Major meet spiked? WMA regional ‘declined’ by host Juarez, Mexico

The North, Central and Caribbean WMA Championships in Juarez, Mexico, have been canceled, according to a letter provided by a Mexican source. The July 20-23 meet — my subject of scrutiny for safety reasons in January — has been “declined,” writes city Parks and Recs guy Javier Ibarra Molina. The letter is dated April 3 and addressed to NCCWMA President Sandy Pashkin, who didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. I’m still awaiting a reply from WMA President Stan Perkins and USATF Masters Chair Rex Harvey. My main questions: Will entrants get their money back, and will the meet be moved somewhere else? Stay tuned for more.

Letter to Sandy Pashkin seems to say the WMA regional meet in Juarez is kaput.

Here’s what the letter said:

I hereby send this letter in behalf of the Juarez City Major Armando Cabada Alllidrei.

It is an honor for our city to be considered by your committee as the best place to organize the 2017 NCCWMA Track & Field Championship.

Due to political changes that arise budgeting difficulties, among other issues. We haven’t been able to conclude on the improvement of our athletic facilities as it was pointed in the organizing agreement signed back on November 2015.

For this involuntary reason, at this time we as a City are facing several difficulties to attain the compromise of hosting and organizing this championship. Unfortunately, it leave us not choice but decline.

Appealing your understanding.

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April 5, 2017

24 Responses

  1. Terry Parks - April 6, 2017

    I hope that they can find and alternative, however I am relieved not to have to deal with the security concerns associated with traveling to Juarez. The big downside is that many like me had already put this meet in their schedule and arraigned their training and planning in anticipation of competing there.

  2. Rick Easley - April 6, 2017

    I hope that our Regional representatives can rise to the occasion and find an alternate site for this competition. I realize that the logistics will be hard to deal with. Was there a backup bidder?

  3. Mary Harada - April 6, 2017

    I have not found a website for the meet and for several reasons did not put it on my race calendar – a major reason being the timing of visits from my geographically dispersed family in July.

    It will be interesting to see if and when correspondence comes from the NCCWMA president. Or will the region’s meet just fad away from view with the hope that those who planned on attending will some how learn about it before buying non-refundable plane tickets?.

  4. Christa Bortignon - April 6, 2017

    I hope that Toronto will be able to do the same as Saint John, NB, did in 2012, when they hosted both the Canadian and the NCCWMA Championships together. They have a beautiful, new stadium. Doug Smith is a great meet director with lots of experience.

  5. Terry Parks - April 6, 2017

    I did not buy a plane ticket as there was no entry info on the NCCWMA website which I found to be a bit odd. I hope that there is a backup as the meet is a good prep for other international meets.

  6. Rob Jerome - April 6, 2017

    Mary makes an excellent point. Social media needs to be saturated with the cancellation news before people start buying plane tickets, etc. If Ken had not been sent the letter by his “Mexican source”, when and how would people have found out the news?

  7. Robert Thomas - April 6, 2017

    Why would anyone have purchased a ticket without registering for the meet. I know entries were not open yet, so until I saw entries being accepted I would never purchase a ticket for a meet. Unless I knew I could go there and make it a vacation if the event was cancelled. This type of thing could happen at any one of our events. I recalled several years ago a bid to host our Indoor championships in New York was pulled a year in advance and the executive committee had to find an alternate site with less than a year to prepare. A lot of athletes were complaining about the meet being held in Juarez and now you want to complain about it being cancelled. You don’t think that the LOC responsible for hosting the event saw your complaints on this site and concluded that it would be hard for the event to be successful when so many people stated that they would not go there. Make up your minds people.
    The main reason Juarez was awarded the championships in the first place is that no one else bid against them. There was no backup because there was no one else. There are a lot of people involved with masters track and field behind the scenes trying to put on events. If you want to see more masters events, HELP. The same individuals cant do it all and they definitely cant do it by themselves.

  8. tb - April 6, 2017

    I’ll be completely re-planning my training in order to peak a week earlier for nationals.

  9. Warren Graff - April 7, 2017

    this meet was held in Mayaguez PR in 2010 and was one of the best of these kind I’d ever been to. I would love to see it return there – was a brand new mondo track – very fast, and a well-run meet. I don’t think this facility is that busy either.

  10. MarcoAntonio Franco - April 7, 2017

    I front Mexico and there are many problems with the federation of track and field. If we want a excellent event other countrie will be better.

  11. John Mulhearn - April 7, 2017

    I read where Juarez was now a safe city but infighting starting up over control of Juarez Cartel due to the capture of and imprisonment of cartel head, Shorty Guzman. Juarez is questionable due to safety reasons but NCCWMA Championships should be held. JUST MOVE IT!! Also saw a question asking if registrants would be refunded entry. I was unable to EVER find a registration site and the earlier the better to book early flight reservations.

  12. John Mulhearn - April 7, 2017

    Move it back to San Jose, Costa Rica!! The site of the last NCCWMA. They ran the last meet, they know how to do it and they did an Olympic type job. Plus, Costa Rica is such a beautiful vacation spot!

  13. Terry Parks - April 8, 2017

    This was posted on

    “Juarez is unable to host the NCCWMA Championships. Both the city of Juarez and the state of Chihuahua have withdrawn their support for the Championships.
    The NCCWMA is actively seeking a new site and date for the 2017 Championships. Check back here for further announcements. “

  14. Ken Stone - April 9, 2017

    Thanks for posting that, Terry. Sandy Pashkin never responded to my queries.

  15. Terry Parks - April 9, 2017

    You are welcome Ken and thank you for giving us the heads up on this meet’s cancellation. The NCCWMA site is hard to find.

  16. Tony Echeandia - April 10, 2017

    The Track in Mayaguez Puerto Rico has been resurfaced but PR has no money while in a economic crisis. It would be a great meet again!

  17. Tom Sputo - April 10, 2017

    If the report that Juarez was the only bidder, that means that no other location was interested. Expecting some location to magically be willing and able step in on such short notice is like believing in Santa Claus.

  18. Ken Stone - April 10, 2017

    WMA President Stan Perkins told me today via FB:

    To my knowledge there is an effort being made to find a replacement venue and a period of time has been allowed for submissions. It will be short notice but I understand there are several interested options.

  19. Rob Jerome - April 13, 2017

    Great news from Doug Smith of Canada: the NCCWMA 2017 Championships will be held in Toronto August 11-13.

  20. Peter L. Taylor - April 13, 2017

    Great news, Rob. And, per superstar Christa Bortignon (no. 4, above), this will be a great meet. In fact, I’m guessing it will go down in history as the finest edition in the history of this championship.

    Historical average temperatures for the meet’s 3 days:


    Yes, you read that right. In a word, moderate, although unseasonably high temperatures could still rear up.

  21. MarcoAntonio Franco - April 13, 2017

    Great . Let’s go to Canada

  22. Doug Smith - April 13, 2017

    Thanks for the nice comments,

  23. Terry Parks - April 13, 2017

    Tom (#17, above), you got to have hope and today Santa is wearing dreads and his name is Doug “Shaggy” Smith.

  24. Tom Sputo - April 13, 2017

    Terry (#23) I am happily surprised.

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