Famed Bob Boal Masters Meet dies at 46; once great in Southeast
Hereâ€™s what Don told me:
We recently held our Board of Directors meeting and decided to simply dissolve the corporation and go out of business. We are now discussing distribution of assets.
The major reason for the demise of the meet was the lack of a suitable venue. Our venue for many decades, NC State, redid their facilities and the new/consolidated facilities served many more sports than they previously did and therefore there was much more competition for the venue. Also several of the sports were sports where NC State might compete as a host to an NCAA tournament, which is frequently not known until several weeks before the event, whereas our meet needs to know 4-6 months before the event, because we need to line up officials, athletes need to arrange travel, etc. Unfortunately, an unworkable situation.
We had tried to accommodate our needs by splitting venues, but found that high school facilities for critical events such as jumps are frequently not safe enough for older adults and steeplechase facilities are not easy to find.
It has been a memorable 45-year run since Bob Boal brought back the idea from the West Coast. Bob Fine, our Regional manager, and good friend convinced me 20+ years ago to join him at the Annual Meetings.
Southeastern Masters has had a wonderful history serving athletes from Olympians to local Masters. It has been a labor of love for many of us and we hope the athletes and the management of the sport recognize the value of these groups of dedicated volunteers to the health of our sport.
Bill told me:
I participated twice [in the Boal meet] when it was at Duke University. One time it was days after the infamous â€śDuke lacrosseâ€ť accusations were leveled.
The end of Donâ€™s meet, though well received and widely attended, is unfortunate; however, we will carry on. Iâ€™ve been told that it was the longest consecutive running masters meet in the southeast, over 40 years.
I would like to have been able to piggyback the USATF SE Region meet on Donâ€™s SE Masters Meet because of its long established history of excellence and attendance. Their demise creates the opportunity for us to establish our own identity. Last yearâ€™s SE Region Championship Meet, in Virginia, was the largest attended masters meet in the southeast in over a decade, according to Craig Chasse, President of PVTC. A good start and one on which we hope to build.
The SE Region Masters Championship is May 20 at the University of North Florida, in Jacksonville. The same venue as our national championship several years ago. The meet director is James Griffin, FL masters chair and we expect a huge attendance. Great location and facility.