Joy Upshaw replaces Mark Cleary as head of masters exhibitions

Mark attends USATF conventions as West Regional coordinator.

Mark Cleary has lost his USATF role as coordinator of the Masters Invitational Program. Rex Harvey, the new national masters T&F chair, says Joy Upshaw will take over in a newly reconfigured Exhibition Events program. I’m hoping to learn details on this soon. Mark — who had run the program for better or worse since 2000 — had applied for the position, but wasn’t chosen, Rex says. “We are looking forward to renewed energy and innovation in the new program,” Rex says. “It is one of our best promotion opportunities, so we want to get it right. As to why not Mark, you would have to ask the Executive Committee.” I’ve also queried Mark for his reaction. He hasn’t responded either. Over the years, Mark has taken a lot of flak (including from me) on the narrow choice of events — mainly sprints and middle distances. But the SoCal TC coach had good explanations for the focus. (A few hurdles events also were contested). And he had to knock heads more than a few times with USATF committee chairs to get events into the Trials. The exhibitions were at open nationals, indoors ands out, and places like Mt SAC and Drake. The first exhibition was a mixed-gender 200 at indoor nationals. (See results through the years.) Mark is still listed as coordinator in the USATF Organizational Directory. That should be updated ASAP. The lone remaining 2017 event listed is the men’s and women’s 400s at Sacramento open nationals. Four men and four women are currently listed as applicants.

Joy is the No. 1 cheerleader of masters track, here with M100 Don Pellmann.

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April 18, 2017

13 Responses

  1. Lorraine Tucker - April 18, 2017

    Joy is a great addition to Masters program coordination.
    More important than her technical knowledge & World records is acting as an ambassador for Team USA. Her hand crafted gifts, that she shares with us at international competitions, are priceless & helps Team USA represent.

  2. Jeff Davison - April 19, 2017

    Congrats to Mark for many years of his volunteer services in this role. This includes events at the USA Olympic Trials.

    Congrats to Joy.

  3. Gary Snyder - April 19, 2017

    Congratulations to Mark for a great job in a difficult position.

    Good luck to Joy

  4. Rick Easley - April 19, 2017

    This is the very definition of a thankless job. Mark spearheaded the inclusion of masters exhibition races into open competitions. He basically started the program and from what I saw he got very little appreciation for his efforts, especially during the selection process. I do, however want to wish Joy much success in the coming months and I hope she gets the appreciation that she deserves for taking on such a daunting task.

  5. Track Fan - April 19, 2017

    I hope Joy has thick skin in addition to her enthusiasm and crafty skills. I wish her good luck. For what its worth I thought Mark did a good job during his tenure even though he received a lot of criticism. Some of it was warranted but a lot appeared to be the situation being impossible to please everyone.

  6. Francis A Schiro - April 20, 2017

    I have not been on this site in many years. I went on a few days ago as I’m seeking some International meets to enter. I saw the article regarding Mark Cleary and I thought that was a real shame for Masters. Mark and I have had significant disagreements in the past but I always knew he was motivated by his love for track and field. In that way he was exactly like myself. 17 years of service and “good bye”???? Unfortunately it sounds like the ugly politics of Masters track. Look at the success of his last efforts! Not to mention he leads a club that has won 16 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS!!! Mark Cleary is an asset to Masters track. He should (in MY opinion) been treated with respect.. Harvey wants “new blood” and he’s the Boss but “blood” was not necessary.. I am writing this as an athlete who was fairly involved with Masters track at one time. I do have some experience.. politics and sport do not go together.. Is Masters alive vital and growing??? Years ago when I was involved it was not. I wish good health and happiness to ALL my friends in Masters track. Mark Cleary WAS one on the good aspects of our beloved sport. I wish him continued success is all his endeavors

  7. Matt S - April 20, 2017

    Thank you to Mark for all his years of service.

    Good luck to Joy in her new position. I have had the pleasure to meet her in person and think she will do a great job.

    Wish I could run faster. I’d love to go. 400 is my event. Planning to break 60″ this year, but not 56″.

  8. Bob Hicks - April 21, 2017

    Congratulations to Joy.

    Thanks, Mark, for all you do and hopefully continue to do for Masters’ track. Please know that many of us appreciate your dedication and service over so many years.

  9. peter van aken - April 21, 2017

    I live near enough to NYC to have competed in meets organized by the various sanctioning groups for the Metropolitan area. (I go back as far as Rudy Sablo of the AAU time.)

    Francis Schiro, it is nice to read that you are going to resume sprinting! (I was not a sprinter, myself).

  10. Francis A Schiro - April 22, 2017

    Thank you Peter. ANY Masters athlete visiting NYC give me a call. I just had lunch with National Champion Rick Lapp a few weeks ago. http://WWW.LESTRACKCLUB.COM. THANK YOU KEN FOR POSTING MY “LETTER”

  11. Dave Clingan - April 22, 2017

    Great to hear you’re coming back! I want to hear about it! Email me… Dave

  12. Francis A Schiro - April 23, 2017

    Lost all my address information on everyone. I sent info to you on Facebook/messenger. I’m seeking serious guys who want to race. Talk to me!! Where did Jimmy Chin go? Most guys I knew switched team affiliations.!!! L E S Track Club is open to ALL.

  13. EM - April 24, 2017

    Congrats! Maybe some events for 55+?

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