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Winter 2010/2011 $5.95
Permit 50 Ft Atkinson, WI
PA I D PRST STD U.S. Postage
Volume 17, Number 4
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8 Starting Blocks 16 Track Construction 30 Exit
17 The Key to Success in Throwing is Aggression 18 Recovering From Injury: Patience Is the Key 20 Year-End Wrap-Up of Shoes 2010 22 Indoor Track of the Year 28 Outdoor Track of the Year
Group Publisher: Larry Eder, firstname.lastname@example.org Group Editor: Christine Johnson, email@example.com Advertising: Larry Eder, firstname.lastname@example.org Writers/Contributors: John Godina, Don Kopriva, Dick Patrick, Mary Helen Sprecher, Cregg Weinmann Circulation Changes: email@example.com Photographers: Lisa Coniglio/PhotoRun, Victah Sailer/PhotoRun Layout/Design: Kristen Cerer Editor: James Dunaway, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512-292-9022 Pre-Press/Printer: W. D. Hoard & Sons Company, Fort Atkinson, WI
www.american-trackandfield.com ph: 608-239-3785; fax: 920-563-7298 email@example.com American Track & Field (ISSN 1098-64640) is produced, published and owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc., PO Box 67, Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin 53538-0067, Christine Johnson, President, Larry Eder, Vice President. Copyright 2011 by Shooting Star Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Publisher assumes no liability for matter printed, and assumes no liability or responsibility for content of paid advertising and reserves the right to reject paid advertising. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Publisher. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in any form without written permission of the Publisher.
Publisherâ€™s Rep: Peter Koch-Weser, firstname.lastname@example.org, ph: 310-836-2642; fax: 310-836-7093
American Track & Field is not related to or endorsed by any other entity or corporation with a similar name and is solely owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc.
Special Thanks To: Tim Garant, Alex Larsen, Tom Mack, Mary Atwell, Deb Keckeisen, Sydney Wesemann In loving memory of Violet Robertson, 1913â€“2003
Publisher recommends, as with all fitness and health issues, you consult with your physician before instituting any changes in your fitness program.
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P u b l i s h e r ’s N ot e
inter is upon us. In southern Wisconsin where I live, the four seasons give us a good indication of where our years are going and what we must be doing. In early November, Dick Patrick, our “Starting Blocks” columnist in AT&F, won the first George Hirsch Award for Running Journalism. George was the former publisher of the Runner and Runner’s World (and had put up with me on his staff for two years). Hirsch was a man who knew (and still knows) that great magazines need great content, which means cultivating great journalists. Dick Patrick, who has written more than anyone about our sport, spoke thoughtfully and eloquently about his craft. His award is well deserved. In the last few months I have blogged about the NCAA cross champs, Nike cross nationals, the Foot Locker cross country championships, the USATF convention, the ASBA convention and, now, the USTFACCCA convention. At the boys’ Nike cross nationals and at Foot Locker, Lukas Verzbicas made it look much easier than it could have been to show that he is one of the most promising middle distance runners of this or any other era. Rachel Johnson won the girls’ race at the Nike cross nationals and Aisling Cuffe took the Foot Locker title. In the team battle, Arcadia (California) XC won the boys’ Nike cross and Manlius (New York) XC won the girls’ Nike cross. At Foot Locker, it was the tremendous Midwest teams that took the day. A few weeks before I had watched Oklahoma State’s cross country team, mentored by Dave Smith, defend their NCAA Div. I title, as Liberty’s Sam Chelanga also repeated in the individual race. In the women’s race, Sheila Reid held off Emily Infeld and Jordan Hasay to take the women’s title and lead Georgetown to victory. At the USATF convention, I must say I truly enjoyed the Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies. Just before that, David Oliver and Allyson Felix won the male and female awards in honor of Jesse Owens. Oliver and Felix both showed their thoughtfulness and graciousness for their awards. Brooks Johnson, coach of David Oliver, won the award for Nike Coach of the Year. Johnson, a man who never is at a loss for words, was succinct, and noted that he was most grateful for “the mother of David Oliver and the mother of his two sons.” James Dunaway, your editor for much of the last decade, was elected to the USATF Hall of Fame, not as an athlete, but as a contributor. James, a writer who wrote ads and PR, as well as newspaper and magazine articles, has spent much of the last 50-plus years writing about 14 Olympics, 12 World Championships, more than 60 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor championships and the athletes, coaches and controversies that he met at those events, was humbled. For the few weeks before the event, he had been (and I am sure most of you will be surprised) a bit of a pain in the gluteus maximus about being chosen, citing the men and women whom he felt deserved the honor more than he. The winter gives us a time to run slowly, bundle up for the outdoors, and do lots of indoor workouts. A time to contemplate and be thankful for 2010 and hopeful for the promise that 2011 brings. See you on the roads and at the track in 2011!
Larry Eder, Publisher
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Starting Blocks T
he last time USA Track & Field needed a CEO, the organization went outside the sport and hired soccer/music executive Doug Logan in 2008. He got to Beijing for the Olympics that summer but didn’t last an Olympic cycle, being fired in August. “I thought he had a lot of good qualities,” one track and field insider says. “I don’t think he knew the sport very well and made some bad decisions. Maybe he should have had better people advising him.” USATF and the sport can’t afford another bust. Maybe it’s time to stay within the sport for this hire. Here’s a nominee—Vin Lananna, who has had a Midas touch as a college coach and event director. He has left positive accomplishments everywhere he has been. He built Dartmouth into a cross country power in the 1980s; revitalized Stanford track plus cross country in the ’90s; revived the middle-distance and distance tradition at
Oregon in the first decade of this century. He has done more than win NCAA titles and produce Olympians at his last two coaching posts. He staged successful meets that promoted the sport and improved U.S. distance running in Palo Alto; he helped build dynamic post-grad running groups in Palo Alto and Eugene; he oversaw the extremely successful 2008 Olympic Trials in Eugene that provided great exposure for the sport. Give him another rebuilding project. Let him get USATF into shape so it can get the sport thriving with successful athletes across a broad spectrum of events and a presence in the media. Lananna has more than creative ideas; he’s an effective leader and administrator who can get those ideas into play. He creates a buzz among athletes, fans and sponsors. He makes constituencies feel valued. He can play the political game. The sport needs his abilities.
