Rex Harvey wins national masters T&F chair; Spokane nationals

Rex is the new king of USATF Masters T&F Committee.

Rex is the new king of Masters T&F Committee.

Rex Harvey lost the WMA presidency by one vote in 2009 but handily won the chairmanship of the USATF Masters T&F Committee over the weekend in Orlando. He had 76 votes to 46 for Robert Thomas. He took over from termed-out Gary Snyder. Jerry Bookin-Weiner won the vice chair job (edging Mark Cleary 69-54), and Amanda Scotti of National Masters News outpointed incumbent Joseph Ols 84-37 for secretary, according to Masters Media Chair Bob Weiner. Carroll DeWeese was re-elected treasurer by acclamation. Bob adds: “Rex said his first priority is to ‘simplify’ how we function, ‘give more back’ to competitors in our nationals, to expand our participation, who do not win golds/silvers/bronze like more ribbons through eighth place and certificates for participation to all, and to communicate better with members. He wants to expand MTF social media component and we’ll ask Sandy Lee Triolo, who has launched good starting MTF programs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as part of Media Committee, to talk with the e-com meeting in Albuquerque which will be held the Friday evening during the meet.”

Spokane (site of 2008 nationals) and Ames, Iowa, will host outdoor nationals in 2018 and 2019, respectively, and indoor nationals will return to JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem in 2019.

There was some discussion of North Carolina House Bill 2 and some opposition to going there as a result, but the final (secret ballot) vote was pretty overwhelming (11 dissenting votes), one source told me.

Voting on the active athletes rep on the Executive Committee was close for a second straight year.

In the first vote Friday morning, it was a tie between Latashia Key of Indiana and Venus Jewett of Pepperdine in SoCal with 27 votes each. “Venus agreed to a proposal co-chair, but Latasha said no and wanted the revote, same as last year when Mary [Trotto] agreed to co-chair but Latasha wanted the revote,” I was told.

They couldn’t do a revote Friday because too much else was pending so the revote was on Saturday. Latashia won that one 23-20.

One source told me: “The biggest piece of news that hasn’t gotten much play anywhere since last year is that NCCWMA [regional WMA meet] will be in Juarez, Mexico, in July the weekend after the national outdoor meet in Baton Rouge. Sandy Pashkin (NCCWMA Prez) said there will be online registration coming after the new year (no specific target date for that going up).”

New USATF President Vin Lananna spoke to masters delegates and took questions.

He spoke for 15 minutes, with a statement of about five minutes and then answered questions. He said he wanted to be an advocate for the constituencies including masters and will listen.

Most of the questions asked him to press for more funding for masters and to support masters drug testing. He said he wants concrete and focused proposals. He was well received.

Print Friendly

December 4, 2016

30 Responses

  1. Stephen Robbins - December 4, 2016

    Congratulations, Rex. The chair will be in good hands. And a shout-out to Gary Snyder for a job well done.

  2. SusieQ - December 4, 2016

    Congratulations for years of selfless service!

  3. Mary Harada - December 4, 2016

    Congratulations Rex, and thank you Gary.

  4. Rob Jerome - December 4, 2016

    Great group of elected officials right on down the line. Congratulations to all.

  5. Terry Parks - December 4, 2016

    I like the idea of more recognition at the Nationals meet. I have been on both sides of the fence having not won a medal the 2010 Nationals. I know that I worked hard to get there, it would have been nice if had gotten a ribbon. The Certificate of participation is a nice touch. We got those in 2015 at the NCCWMA in Costa Rica, and I still have that certificate on my wall at work. I look forward to a more rewarding experience for all Masters athletes.

  6. Tom Phillips - December 4, 2016

    Congratulations Rex.

  7. David E. Ortman (M63), Seattle, WA - December 4, 2016

    Yes, congrats to Rex, and thanks to Gary for his past hard work.

  8. Curt Morgan - December 4, 2016

    Rex, here’s an issue for you to consider putting on your plate. My lovely wife, Elizabeth, trains (at no little expense; $10k/year might cover it) entirely here in the USA. She has been a USATF (and, Philly Masters) member for years. She competes solely in the USA. She is a full-time resident of the USA. She travels all around America (MA, FLA, NM, NC, MI, PA, MD, VA) to compete. Yet, she has never won a National Championship. Why not? Because, legally she’s an Australian national, and, the USATF only awards “National Championship” badges to US passport holders. I ask you, is that fair?

