Vin Lananna and Bob Fasula in Beijing // Twitter photo

Vin Lananna and Bob Fasula in Beijing // Twitter photo

Track and field

Eugene gets the 2021 track championships

For more than 30 years, the United States has consistently produced the world’s best track and field teams. But the track and field world championships have never been held in the United States.

Then, Thursday morning, in an unexpected bolt from the blue, came word that the 2021 world championships would be held in Eugene, Oregon — a “strategic decision that enables us to take advantage of a unique opportunity that may never arise again,” the outgoing president of the IAAF, Lamine Diack, said in a statement issued from meetings in Beijing.

USATF board chair Stephanie Hightower after Saturday's vote

USATF board chair Stephanie Hightower after Saturday's vote

Track and field

USATF: 12-1 is one more than 11-1

The USA Track & Field board of directors voted Saturday by 12-1 not, repeat not, to rescind its December decision to nominate Stephanie Hightower for a spot on the IAAF council.

Meeting in Santa Monica, California, the USATF vote ought to put to rest the controversy that has lingered since the annual meeting in December in Anaheim. Then the vote was 11-1 in favor of Hightower following a 392-70 floor vote for current IAAF vice president Bob Hersh.

Leo Manzano at the 2014 USATF championships // photo Getty Images

Leo Manzano at the 2014 USATF championships // photo Getty Images

Track and field

USATF and the notion of homework

For years, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Track & Field were the two reliable punching bags in the American Olympic scene. The problem at both was much the same: constant management turnover and an unwieldy governance structure, each encumbered by a board of directors numbering in the triple digits that created an environment rife with petty politics.

Over the past several years, both have turned it around. But with USATF in particular, there remains a dissident cohort for whom seemingly nothing seems to be good enough. Case in point: there’s a new, professionally produced commercial featuring several track-and-field stars, and it’s even airing on network television. This has to be a huge win, right? Exposure for a sport that needs it? For some, apparently not.

Eugene 2019 bid leader Vin Lananna presses the case to the IAAF while, to his right, USATF board chair Stephanie Hightower and chief executive Max Siegel listen in // photo courtesy IAAF

Eugene 2019 bid leader Vin Lananna presses the case to the IAAF while, to his right, USATF board chair Stephanie Hightower and chief executive Max Siegel listen in // photo courtesy IAAF

Track and field

When a two-vote loss is reason for optimism

MONACO — No, Eugene did not win the 2019 track and field world championships.

That it came within a swing of two votes, however — losing in the second round of voting to Doha, 15-12 — has to be seen as an encouraging sign on multiple fronts for U.S. interests, and in particular for USA Track & Field and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

At the Eugene 2019 news conference: (left to right) IAAF general secretary Essar Gabriel; TrackTown USA president Vin Lananna;  IAAF vice president and evaluation commission chief Sebastian Coe; USA Track & Field chief executive Max Siegel; IAAF deputy general secretary and communications director Nick Davies

At the Eugene 2019 news conference: (left to right) IAAF general secretary Essar Gabriel; TrackTown USA president Vin Lananna; IAAF vice president and evaluation commission chief Sebastian Coe; USA Track & Field chief executive Max Siegel; IAAF deputy general secretary and communications director Nick Davies

Track and field

Eugene’s improbable 2019 bid: can it be a winner?

EUGENE, Oregon — It rained, hard, Sunday afternoon. Then, abruptly, it stopped. On Monday, no rain.

Was that random — or, you know, a sign from above that Eugene’s audacious bid for the 2019 track and field world championships is somehow feeling the heavenly love, too? Is this all just cosmic destiny, or what?