Left to right at Thursday's pre-meet news conference: Allyson Felix, Jenny Simpson, Tianna Bartoletta, Christian Coleman, Christian Taylor, Ryan Crouser // Errol Anderson

Track and field

On the start line now: 11 years, big upside

LONDON — Somewhere, some 8- or 9- or 10-year-old kid is in her or his backyard, throwing or running or jumping and dreaming big dreams about maybe someday being, say, Allyson Felix, lithe and elegant, or Tianna Bartoletta, fast and focused, or maybe Christian Taylor or Ryan Crouser, guys who produce when the spotlight is brightest.

Never, perhaps, has track and field found itself at such an intriguing intersection, indeed one suddenly filled with potential.

From a recent edition of the Penn Relays // Getty Images

Track and field

Haters: cheerfully taking your $69.99 now

For years and years, NBC has had the Olympics. Then the network doubled down, obtaining the rights to, among other events, the track and field world championships. Then it tripled down, getting the rights to track and field’s global series, what’s called the Diamond League.

For the past five years, under the direction of chief executive Max Siegel, USA Track & Field has been building out its own digital presence. It is now far and away, at least as U.S. sports federations go, the digital leader in the Olympic space at its destination, USATF.tv.

After the women's 4x4 relay

Track and field

31 medals (at least), all with class and character

RIO de JANEIRO — For a generation, USA Track & Field has been chasing an elusive goal: 30 Olympic medals.

Here in Rio, in a run at Olympic Stadium that underscores the major up-pointing trend in the American track and field scene, the Americans have — through Saturday night — won 31. The men’s marathon is yet to come Sunday. Those due to run include Meg Keflezighi, silver medalist at Athens 2004 and winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon.

Max Siegel, USATF chief executive, earlier this summer // Errol Anderson

Track and field

Change for better at USATF: believe it

EUGENE — Jackie Joyner-Kersee is arguably the greatest female American track and field athlete of all time. Competing across four editions of the Olympics in the long jump and the heptathlon, she won six medals, three gold.

Before Max Siegel took over as chief executive of USA Track & Field, Jackie Joyner-Kersee had never — repeat, never — been invited to USATF headquarters in Indianapolis.