The Grand Prix individual and team awards will then be awarded at a special award event in Tallahassee on December 11.
For 2022, we are focused on 9-10 geographically diverse Grand Prix events. We have already identified 7 of those events and are in discussions for the remaining 2-3. Importantly, we are committed to publishing the entire 2022 schedule by October 2021. The 2022 Masters Grand Prix schedule will kick off with the 2021 USATF Club Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee.
Masters LDR Communications Subcommittee
Finally, we have assembled a very strong Communications Subcommittee, led by Bruce Kirschner. The Committee includes Paul Carlin (media-print and web), Todd Straka (web editor), Dawn Grunnagle (social media), and Pam Fales (Constant Contact administration). Also assisting are Morris Williams and Rob Schaltenbrand. Their mission statement is:
“To enhance the design and delivery of USATF Masters Long Distance Running communications to generate excitement while building camaraderie and community and significantly increase participation in Masters National Grand Prix events.”
They have set some ambitious goals to dramatically improve the quality of our communications, including leveraging existing communication channels, building better websites, establishing a presence on social media, and improved outreach to running clubs and USATF Associations.
Contribute to support independent track and field journalism:
I commented too much on the story about me, and thus one might wonder why I am commenting on a story that is not related to me at all (do I want to become known as a compulsive commenter?). Well, I will take a chance and make the first comment about the upcoming Sacramento nationals. First, I did announce Sacramento nationals in 2010 (was turned down flat for 2011 worlds at Sacramento on the grounds that I was unqualified), and I had a couple of impressions.
First, it was indeed hot, and thus protection from the sun is really needed, as there is little to no shade. For more recent figures I went to weather.com to get the highs for July and August 2020 in Sacramento. In July there were 14 days with a high of 96 or greater, and in August there were 17 such days. Perhaps the nationals can be structured as a day-evening meet, possibly going from 8 AM to noon and then 6-10 PM.
Second, I stayed in a dormitory in 2010; will the dormitories again be used, or will there be plenty of hotels where masters can get a discounted rate?
I’m told that the 2021 outdoor nationals are on; they are to be held in Des Moines, Iowa, at Drake University, site of the world-famous Drake Relays. Of course, I have no official word on this; I am just reporting what I have heard.
Hope I am right.
Well, another source says that the meet is on but that it’s actually in Ames, Iowa. Hope this can be cleared up.
Peter: Ames, Iowa it is.
Thanks, Fidel. Well, I did look at some of the information for this meet; apparently men and women currently aged 24 years will be allowed to compete if they turn 25 in time. Has this been widely discussed? Are any of these ultra-young people aware of the Ames championships?
I noted also that the so-called long hurdles will have trials if needed. As I have noted before, this brings up the strange “masters situation” in which people who are unable even to do the event will be welcomed. Imagine if you’re in M40 and have to run a trial to eliminate ONE man who cannot break 1 minute, 55 seconds in the 400 hurdles.
After a very slow start, presumably due to the implications of the COVID-19 phenomenon, we are charging ahead and actually have entries for Ames. As of 5:00 PM Iowa time we had 13 athletes signed up for the 100 dash, including former masters chair Gary Snyder (M75) and longtime masters standout Bob Bowen (M65). If I had $15 for every time I announced Bob Bowen I could refuse my Social Security.
The shotput has 5 entrants, but I could not discern any big stars. Looking at all events, perhaps of most interest to me is that the M25 and W25 categories have no entrants at all. Perhaps I should tell some of the extremely young members of my new fitness center that they can join USATF, come up with some money for entry, travel, and hotel, and then get a national championship gold in any event they choose as long as their luck holds out.
Is there any way at all to attract these very young people to the Ames championships?
Can we make a run at the all-time record turnout for this meet of 1503 athletes, set 21 years ago? Given the staggering increase in the US adult population since 2000, combined with the inclusion of W25 and M25 athletes for the first time, one would think we could. Entries to date suggest, however, that the goal of 1504 (or whatever) entrants will be hard to reach. To this point, for example, we have no W25 and no M25 entrants at all.