  9. Toronto or Bust - December 5, 2016

    When Greg Pieza and Amanda Scotti crowd-funded for his defense against USADA they were all about changing the rules for masters athletes. On his GoFundMe page, Greg wrote: “The objective is to present rational reasons for modifications to the current USADA drug use rules to allow maturing athletes access to recommended medical therapies while still being able to compete in masters athletics.” Many people donated toward this noble cause but when arbitration time came around Greg and Amanda pulled a mala fide bait and switch. Whatever happened to working toward “modifications to the current USADA drug use rules?” Greg’s 4 year suspension reduction by BSing about his knowledge of doping rules was the real goal. We have a secretary of the USATF masters committee whose deceit compares to our recent presidential candidates.

  10. Bill - December 5, 2016

    Curt in all respect to you and your wife our national championship is the US national Championship not the Australian Championship. We offer exact duplicate medals to competing non US residents, who finish first, second or third at our national championship. It is not up to Rex to consider because of USATF Article 1, Section 1, Rule 1. I have never read an Australian rule book but I would bet that a US citizen has never been an Australian National Champion either.

  11. allan tissenbaum - December 5, 2016

    Do we really think ribbons patches and certificates are going to increase our numbers? Why don’t we just use the incredibly flawed model of youth spots and give everyone a medal or trophy for showing up. This has proven to be so affective in molding our children.

    We should be encouraging people to compete for health, friendship and if they come away with hardware for medalist thats a bonus.

    I realize this may offend many, but ………

  12. Tom Sputo - December 5, 2016

    Allan (#10) has it completely correct. Have well organized and well run meets. Come up with a workable solution to the medication issues that arise from shoehorning masters into open WADA rules. And for the sake of all that is good, we have to deal with the problems in some of our associations that are only concerned with youth, and petty politics.

  13. wayne bennett - December 5, 2016

    Having competed for 30+ years, medals and ribbons are not important. Recognition for what we do is important. Who we are as individuals is important. We need more media coverage of our accomplishments in local newspapers and TV sports broadcasts. Even Bill Collins has a problem getting Houston to acknowledge his greatness and what he does. Maybe putting a space on entry for local newspaper contact information and send results from national meets might help. By and large very people even know we exist as a sport. One of the things I have done for several years is to stage an age-graded 200 at UTArlington’s Bobby Lane Relays. The crowd loves it and we get a chance to show people our talents and tell them about our program. we need to polish our image and encourage people to join us. Convince them that we are real people in the world, not highly paid athletes.

  14. E. Grant - December 5, 2016

    Ribbons and certificates aren’t going to change anything. If anything, I just feel it will be a negative and take away from the sport because we are now trying to treat all the masters like what is occurring with some of the youth sports. Takes away some of the competition if we are just going to give everyone an award. We need more media coverage. The more masters track is in the media, the more attention and probably more participation.

  15. E. Grant - December 5, 2016

    As, Allan said, the medals and ribbons should be a bonus, not a given. The sport should promote health, good competition,sportsmanship,and fellowship. If any, the ‘everybody gets an award’ angle would turn off more possible participants than bring them into the sport.

  16. Michael D Walker - December 5, 2016

    Personally, I don’t compete for medals and would hate to see the nationals become an event where you get an award for just showing up but in truth, it does seem that there are a lot of people who value getting medals. At Masters and senior meets, I see big lines at the award station with athletes impatient to get their medal even if they were the only competitor in their age group. Maybe we should consider a participant ribbon and see if it encourages participation? Any thoughts?

  17. Rob Lemke - December 5, 2016

    I agree with Allan. I have competed in 3 nationals and only won a medal for a non-club relay. However, each was a great experience because I know I pushed my self to the limit and met some great people.
    Vin Lananna stated in the Masters meeting that he is open to all suggestions. But we can’t just say we want this and that. Any request should come with a viable solution including the economics involved.

  18. Weia Reinboud - December 5, 2016

    When there is some money left, fund the rankers.

  19. Peter L. Taylor - December 5, 2016

    I’ve competed in just 1 nationals and can’t remember whether I got a ribbon or not. I certainly didn’t want one. I think that being able to compete against some of the best in the country in a well-run meet is right at the top of what potential entrants want.

    Getting reacquainted with old friends and making new friends is probably near the top as well in terms of motivation for entering a meet.

    Of course, opinions about whether a national championship will be good (outdoors we’re talking about Baton Rouge, Spokane, and Ames going forward) will not necessarily correlate with eventual attendance.

    Looking back, I will say that Oshkosh 2009 was our best outdoors during the last 10 years, and given the excellent facility (University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh) it was expected to be good, but the attendance was not all that great.

    Thus, I might ask: Are we looking for (1) better numbers, or (2) happier athletes? Let’s look at indoors. Without question, the highest turnout in the last 25 years (and probably forever) was for Landover 2013, and the lowest was for Bozeman, Montana, which was held in 1993.

