Gary Snyder elected USATF masters chair in Indy
A little before noon today, Indianapolis time, masters delegates to the USATF annual meeting twice picked Gary Snyder of Massachusetts to serve the remainder of George Mathews’ unexpired term as chairman of the Masters T&F Committee. Gary led the voting in a first round that included Mark Cleary of Southern California and Bob Fine of Florida. (The vote tally was Gary 25, Mark 18 and Bob 16.) Then Gary beat Mark in a runoff 37-20 to become the first masters chair from the East Coast in decades. A shocker followed: Suzy Hess resigned as vice chair of the committee, and a vote was held to pick her successor, reports a meeting witness.
Seven jumped into the race. The winner — out of nowhere, it seemed — was Janet Smith, the masters chair of the USATF Oklahoma Association — possibly the first black member of the USATF Masters T&F Committee in history. (Later correction: Janet isn’t the first. Marilyn Mitchell of New York served on the committee in the 1990s when Barbara Kousky was chair.)
Janet, a distance runner in her 40s, beat Joy-Upshaw Margerum 30-23 in a runoff election, which raised the issue of diversity. The other candidates for voice chair were Max Hamlyn of North Carolina, Mary Trotto of New York, Carroll DeWeese, Bob Fine and Mark Cleary. Janet also will serve until late 2008.