Will continue to watch this unfold.
At 2 PM Iowa time today (May 18) we had 18 entrants in the 100, including the highly regarded Kenton Brown. Discus has 16 entrants, many of them very accomplished throwers. Overall entries for M25 and W25 remain at zero — that’s a shame.
Thanks for the updates, Peter. Someone did bring up a discussion on the USATFMasters Facebook about attracting the M25 & W25 folks. FWIW, I remember when I was that age, Masters competitions were not on my radar. I was focusing on road 5k/10k’s at the time.
I appreciate the acknowledgement, Fidel. As of 8:00 AM Iowa time today (May 22) we had 25 entrants in the 100 and 22 in the discus (9 of them women). I really think we will do much better than I had originally thought. In fact, there is an outside chance that this will be the first national masters outdoors in US history to surpass 1400 entrants when not located in California or Oregon, correct?
As I recall, Fidel, and the first three were confirmed by the histories one can find by Googling “National Masters News”, the meets were 1989, San Diego, 1450; 1994, Eugene, 1418; 2000, Eugene, 1503; and 2010, Sacramento (above 1400, but I cannot find the number).
To date there have been absolutely no entries for people under 30.
I contributed to the total in Sacramento.
Do you know who will be the announcer(s) in Ames?
Good for you, Fidel. In terms of the announcer(s), my only information is that anyone who has a last name beginning with “Tay” is very unlikely to be chosen.
M25 and W25 continue to be empty. In other news, Shigeki Makino still has the coolest name among the sprinters.
Well, Fidel and others who have been following this saga, we finally have a winner, and his name is Jordan Carroll. Young Jordan, and he is indeed young, is our first 25-29 entrant; he chose the 100 and 200 dashes. The only problem I had was in perusing “All Divisions Men,” as someone decided (for both the 100 and 200) to place 25-29 right below 90-94. Oh, well. That was the last place I expected to find this new age group.
Well, would be great if you were chosen.
Here’s hoping more 25+ folks sign up.
At 8:00 PM Ames time today (May 26) we had 31 in the 100 dash and 26 in the discus, pretty good numbers. Fidel, back in the day I considered the total at the “1-month mark” to be a key. This year that day was May 24 — I am talking about the day that comes 1 month before the end of REGULAR entries. Our numbers were quite satisfactory on May 24, but now we have to “get busy.”
As you might have guessed, we have stayed at 1 for M25 entries, with 0 for W25 entries. We need some good action for both groups.
At 9:00 AM Ames time today (Memorial Day, May 31) we had 36 in the 100 dash and 29 in the discus. Amazingly, 17% of the discus field comes from a single club, AZ Desert Throwers (Scottsdale, Arizona). Regardless, the totals for these two events strike me as quite good.
I’m still waiting for our first W25 entrant; in M25 we are stuck at 1. Oh, the weather? AccuWeather is calling for 67-90, 66-83, 67-87, and 67-87 for the four days, but that will no doubt change.
Yes. Hoping for the cooler, and less humid, end of that temperature range. In Sacramento 2010, I remember having to warmmup in the parking garage next to the track. A lot cooler for sure. I don’t think Iowa State has a nearby parking garage, though.
Well, Fidel, I am getting more optimistic about the final turnout. As of 9:00 this morning Iowa time we had 43 in the 100 dash (a terrific number) and 31 in the discus (very nice). One thing that should help us is that the state of Iowa is bordered by SIX states, as you know: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
Clearly, if you are a masters T&F athlete living in one of those six states you should be able to make the big meet in Ames unless you have a compelling excuse (injury, lost your job, etc.).
As for me, I will probably sign up closer to the June 24th deadline. I tend to injure myself easily evidenced by today’s strained groin. It’s not bad but it’s a good reminder to be more careful.
Good to hear about the higher registration numbers.