    Were people who went to Bozeman satisfied? I have no idea. Looking forward for outdoors, I will venture a guess that the most important thing will be a perception that costs (both financial and in terms of aggravation) will be minimized.

    What can be done to make people more willing to attend Baton Route in 2017, Spokane in 2018, and Ames in 2019? For Ames, for example, I think we need to figure out an easy way for entrants to get from the Des Moines airport to the meet, which seems to be about 38 miles.

    By the way, the highest totals outdoors in the modern era were in Eugene (in 2000 and 1994), San Diego (1993), and Sacramento (2010). The lowest were in Honolulu (2005) and Baton Rouge (2001). I will hazard a guess that the single most important thing in drawing entrants is location.

    As we are already set on our sites, we need, as noted, to create a feeling that it will not be all that difficult to get there. Another idea would be to increase the feeling of athletes that their performances at the meet will be recorded in some interesting way (videos, etc.).

  20. Peter L. Taylor - December 5, 2016

    I meant, of course, San Diego 1989. I must be slipping a bit.

  21. Bill Murray - December 5, 2016

    Congratulations on your induction into the 2016 HOF class Pete

  22. Peter L. Taylor - December 5, 2016

    Thank you so much, Bill.


  23. John Impson - December 5, 2016

    Wayne’s idea of generating news and coverage of our meets deserves a second look, not only for medal winners but for recognition of who we are and what we do. This can easily be accomplished on a computer. Newspapers generally like coverage of home town folks, especially small towns and cities. You may not get your feature printed today, but what’s a week delay to us.

  24. Rob Jerome - December 6, 2016

    Wayne (comment #12) and John (#22) bring up my on of my favorite topics: media coverage of Masters. I especially like Rex’s plan to expand social media coverage and to support Sandy Lee Triolo’s excellent starting efforts in saturating social media with Masters photos and stories.

    If the newspapers don’t want Masters stories, flood social media and the “traditional” media might take notice.

    I regularly post my Masters photographs on Facebook and have developed a healthy following that view and share my photos.

    Just this morning, on the basis of my photos on social media, I was interviewed for an article on Masters by a psychology magazine with a circulation of nearly 100,000. So, here’s an example of social media leading to a story in “traditional” media.

    Many Masters are already on Facebook (even our most senior competitors), so if you are not already on FB, I suggest you join. Great way to connect with other Masters and to see/share photos of you and your friends. Nice when a Masters photo goes viral; great publicity for the sport.

  25. Jeff Davison - December 6, 2016

    Very few know what Masters is.
    Are there any good writers with free time .. that can write some good Masters articles and submit to a variety of Magazines,Newspapers,Blogs, Wiki,Facebook. Twitter, T&FN, large corporations, etc

    My guess is that enough good articles would interest sources we have not tapped yet.

    Ken Stone, Bob W., Peter, etc. that currently write daily articles aren’t enough .. and can’t possibly open all the doors alone .. Some good help can possibly open more doors …

  26. Rob Jerome - December 6, 2016

    With a circulation of 25 million, AARP magazine has one of the largest circulations any magazine in the country and would be an ideal target, but it is extremely difficult to get into it.

    Any one with a connection or a desire to pitch a story, I would be more than happy to supply action photos.

  27. Christa Bortignon - December 6, 2016

    We certainly need more promotion and write-ups about masters events and they fun and friendships they provide. A few years ago when I asked a local sports writer to help promote an upcoming masters meet he told me “It is out job to report news of interest to our readers through compelling stories. And I just don’t find masters track all that compelling.” I still have his e-mail…

  28. Betsy Murray - December 6, 2016

    Some issues here from the long-sprinter point of view:
    I would like the national meet schedule to be planned and publicized in advance so we know which days we’re competing ahead of time. 800 meters, I’m talking to you. If there is to be no prelim, let the competitors know in advance what the policy is, e.g. does it roll right to a final, or is the final run in place of the prelim?
    Also, I would like to be able to double in the 400/800 and recent schedules don’t support that double. If it’s an option at Ames I will do it.

    I’m not in favor of participation ribbons and medals, but I know that many people are attracted by that. It seems that the Masters Nat’l Champs usually attracts a more hardcore group (that desires recognition but wants a higher standard than participation ribbons and medals.) Perhaps the cachet that “National Qualifier” conferred back in the college days?

  29. Bob Osterhoudt - December 7, 2016

    The dominant face of masters track and field in the United States, its defining sense of efficiency, decency, and integrity, is now in the sport’s top post. American masters track and field will benefit greatly, in my view, from Rex Harvey’s deeply astute leadership. Many exceedingly well deserved congratulations, Rex!

  30. Linda Carty-Dumitrescu - December 7, 2016

    Congratulations Rex. I know you will do an excellent job.


Leave a Reply