Houston venue change explained by meet’s competition chief

In late November, I depicted the venue change at the 2011 National Senior Games as a bait-and-switch. That was rough. But to his credit, Competition Director Sean Gomez bravely sent me an explanation. Yesterday he wrote: “First, I want to thank all of the athletes who competed at the State Games level and who have qualified for the National event. Second, it was NOT our choice to switch venues. As a result of the Metro Rail Construction Project changing plans, we were told we would lose the majority of the field events area. The track resurfacing project was canceled and University officials could not guarantee that they would not be in full construction mode during our event. We understand many athletes’ frustration.”

David Hockersmith, shown on NSGA site, is ticketed for Houston but also plans to compete at Sacramento worlds and Cleveland (Berea) outdoor nationals.

Sean’s note continued:

We took an extensive site visit of other venues; primarily Rice University and Humble’s Turner Stadium.

Rice University Athletics and their Track and Field coaching staff worked extremely hard presenting their facility as a possible destination, but Rice has a limited field events area, lack of ADA seating and other ancillary elements (i.e. parking, concessions and restrooms).

Turner Stadium is a world class venue. It has an amazing field events area (multiple High Jump, Long Jump, Pole Vault, Discus / Hammer rings).

It is critical that we have two of each because of the high athlete numbers in the field events. The multiple field event areas allow us to provide a more efficient schedule.

Turner Stadium has an adjacent four lane practice track and plenty of seating, concessions, restrooms, free parking, etc.

We chose this venue with USATF’s recommendation.

Humble is a beautiful area and very close to Bush Intercontinental Airport. We are working hard with Anthony Travel to find close and affordable hotels near the venue as soon as possible.

Humble’s Turner Stadium is going to host the 2012 AAU JO Games, the largest youth Track and Field meet in the United States. The Humble ISD Athletic Department has been great to work with and is doing everything thinkable to ensure a successful event in accordance to USATF & Houston Local Organizing Committee direction.

Long Live the Challenge.

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January 19, 2011

7 Responses

  1. Herb Stein - January 19, 2011

    No mention of javelin throw facilities (artificial vs. grass runway). Doesn’t really matter to me (except for spike length in the jav boots), since I am used to throwing from both, but I’m sure others would like to know prior to entering.

  2. Cindy Lea Arbelbide - January 19, 2011

    And yet to hear the response to the question posed by Jerry regarding if this new venue will handle the hammer competition.

    Shortly after the first announcement of the change of venue, I received two duplicate registration mailing. Inside an event schedule which did not reflect the new venue for track & field. Contacted the office and let them know.

    This past week received another duplicate set of registration packets and again with an unchanged event schedule. Anyone else have this situation?

  3. Cindy Lea Arbelbide - January 19, 2011

    Whoops see that the issue of throwing rings has been taken into consideration. Grand.

  4. Kenneth Effler - January 19, 2011

    I don’t think they throw the javelin in Texas high school track. There probably isn’t a permanent javelin throwing area at the stadium. Likely will be set up in a grass field, with a grass runway.

    It’s also likely there is no hammer throwing area either. Probably only a discus circle at the cage.

  5. John Kuhi - January 28, 2011

    Why is the entry fee so high for the Senior Games? I would like to run the 800 but I saw the entry fee. $175 for one event.

  6. Sean Gomez - February 3, 2011

    Sorry I forgot to mention they have a Javelin rubber composite runway!

    I am not sure why you received multiple packets unless you competed in multiple state games.

    NSGA decided not to reprint the registration mailer but a front page with a SUMMARY OF CHANGE should have been added to the front.

  7. National Senior Olympics schedule finally posted (and we have it) - June 11, 2011

    [...] Here’s th&#1077 schedule f&#959r th&#1077 National Senior Olympics, wh&#1110&#1089h came out today — &#959nl&#1091 seven days before th&#1077 meet opens. Th&#1072t h&#1072&#1109 t&#959 b&#1077 a record f&#959r causing frustration. N&#959 friends m&#1072d&#1077 here, b&#965t once &#1091&#959&#965’ve paid &#1091&#959&#965r entry fees, wh&#1072t &#1089h&#959&#1110&#1089&#1077 ya g&#959t? Here’s a link t&#959 entrants. Th&#1077&#1091’ll compete, &#1091&#959&#965’ll remember, &#1072t Humble, Texas — n&#959t Houston. Th&#1077 meet honcho’s explanation w&#1072&#1109 given here. [...]

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