Hall Goes off on His Own Ryan Hall won’t have long to wait to obtain feedback on his decision to be self-coached. Hall announced in October that he was leaving Terrence Mahon, who had overseen Hall’s evolution from middle-distance runner to elite marathoner over the past five years. Hall later committed to a third consecutive Boston Marathon in April. It was a turbulent fall for Hall, who had planned to enter the Chicago Marathon, where he hoped the flat, fast course with pacesetters would help him crack his personal best of 2:06:17. But after a disappointing performance in the Philadelphia Half Marathon, finishing 13th and running 1:03:56, four minutes slower than his best, Hall pulled out of Chicago in October, citing fatigue and the need for a break after seven marathons in four years. “I’ve invested everything in my training, and sometimes things do not turn out the way you had envisioned,” Hall told the Chicago Tribune. “I am committed to excellence in whatever I do, so if I am not fully ready to run I owe it to myself, the sponsors and the race organizers, and my fans to not show up with less than my very best.” Hall and his wife, 1500/5000 runner Sara Bei Hall, expect to still do some training at Mammoth Lakes, California, their base in recent years. “Sara and I will plan to train in a variety of locations at both sea level and at altitude, whatever makes most sense for the time period as I prepare for a spring marathon,” wrote Hall, who was third in Boston in 2009 and fourth in 2010. “I will be using some different sources to shape my training. Over the past 14 years of running I have developed a keen body awareness, which I will use on a daily basis, as well as advice from various experts and prayer to ultimately shape my training. I believe that operating in this manner will allow me to run with a new level of faith and excitement. “To be honest, change is not always easy. It would be easy for me to stay on the team and continue to train as I have been, but I have learned to trust my intuition and God’s voice in my life. It takes faith and the courage to risk failure in order to realize one’s destiny.” Said a U.S. distance runner who knows Hall, “The change could be harder on Sara than it is on Ryan. He’ll be fine as long as he doesn’t listen to too many people and gives himself some rest.” Universal Sports reporter Joe Battaglia wrote that Hall has lost his competitive drive and values “spiritual euphoria” more than winning. Time will tell. Hall seems to have too much talent and the desire to win a major that there should be highlights ahead.
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s ta rt i n g b l o c k s
Merritt Case Echoes Reynolds
The LaShawn Merritt doping case has similarities to that of another top 400 runner, Butch Reynolds. Based on the past, track fans might want to brace themselves for what could become a political battle rather than an outcome based on science or fairness. In 1990 Reynolds, the world recordholder at the time, tested positive for the steroid nandrolone but was exonerated by a U.S. panel that found significant irregularities in the testing of the Paris lab that handled his sample. He also won a multimillion dollar award against the IAAF, though he never collected a penny. The IAAF and Olympic movement, however, were not about to accept the decision of a U.S. panel or court. If the Olympic lords acknowledged the Paris lab was guilty of incompetent testing, it would destroy the credibility of the drug program for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France to be handled by the Paris lab. Reynolds competed in the 1992 Olympic Trials thanks to a Supreme Court ruling, but the IAAF threatened to ban under its “contamination rule” any runners competing against him. The IAAF and IOC barred him from competing at the Barcelona Olympics. Then the IAAF added a few months to his two-year ban for having the temerity to challenge them. Now we have Merritt, the 2008 Olympic and 2009 world champion who tested positive for steroids in out-ofcompetition tests in October and December 2009, and January 2010. Merritt was neither training nor competing
at the time of the first two tests. An American Aribitration Association panel believed his explanation that the offending substance was contained in ExtenZe, a sexual enhancement supplement. The AAA decision stated a clerk at a 7-Eleven store was “devastatingly convincing” in her testimony. The female employee said that Merritt typically came to the store and purchased lottery tickets, juice, ExtenZe and condoms, a combination she found amusing. Both the panel and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency agreed Merritt’s positive test was a result of taking the supplement and that he had no intention of improving his sports performance. The panel did find Merritt negligent in not being more aware of the contents of the supplement but reduced his suspension from two years to 21 months. Merritt can begin competing in late July, making him eligible for the 2011 world championships. However, his participation in the 2012 Olympics is in jeopardy because of an IOC rule passed in 2008 that makes anyone serving a drug ban of longer than six months to be ineligible for the next Olympics. The AAA panel says that is excessive and amounts to a three-year ban for Merritt. The IOC shows no signs of backing down. So Merritt could be at the 2012 Trials, like Reynolds was in 1992, but have no chance of competing at the London Games because the IOC and IAAF don’t want to suffer a political loss and be seen as soft on drugs.