Fidel (and others): Things are looking quite good indeed. As of 7:00 PM today Iowa time we had a stunning 51 athletes in the 100 dash and an excellent 35 competitors in the discus. Even the 25-29 group is looking better, albeit the three athletes in this very young division are all men. _
Fidel (and everyone else): We’ve experienced a bit of a pause in our momentum, as we had just 36 in the discus as of 6:00 AM Iowa time today (June 8). In other words, a gain of only 1 since early evening 4 days ago. On the other hand, we are now up to 60 in the 100 dash (a gain of 9). With the regular deadline 16 days away we still have a good shot at an outstanding turnout.
I hear Huntsman is also expecting a large turnout.
Well, that could be either good or bad for us, Fidel. Encouraging in the sense that many people are willing to travel for a big meet, possibly a negative if they prefer the Huntsman to our nationals and might skip Ames.
Latest numbers for Ames: 67 in the 100 and 37 in the discus. AccuWeather has dramatically changed its forecast for the meet, with no temperatures above 81 for any of the four days. Yowza.
Fidel: I will now bow out, as I had hoped we would hit the jackpot (1400+ entrants) with this meet, but apparently we will not (77 in the 100 dash at 3:00 PM Iowa time today, June 12). The four championships that hit the wonderful 1400+ level were San Diego (1989), Eugene (1994), Eugene (2000), and Sacramento (2010).
It would have been nice for an Iowa meet to join that select group, but I am not confident that this will happen. Or perhaps I am just a pessimist.
Thanks for the updates, Peter.
Regular entry for the big meet in Ames closes in 6 days, and in many ways the turnout looks quite good. I continue to be concerned, however, about a philosophic issue: How can a meet with no performance standards whatsoever potentially incorporate so many trials? I am thinking back to Orono 2002, when we still had trials in the 1500. I remember the great Tony Young from Washington state doing repeat striders on day 1 as a warmup, but he ended up not running that trial (rolled to a final). Later in the meet Tony won the M40 1500 in 3:59.34, the only man in the race to break 4:10. Why did he need to arrive on day 1 to “prove himself”?
When they make me king I will have no trials in any race beyond the 100 meters, and I certainly will not schedule trials in the 400 hurdles (this year the trials for the 400 hurdles are scheduled for Saturday, July 24 [if needed]). If they end up with 9 in a single age group I would run the 4 slowest in “final I” and the other 5 in “final II.” Alas, I am not king.
Well, Fidel (and others) I am back. I was reading about Landover 2018 indoor masters, which apparently set an all-time indoor record with 1219 entrants. With 4 days of competition rather than the 3 in the indoors and more events to enter, I am hoping that Ames can get 1400 entrants, which would be spectacular but not really close to the record of 1503 (see earlier entry above).
Based on the Landover results (looks like 176 athletes actually competed in the 400 at that meet) I am suggesting that we need 220 400-meter entrants at Ames. As of 5:00 PM today we had 67. Will follow this closely to the end and will look at no other events.
As of 5:00 PM Iowa time today (June 22) we had 98 entrants in the 400, which I predict will end up being exactly half of the final total. Yes, I expect to get a rush of entrants over the remaining 2 days and 7 hours plus some big spenders later ($50 penalty), yielding 196 in the 400 at the end. Correspondingly, I predict that we will have a very good TOTAL turnout for Ames, helped immeasurably by the fact that we haven’t had a nationals indoors or outside since 2019; people are hungry for some competition.
I predict that Ames will end up with 1355 entrants. Concerning the 400 trials, I see that Khalid Mulazim heads the M55 group of 10 with an outstanding mark of 51.84, but he is 1 of only 3 entrants in his division with a seed time below 61 seconds.
Thanks for the updates, Peter. I just entered tonight and, based on current entries, may get rolled into finals in some events. We will see…
Let’s hope that you’re lucky enough, Fidel, to get some rolling to finals in your events. As far as total entries go, I have turned rather pessimistic, and this change of heart is reflected in progress for my proxy, the 400 dash. The most recent number for this event is a shocking 106, a gain of just 8 entrants from the 98 I noted in my June 22 report (see above). At this point I had anticipated that the entries would just be flying in. We may well end up with less than 150 in the 400.