A Great Miler Passes Wes Santee, one of the best milers in U.S. history, died in November at 78 after a battle with cancer. Santee set a world record in the 1500 outdoors, two indoor mile world records and a 1500 indoor world record. He probably was best known for his battle with Roger Bannister of Britain and John Landy of Australia to become the first sub-4-minute miler, which Bannister achieved in 1954. “I am not exceptionally disappointed,” Santee said when Bannister broke the barrier. “Having to compete for the university, I’ve had to run everything from soup to nuts. I haven’t been permitted to concentrate. I think I could beat Bannister if I had the chance.” The 1953 NCAA cross country champion for Kansas had bigger obstacles than the U.S. collegiate system that had him competing in three seasons each academic year. Santee may have achieved more internationally if it were not for his battles with the Amateur Athletic Union, which
controlled U.S. Olympic sports at the time. The AAU kept Santee off the Olympic team in the 1500 at the 1952 Olympics because he had already made the team in the 5000, though the 1500 was his better event. The AAU banned him from international competition in the summer of 1954 for “breaking training.” He never got a shot at the 1956 Olympics because the AAU banned him for life for accepting what it considered excessive expense fees for traveling to meets. Santee, whose best mile times were 4:00.5, 4:00.6 and 4:00.7, had three of the top four mile times ever at one point. He rose to the rank of colonel in the Marine Corps and owned an insurance agency in Lawrence, Kansas. Santee’s background is the kind now associated more with African runners. He grew up without running water or electricity, on a farm in Ashland, in southwestern Kansas. He ran five miles to school and five back home each day. Starting Blocks continued on page 14.
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Starting Blocks continued from page 11.
Wariner Optimistic About Season While Merritt has to focus on his testing situation, his rival for 400 supremacy is hoping to repeat the kind of years he had in winning Olympics (2004) and world championships (2005, 2007), Jeremy Wariner. Wariner did not have a stellar 2010 in terms of times—he failed to crack 44 seconds. But he was recovering from physical problems. He had surgery in September 2009 for what was thought to be a meniscus tear in knee cartilage. Doctors also found a Baker’s cyst, causing some hamstring trouble, which was removed. Wariner pronounced himself fit
for the 2011 season and also thinks his veteran coach, Clyde Hart, 75, whom he jettisoned for a year in 2008 over a coaching salary dispute, has been rejuvenated. “Towards the end of last season, I saw something in Coach Hart I probably hadn’t seen in four years. He just found a new spark and he’s getting excited. For a while he was getting tired with traveling [the circuit] and didn’t know if he wanted to travel as much anymore. Towards the end of last season, something hit him ... and it was like the early ’90s with Michael [Johnson]. So this season is going to be exciting for both of us.”
Bell Lap • Andrew Valmon of the University of Maryland and Amy Deem of Miami have been recommended by a USATF committee to be the coaches of the men’s and women’s track and field teams, respectively, at the 2012 Olympics. The USATF competition committee, its board of directors and the U.S. Olympic Committee have to approve and confirm the recommendation. The announcement could come in early 2011. Valmon, 45, in his ninth season as coach at Maryland, knows what it’s like to be on the Olympic team. He was an alternate for the 4x400 relay teams in 1988 and ’92, earning gold medals both times and running in the Barcelona 4x400 final with a sparkling 44.5 lead-off leg. Deem, who has been at Miami as an assistant or head coach since 1990, has developed top sprinters, including Lauryn Williams, and was the head coach of the women’s team at the 2007 World Championships. • Colin Jackson of Great Britain, a former world recordholder in the 110 hurdles and a two-time world champion turned commentator, rates the top performance of 2010 as the 800 world record by Kenya’s David Rudisha, who twice set it at 1:41:09 and 1:41.01. “I say that because I know how impressive Wilson Kipketer (the previous world recordholder) was as an athlete,” Jackson told Spikes magazine. “To have somebody better that world record at such a young age really demonstrates that our sport really has an incredible future. I ran a 2:12 800 myself and I know how incredibly difficult the 800m is to run. I hope Rudisha can be that very special figure who can go under that 1:40 landmark figure for the 800m.” Jackson also says his favorite event in 2010 was the 110 hurdles, led by the USA’s David Oliver: “I know I’m biased [about the event]. The question [about Oliver] was always going to be what would he do next? He ran his 12.89 in Paris and it was such a dominant piece of high hurdling. It is sometimes hard to set a world record when there is not much on the line but I can’t wait to see next season when, hopefully, Dayron Robles [of Cuba], the Olympic champion and world recordholder, returns to his best and the pair can have a great rivalry again next year.”
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Report: ACSM 2011 Survey on Fitness Trends Includes Trends Favoring Track and Field
he American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) keeps up with the latest trends in exercise, fitness and sports. ASBA often gains important insights on new trends by reading research conducted by leading organizations in the profession. Reading through one newly published survey on fitness by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), we found some potentially good news for the track and field industry. The survey provided a fascinating look into the future, and allowed us to guess how it might affect track and field. The following survey information is presented with the permission of ACSM; comments on interpretation are the theories of ASBA. ACSM’s survey of worldwide fitness trends (specifically those expected to be most popular in 2011) was published in the November/December issue of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®. A total of 31 potential fitness trends were given as choices, and the top 20 were ranked and published by ACSM. The full list appears at the end of this article. Here are three items from the top 20—and ASBA’s interpretation of a few ways track and field could dovetail into the projected growth. (Note: The number preceding each item is its numerical place on the list). 2. Fitness programs for older adults: Mature adults are a great market for the fitness industry; in fact, programs aimed at this demographic make up the second most popular trend for 2011. ASBA’s take: If seniors want to take up running, it is likely they will start with their local school’s track. A softer, springier surface is better than a road or sidewalk, and the enclosed environment a track provides (safe from cars, dogs and the like) is also inviting.
4. Children and obesity: With childhood obesity growing at an alarming rate, health and fitness professionals see the epidemic as an opportunity to create programs tailored to overweight and obese children. ASBA’s take: It is no secret that more kids than ever are getting involved with sports at the high school level, and track and field and outdoor cross country, have made consistent appearances in the top 10 most popular sports according to the National Federation of State High School Associations in its annual sports participation surveys. Look for parents to encourage kids to stay active through childhood and straight through high school and beyond. 16. Sport-specific training: According to the ACSM study, this trend (including programs in sports such as tennis and golf) is on track to attract a new market to commercial clubs and community-based fitness organizations. ASBA’s take: The ACSM survey points out that sport-specific training appeals particularly to young athletes, such as those in high school, who want to train in the off season, or who want brush up on, or keep their skills sharp, so that they make the team each year. Programs like tune-ups for baseball (which include not only skill drills like throwing, hitting and catching, but aerobic exercise like running), can add up to more track use as well. Workouts are different, even since last year, according to the survey. Fitness trends that dropped off the survey completely included Pilates, use of the stability ball and
balance training. (Note: Something that ACSM professionals thought might be a trend in the 2011 survey was the 24hour fitness facility, but this failed to register in the top 20.) Taking the place of the three items that dropped out were the following: 17. Worker incentive programs. 18. Clinical integration (defined as the integration and blending of prevention and clinical services). 19. Reaching new markets (defined as a trend that identifies new markets in all aspects of the health/fitness industry). The survey was sent to ACSM-certified health and fitness professionals worldwide, and respondents returned more than 2,200 completed surveys. The full list of fitness trends for 2011 is: 1. Educated and experienced fitness professionals 2. Fitness programs for older adults 3. Strength training 4. Children and obesity 5. Personal training 6. Core training 7. Exercise and weight loss 8. Boot camp 9. Functional fitness 10. Physician referrals 11. Yoga 12. Worksite health promotion 13. Outcome measurements 14. Group personal training 15. Spinning (indoor cycling) 16. Sport-specific training 17. Worker incentive programs 18. Clinical integration 19. Reaching new markets 20. Wellness coaching Source: The American College of Sports Medicine, Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2011, Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, http://www.acsm.org
Note: The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) is a nonprofit association helping designers, builders, owners, operators and users understand quality construction of many sports facilities, including track and field. The ASBA sponsors informative meetings and publishes newsletters, books and technical construction guidelines for athletic facilities, including running tracks and sports fields. Available at no charge is a listing of all publications offered by the Association, as well as the ASBA’s Membership Directory. Info: 866-501-ASBA (2722) or www.sportsbuilders.org.
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The Key to Success in Throwing is... AGGRESSION! T
he common perception of non-contact sports is somewhat distorted with regards to the need for aggression, and nowhere does this hold more true than in the throwing sports. Unlike any other non-combat sport, success in the throwing events is directly proportional to the amount of controlled aggression an athlete can put into the throw. Unfortunately for athletes (although fortunately in the case of the general population), most of society’s rules, regulations and policies are designed to limit aggressive behavior in people. This education in emotional control is a benefit to society as whole since we don’t really need people being indiscriminately punched in the face; but for athletes, learning to release aggression at opportune times and in productive ways can create incredible and often unexpected performances. Many young athletes have been overtaken by a steady, lurching flow of timidity that has eaten away their competitive edge. Because of the constant influx of competition-crushing, never-feel-bad, pad-every-corner-andnever-keep-score leadership, young athletes today actually need to be taught to compete and not feel bad about winning. Strangely enough, the powers that be seem to be doing a great job of teaching young athletes to not feel bad about losing. Three simple rules can really help a young athlete learn to compete. 1. Create a competition every day. 2. Try your hardest to succeed. 3. Fail every day until you succeed. That may sound simple. But putting it into practice and making it work is demanding. It requires constant, intense effort during every minute of every workout, from the coach as well as the athlete. This can take some getting used to. Read on:
1. Create a competition every day – To begin learning to compete you must have a competition in the first place. This is easy enough. Each week an athlete’s training ebbs and flows according to his or her training program. Some days are designated for hard throwing. Some days are designated for hard lifting. Some days are for running or jumping. Likewise, each day usually has components of all of these activities integrated at some point. What if at every possible point we create a challenge? Whether it be how far you can throw a shot over your head or how far you can jump on three consecutive single leg hops, each challenge you face as an athlete – no matter how small – teaches you to prepare your mind for the moment and to not fear failure. 2. Try your hardest to succeed – This rule creates, sometimes for the first time, the need for self-awareness in the athlete. Athletes have to be able to truly know themselves and assess their effort, plan of attack and focus. A coach can encourage, challenge or create stress to help an athlete succeed, but only the athlete can know if he or she has done everything in their power to succeed. At first, most athletes will accept inferior effort and performance as maximal. Usually this is because almost everyone else has accepted—or even applauded—that level of commitment from them (see column 1, paragraph 3) therefore it is comfortable to be sub-maximal. Maximal effort is difficult. It takes concentration, commitment to the moment and investment in the process. It also explores the boundaries of the athlete’s abilities, which most people are not comfortable knowing. However, the only way to move beyond a personal limit is to know your limitations. Without this selfawareness, progress is subjective and
control of a competitive situation is merely a psychological construct grounded in the shifting sands of momentary feelings of ill-conceived self-satisfaction. So how can athletes be sure they have tried their hardest? They fight. Every day, in every challenge, during every set, on every sprint, in every bound, on every throw they have to fight with all their mind and body to accomplish the goal of the moment. They learn where their boundaries are today and break through them tomorrow. How do they find the boundaries? 3. Fail every day until you succeed – Without failing every day in something athletes will never know themselves or teach themselves to succeed. The goal is to mark the distance, record the weight, check the time and beat it. Record the results today and beat it again the next time. Two weeks of trying will only make the victory sweeter. Investing in victory is dangerous to the meek of heart. There is always the chance that an athlete gives everything they have in the pursuit of a dream and comes up short. However, the reward for their efforts is not found in the victory or the record. The reward comes from going out on a limb, putting all their eggs in one basket, bravely risking dreaded failure and, above all, learning to give all of themselves. With so many young people today learning to not compete it’s nice to know that what we learn in sport will serve us so well in life. John Godina is a three-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist in the shot put and the best shot put–discus combination thrower in history. He founded and operates the John Godina World Throws Center at Athletes’ Performance in Phoenix. Reach him at www.worldthrowscenter. com, www.athletesperformance.com or (480) 449-9000.