At 6:00 PM Pacific Time today (June 24) we had 156 entrants in the 400. In other words, we have come through with a huge rush and will probably end up with more than 200 in the 400 when all is said and done. Yes, I lost the faith temporarily. Ames will end up with a very large turnout, possibly the biggest for any outdoor nationals not held in Oregon or California.
Note: I should have gone with Pacific Time throughout, as the entry deadline is expressed in those terms.
“lost faith temporarily.” Lol.
You’re staying up late, Fidel. We are at 165 entrants in the 400 (6:00 AM Pacific Time) and thus have an outside chance at 195 in that event, my “more than 200” above notwithstanding. I am now expecting a total turnout for Ames of about 1245 (again, there have been 4 nationals that exceeded 1400, all of them on the West Coast).
That should ensure the men’s 50-54 400 doesn’t get rolled into a final for the next day. That means I get a day off on Friday to go visit the Field of Dreams movie site. 😁
Fidel (and others): I have switched to the 200 dash, as I think we can forecast a very nice turnout if we base our predictions solely on that event. Right now we have 245 in the 200, and if we multiply that figure by 5.5 we get 1348 registrants. No, that is not based on science or results for previous championships, only on a guess that seems reasonable.
If I had the time I could count up all the “event entries” (from the number of entrants for each event) and then divide that number by 2.3, but I don’t have the time or inclination. In your opinion, Fidel, does the average entrant enter 2.3 events? Note that I have used this figure for years — a few specialists enter just 1 event, hundreds enter 2 (100 and 200, for example), many enter 3, and then we drop down. Your opinion?
Just a guess but 2.3 sounds about right. I’ve entered 4 but have entered 2 in the past. Most in my circle of friends enter 2-3.
Well, Fidel, the only other number I have heard is 2.4 per athlete at our nationals. Pretty soon we will know how we did at the big meet in Iowa.
Final entry numbers from Usatfmasters.org: 1051. Largest number of entries since Winston-Salem in 2014.
Well, Fidel, I whiffed on that one, as the early numbers seemed to indicate that we would have many more than that. Oh, well. I hope it will turn out to be a nice meet (I am 100% sure of not being there).
Fidel (and others): Pronounce me stunned. A few minutes ago I took another look at the numbers in the 100 dash for the 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, and 60-64 groups.
M55 27 !!!
Those numbers are absolutely huge. Hard to believe that we ended up at just 1051 for overall entries. What happened?
Just took a look at the Winston-Salem (2014) numbers in the 100 (those who actually competed).
Still can’t understand why Ames 2021 ended up with just a passable but not spectacular 1051.
What happened? Heavy on the sprints, maybe?
Also, I did not verify the 1051. It’s coming from USATF so I’m guessing it’s accurate.
I’m still shaking my head in amazement, Fidel. Took a quick look at the 1500; there are 34 men aged 70+!! Forget about saying, “OK, the first section of men will be all those 70 or over.” We’ll have to have two very big sections to accommodate these “mature men.”
How about the discus? Would you believe that we have 60 WOMEN in that event? I am now going to prepare my breakfast, as I am still very much puzzled that we could have such wonderful numbers but end up with just 1051 overall.
The Big One is getting very close. I’ve seen predictions of 70-89 for opening day, 71-92 for Friday, 67-90 for Saturday, and 65-88 for Sunday. I hope that ABC Ames (Channel 5) will give the meet at least 3 hours of coverage a day.
All the best to the two announcers and to the women and men competing, including those under 30 (just about everyone knows now that we will have 25-29 competition for both women and men). I could drive out to be a spectator, but I will spare myself the long road trip from Fairfax, Virginia, and get some much-needed rest.
I would love to comment on the story about ace photographers Dave Albo and Rob Jerome, but I can’t find a dedicated space to do it. Regardless, I think that one effect of the wristband policy will be to drive down the total number of athletes who actually compete over the next four days.
I certainly hope that we will get detailed daily accounts of the competition, the atmosphere, the weather, the number of people in the stands, and so forth.