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Indoor Track of the Year
by Mary Helen Sprecher
2010 Indoor Track of the Year, American Sports Builders Association Mount Union College-Peterson Field House Alliance, Ohio The newly renovated Mount Union College–Peterson Field House in Alliance, Ohio is exceptional in a number of ways, but the one visitors never guess is the fact that it presented multiple challenges to designers, builders and suppliers involved in the project. Photo courtesy of Keifer Specialty Flooring, Inc., Lindenhurst, Illinois Specialty Contractor: Keifer Specialty Flooring, Inc. Suppliers: Mondo USA (rubber sports surface) Architect/Engineer: Hastings and Chivetta Construction Manager: Hammond Construction
oing more with less. Changing with the times. Putting 10 pounds of material into a 5-pound bag. Being proactive. Multi-tasking. They’re all terms that are tossed around frequently—but somehow they all came into play at once during the reconstruction of a college’s fieldhouse. The facility, Mount Union College’s Peterson Field House, had become outdated. Administrators wanted to enlarge it and replace the building’s 20-year-old, 160-meter track with a new 200-meter facility. This called for a number of overhauls, according to Kiefer Specialty Flooring, Inc. of Lindenhurst, Illinois, who sent Brion Rittenberry to look at the project. The building, a steel-frame structure with cinder-block walls, presented some unique challenges, noted Rittenberry. Varying levels on the flooring were just one obstacle. “The enlargement posed significant issues as it related to new and existing surface heights,” noted Rittenberry. “Once we tore back the existing floor, we realized the concrete was at a higher level near the old wall placement, and the joint between the old and new buildings was very uneven.” Once a decision was made to pour the new concrete substrate ½" below the old floor height, thereby providing a level surface across the span of all concrete being used, preparations began in earnest. “Grinding was necessary to even out the two surfaces,” noted Rittenberry. “Moisture test results gave high readings on the new concrete; therefore, a moisture sealer was needed to protect the new floor. The concrete was shot-blasted, and then the sealer was applied, taking special care at the joint to protect it from moisture.” Work on the facility included taking the time to ensure that moisture infiltration wouldn’t become a chronic problem that could cause problems down the road, and that there would be lasting integrity of the joint between the old and new floors. “We used a flexible, self-leveling product to even the joint and provide for possible movement,” notes Rittenberry. “We installed a ½" rubber underlayment with a special Shore hardness to bring the height of the new subfloor in line with the old floor. We then abraded the old surface to promote an enhanced mechanical bond and overlaid the entire surface with a new pre-fabricated sheet rubber surface.” With flooring in place, it was time to turn to the athletic amenities of the building. The new 200-meter track has six lanes with a nine-lane sprint and the entire surface slopes in one true plane with a tolerance of 1/8" in 10 feet. The surface is a premanufactured blend of virgin rubber, vulcanized with the base. The colors are dark grey and cognac. In addition to its excellent track facility (and its accompanying field events including long jump and triple jump, located on the southwest and southeast sides of the building) the facility can host a multitude of sports, including practices for many of the athletic programs of the college, according to the college’s website. (A virtual tour of the facility includes mention of the space for four indoor tennis courts, a part of the NCAA program). The project was completed on December 31, 2009. The end result has been a facility that not only is a showcase for student
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athletes, but a showpiece for the school system. And it didn’t escape the notice of the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities, which recognized the facility in its annual awards of excellence, naming it the Indoor Track Facility of the Year. Awards are presented each year to facilities built by ASBA members that best exemplify construction excellence. Projects are scored individually and anonymously by a committee of ASBA members, based on considerations such as layout and design, site work, drainage, base construction, surface, amenities, innovation and overall impression. Winning entries are those whose cumulative scores meet or exceed the standard. While administration and students are proud of their enhanced and updated facility, Rittenberry is happy with a project well done. “Despite significant design obstacles and time constraints, we were able to provide Mount Union College with a completely flush world class track surface on time and within budget,” he notes with satisfaction. Note: The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) is a non-profit association helping designers, builders, owners, operators and users understand quality construction of many sports facilities, including track and field. The ASBA sponsors informative meetings and publishes newsletters, books and technical construction guidelines for athletic facilities including tracks, tennis courts, athletic fields and multi-purpose indoor sports buildings. Available at no charge is a listing of all publications offered by the Association, as well as the ASBA’s Membership Directory. Info: 866501-ASBA (2722) or www.sportsbuilders.org
The dark grey indoor track that is the centerpiece of the Mount Union College–Peterson Field House encircles a multi-purpose space that can allow athletes to train for any number of sports offered by the college. Photo courtesy of Keifer Specialty Flooring, Inc., Lindenhurst, Illinois
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Recovering From Injury: Patience Is the Key by Don Kopriva
n AT&F’s previous issue, we discussed (1) the importance of catching injuries immediately— when they are minor and, thus, before they become major and (2) planning a rehab program to get the athlete back into competition. The next step—executing the rehab program—should be easy, but it isn’t, because it involves a character trait absent in most young athletes: patience. Almost all the elite distance runners interviewed in my book, Coming Back Strong, said they became impatient when they were injured. They’re anxious to run again, in many cases, almost obsessively so. This is a challenge for you as a coach. You have to convince your injured runner—especially if he or she is experiencing a serious injury for the first time—that cross training and rehab require a great deal of time and perhaps even more patience. Those who don’t accept the idea that the rehab process takes a lot of time may well find their recovery is slowed rather than accelerated. Face it, rehab is boring. And adding to any runner’s natural impatience is the fact that the very nature of rehab makes it hard to tell how you’re doing—making progress, just treading water or even regressing in fitness. So, is there a way to speed that comeback? Micah VanDenend, the University of Wisconsin–Parkside coach and former Iowa 5000 star, says no form of exercising is going to keep you in the same kind of fitness as running will. But, he adds, “cross training is certainly effective. Your heart doesn’t know the difference, whether you are running or you are biking, or are on the elliptical, or aqua-jogging. You can still stay very fit and compete at a high level with nothing but cross training; although, of course, you will not be nearly as fit as you could be if you were getting out the door and running each day.” Two-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein, notoriously impatient when he suffered his first stress fracture prior to his sophomore year at Colorado, has learned the value of not only spending more time but also working harder than ever in cross training. “I train more when I am injured than when I am healthy,” says Ritz. “I put in so much more time because it makes my return to good fitness so much faster. I’ve come back so many times from injury, and the one thing that I have found that stands out is the harder I work out when injured, the faster my comeback is.”
Ritzenhein, of course, is able to use Nike’s facilities, as well as some of the latest and newest technology in his rehabbing efforts. “The Alter-G is the best tool a runner can use,” says the two-time Olympian. “Alter-Gs are becoming more common and you can almost train through an injury without losing anything. There is a transition period coming off it, but it is the best tool out there. I would encourage any runner to see where you can get on one and your comeback will be so much faster.” Ritz’s coach, Alberto Salazar, says variety is very important. “I’m a believer in doing a lot of different cross training things [if you can’t do AlterG], because nothing else is [the same as] running,” Salazar says. “If you do any one kind of rehab exercise, the danger is that you’re going to build up muscles that will be overdone for running.” Other coaches see cross training as a necessary evil. Indiana University physiologist Robert Chapman thinks cross training can be good, but sees it as more a way to slow down the loss of fitness an athlete will experience while not running. “Some athletes are poor recuperators, and they need some form of exercise to stay sane,” Chapman adds. “In those ways, I think cross training is effective.” For some athletes, he says, cross training can help them burn both calories and nervous energy. Parkside’s VanDenend says he has a “love-hate” relationship with cross training. “I hate cross training, but I love the mental toughness that is developed as a result. Some things you can’t learn by simply running on the roads.” Don Kopriva’s new book, Coming Back Strong is based on extensive interviews with many of America’s top distance runners and coaches, covering their experiences with injuries and how they came back from those injuries even stronger and faster than before. Since almost every runner who races over 800 meters and up encounters some kind of injury—and certainly everyone who coaches runners deals with a constant parade of injured athletes—Don’s book is indeed one that everyone in the running business will want to own. Coming Back Strong will has a cover price of $29.95 (including shipping), but there is a coaches’ discount to $24.95 (including shipping). To order, send a check to RightOn Communications, PO Box 3830, Lisle, IL 60532. For more information, please call (630) 964-5496.
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C A M E R A AT H L E T I C A : SALUTES QUEEN HARRISON AND A S H TO N E ATO N
We want to congratulate Ashton Eaton and Queen Harrison for winning the Bowerman Award, which recognizes the best collegiate athletes of the year.
Photo: Victah, www.photorun.NET
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Year-End Wrap-Up of Shoes 2010 by Cregg Weinmann
Many of the shoes we see each year are actually aimed at the holiday season/year’s end, but others arrive in the fall (earlier than year-end models but later than our traditional fall review) so we think they, too, deserve mention in our year-end wrap-up. Though not always equipped for the weather at the end of the year, here we see three that have been “warmed up” to better handle wet and/or cold conditions. This review looks at eight new or updated shoes split between the Hybrid Trail and Performance categories, with a Motion Stabilizing shoe for good measure—making a little something for everyone.
Brooks Adrenaline ASR 7
Mizuno Wave Ascend 5
Combining a bestselling stabilizing shoe with trail protection and traction has been a successful strategy for the Adrenaline ASR. Round 7 continues to provide stability, traction, and protection on trails, as well as roads. The upper features a water-resistant mesh that’s now a little more open, along with increased lateral support and more bunion-friendly support on the medial side. The midsole is multi-density BioMoGo foam with a reconfigured crashpad and a reduced DRB Accel shank, providing a better transition without sacrificing much support. The outersole continues with the same forefoot flex grooves as the 6, but they’ve been opened up slightly to improve flexibility. The tread profile provides the traction the Adrenaline ASR is known for, both on- and off-road.
The Wave Ascend proves again that it’s a worthy anchor in the Mizuno trail line, providing traction, protection, and stability. The midsole/ outersole maintain the well-cushioned AP foam, a waveplate combination of lateral rubber and medial TPU for stability, BEST SHOE and a trail profile of effective lugs that grip well Hybrid Trail on both hard and soft surfaces. The upper YE addresses fit and protection. Flat laces replace the AR-END 2010 bumpy “link-sausage” variety and may be a bit easier to adjust the tension of the eyestay. Synthetic rubber has been added to the toe and heel bumpers for more protection from trail hazards. Overall, the fit, cushion, traction, and forefoot flexibility attest to the Ascend’s versatility, garnering it our Best Hybrid Trail Shoe award.
“Fit snugly, but not tight. Good arch support. Fairly firm heel, very stable, but a softer forefoot. Interesting feel; I like the softer forefoot. Excellent off-road traction. I like these shoes a lot.” HYBRID TRAIL $105 Sizes: men 8–13,14,15; women 5–12 Weight: 13.0 oz. (men’s 11); 11.1 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semi-curved For: medium- to high-arched feet with moderate overpronation
Newton Terra Momentus=Momentum With Newton’s first foray into trail shoes, the hybridized Terra Momentus=Momentum, we get just what we’ve come to expect: a thoughtfully conceived, well-executed shoe. The upper features a closed mesh with a full rand for protection with extra shoe lace-securing overlays on the tongue. The outersole has been beefed up from its road models with additional carbon rubber on the forefoot actuators and covering the heel membrane to protect it from trail debris. The midsole is Newton’s resilient foam formulation with the same low-profile geometry as in its other models, and it handles trails with a surprisingly nimble touch. Runners already familiar with the Newton ride will find the Terra Momentus=Momentum to be a quality trail alternative. Those looking for a more efficient trail gait can start with Newton. “Great, supportive fit with plenty of room for my toes. Though not very lightweight, it feels very lively on the trail. Good protection, traction, and cushioning. The forefoot-oriented landing improved my trail running.” HYBRID TRAIL $139 Sizes: men 6–13,14,15; women 5–11 Weight: 13.0 oz. (men’s 11); 10.4 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semi-curved For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics
“Roomy in the forefoot. Seems lighter than most trail shoes, especially for the support and cushioning. Traction is very good, even good on pavement, and surprisingly durable for an aggressive, off-road tread. I don’t see any wear anywhere.” HYBRID TRAIL $95 Sizes: men 7–13,14; women 6–11 Weight: 12.5 oz. (men’s 11); 10.5 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semi-curved For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to moderate overpronation
Nike Air Pegasus +27 Trail WR The Pegasus is Nike’s “King of the Road” and an all-time favorite neutral shoe. The Trail WR is the off-road–equipped version. This season, number 27 (though the trail version has only been around for about a decade) receives both updates informed by the road version and some trail-specific features. The closed mesh upper now sports a full rand in addition to rubbery, high-friction heel and toe bumpers. A water-resistant treatment makes the shoe well suited to wintry, wet trail conditions. The midsole, formerly Phylon foam, has been upgraded to the more durable and lively Cushlon. The outersole is the same toothy waffle tread as before and it remains equally at home on trail or roads. Overall, the Pegasus +27 Trail WR takes the road performance of the Pegasus off-road. “Great cushioning on the roads without mushiness on the trails. Very effective traction on the trails which also manages the roads well. Overall, a great hybrid trail shoe which is just right to run in.” HYBRID TRAIL $95 Sizes: men 6–13,14,15; women 5–12 Weight: 12.1 oz. (men’s 11); 10.6 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semi-curved For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics
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adidas Supernova Sequence 3
ASICS Gel-Speedstar 5
In round 3, the Supernova Sequence retains its hallmark: reliable, cushioned stability. The upper now features an airier mesh with soft, synthetic suede overlays that are positioned to provide support without hindering the foot. The newly configured midsole has repositioned the forefoot adiPrene inserts beneath the foot and now contains them with a sidewall for better cushioning underfoot. The outersole has seen small adjustments to the flex grooves that improve gait efficiency. Runners looking for a good combination of cushioning and stability will be well served by the Supernova Sequence 3.
The consistent and effective Speedstar has long filled the role of beefy racer/lightweight trainer. Version 5 surpasses its predecessors. The significant change here is the new upper: a breathable mesh with a matrix of black urethane in small hexagonal shapes varying in thickness to provide more support where it’s thicker and more flexibility where it’s thinner. The midsole and outersole remain much the same as previous rounds with a nice combination of responsive cushioning and great flexibility—defining elements of a quality minimalist shoe. The Speedstar’s looks—bright base with striking black—get extra credit, but the real draw here is the performance.
“Fits well with a comfortable cushy ride. Reliable stability without being too stiff. They kept the best of the previous version and improved the overall feel. A pleasant experience with every run.” Motion Stabilizing $100 Sizes: men 6.5–13,14; women 5–12 Weight: 12.9 oz. (men’s 11); 11.0 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semi-curved For: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation
“These shoes feel snug and light. Lots of cushion without a bulky feel. The upper was flexible enough to form around the foot with good support to the arches. A very light, comfortable, cushioned shoe for faster running—even an all-around great racing shoe for me. I have used it on many speed workouts and races up to 1/2 marathon.” Performance $90 Sizes: men 6–13,14; women 5–12 Weight: 9.5 oz. (men’s 11); 8.6 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semi-curved For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics, for faster-paced running
New Balance 870
Zoot Ultra Kalani
The 870 is a performance shoe new to the New Balance NBx line. The upper is a thin, layered open mesh first seen in the 759, here combined with more minimal overlays of synthetic leather and microsuede that don’t compromise support. The lacing uses traditional eyelets along with Ghilley webbing loops attached to the overlays that flank the metatarsals, keeping the foot over the midsole. An abbreviated N-ergy crashpad in the heel encourages the foot through the transition. The dual-density midsole offers a resilient and stable ride with the aid of the polyurethane Strobel board and Abzorb innersole. The outersole is designed for full-sole contact, whether striking on the heel or farther forward, but it’s segmented for good flexibility. The Ndurance carbon rubber in the high-wear areas and better-cushioning blown rubber everywhere else nicely balances traction and durability.
The new Ultra Kalani, the neutral companion to Zoot’s Ultra Kane, is designed for economy and protection without added fluff. The upper features the same compression fabric used in the Ultra Speed racer, and employs support straps and laces like the Kane does—more for BEST SHOE minor adjustments—since the compression fabric Performance does such a great job of securing the foot over the midsole. The midsole is EVA foam with a layer of YE AR-END 2010 resilient full-length Z-bound nearer the foot. The EVA Strobel board and polyurethane innersole provide additional benefits—both in step-in comfort, as well as improved fit and feel on the road. The carbon fiber shank responds well to the torsional forces generated through the gait and adds a responsive quality to the midfoot ride. The outersole features blown rubber in the lateral forefoot and ZCR (Zoot carbon rubber) in the rearfoot and medial toe, traditionally the high-wear areas of any shoe. The quality materials, precise execution, and excellent ride garnered the Ultra Kalani our Best Shoe award in the Performance category.
“Fits my feet really well. Plenty of cushioning, yet allows you to feel the road. Keeps the foot stable and the pace quick. I’m always looking for a marathoning shoe, and this one is going to Boston!” Performance $100 Sizes: men 8–12,13,14; women 5–12 Weight: 11.5 oz. (men’s 11); 10.4 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semi-curved For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation
“Wow! Great fit, great cushioning, a great shoe to run in.” Performance $140 Sizes: men 8–12,13,14; women 6–11 Weight: 11.4 oz. (men’s 11); 9.8 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semi-curved For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics
CREGG WEINMANN is footwear and running products reviewer for Running Network LLC. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com. Copyright © 2011 by Running Network LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be stored, copied, or reprinted without prior written permission of Running Network LLC. Reprinted here with permission.
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C A M E R A AT H L E T I C A : S A L U T E S DAV I D O L I V E R A N D A L LY S O N F E L I X
We want to congratulate David Oliver and Allyson Felix for winning the Jesse Owens Awards for Male & Female Athlete of the Year.
Jiro Mochizuki and Victah, www.photorun.NET
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Outdoor Track of the Year
by Mary Helen Sprecher
here are tight deadlines and then there are the deadlines that are so tight the finished project practically squeaks. And when it came time to do the Ponderosa High School’s outdoor running track facility, school officials and sports facility contractors had one of the latter.
The challenge? Well, perhaps it’s best to envision it as a memo: TO: Beals Alliance and all participants FR: Ponderosa High School Please help us replace the high school’s existing decomposed granite track and its accompanying natural turf field. Replace it with a new, all-weather track and a synthetic turf field with inlaid striping for football and soccer, as well as field event facilities. Oh, and we start on April 1. Can you have it ready in time to host commencement on May 29?
2010 Outdoor Track of the Year, American Sports Builders Association Running Track Facility at Ponderosa High School Shingle Springs, California Looking down at the running track facility at Ponderosa High School in Shingle Springs, California, it's easy to see only a great project—and impossible to guess that it was completed in record time. Photo courtesy of Beals Alliance, Folsom, California Architect/Engineer: Beals Alliance Suppliers: ACO Sport (slot drain) Sportsfield Specialties (goal post and soccer goal system, takeoff boards, pole vault box, sand catchers and shotput toe board) Mondo, USA (track surface) Robert Cohen Co. LLC (Mondo track surface installer) FieldTurf (artificial turf)
“The project was the first portion of a recently passed bond and was critical to the success of the overall bond campaign,” said Chris Sullivan from Folsom, California-based Beals. “The project began during track season and had to be completed to a level that would allow commencement ceremonies to be held on the field.” It was, by all accounts, a rush job for the ages and work had to start immediately. And even that part wasn’t without its challenges, added Sullivan. “The existing facility had 5 feet of grade change south to the north end, with the adjacent bleachers, concession and restroom structures to remain. The track was built to meet the existing grade at midfield with retaining walls at each end for a balanced earthwork site. Tolerance, drainage and accessibility issues dictated that the field would need to balance earthwork on site and remain accessible from all the adjacent amenities to remain.” Construction began in earnest and proceeded on an incredibly expedited schedule. “The project progressed to a point that base work was completed to accommodate graduation in order to maintain the overall schedule.” According to Sullivan, the project stayed on schedule, both before and after the graduation ceremony, because of constant communication including weekly construction meetings, submittal processing, ASIs, RFIs, punch lists and project closeout. “The lease/lease-back delivery method was utilized to ensure integration with the selected contractors and the design team from start to finish. Each element of the design was reviewed from concept to construction to ensure the end product was feasible from a budget, schedule and construction standpoint.” Completion of the project came in August of 2009, making the facility ready for the opening of the 2009–2010 academic year and the Bruins’ athletic seasons. The finished facility is adjacent to the school’s tennis courts and baseball diamond.
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The facility is aesthetically pleasing and complies with the standards of both the National Federation for State High School Association (NFHS, the governing body for high school sports), and the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF, the governing body for high school sports in the state). The eight-lane track is surfaced with a pre-manufactured vulcanized rubber system. It slopes inward to a slot drain that ties into the existing storm drain system. The synthetic turf field, which has football and soccer markings, uses perforated drain pipes and has a composite base layer. The finished facility is not only a great place for Ponderosa High’s athletes to train and compete on. It’s also a facility the school system and the city of Shingle Springs can point to with pride and it certainly drew the attention of the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities, which recognized the facility in its annual awards of excellence, naming it the Outdoor Track Facility of the Year. Awards are presented each year to facilities built by ASBA members, that best exemplify construction excellence. Projects are scored individually and anonymously by a committee of ASBA members, based on considerations such as layout and design, site work, drainage, base construction, surface, amenities, innovation and overall impression. Winning entries are those whose cumulative scores meet or exceed the standard. And while the Bruins of Ponderosa High School can take a lot of pride in the fact that their facility impresses track and field designers, builders and suppliers nationwide, they probably care about something more down-to-earth: impressing their opponents when they run along the grey and green track, or out onto their new field of dreams.
Note: The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) is a non-profit association helping designers, builders, owners, operators and users understand quality construction of many sports facilities, including track and field. The ASBA sponsors informative meetings and publishes newsletters, books and technical construction guidelines for athletic facilities including tracks, tennis courts, athletic fields and multi-purpose indoor sports buildings. Available at no charge is a listing of all publications offered by the Association, as well as the ASBA’s Membership Directory. Info: 866501-ASBA (2722) or www.sportsbuilders.org
The running track facility at Ponderosa High School meets the standards of both the National Federation for State High School Association (NFHS, the governing body for high school sports), and the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF, the governing body for high school sports in the state). Photo courtesy of Beals Alliance, Folsom, California.
The running track facility at Ponderosa High School has an eight-lane track surfaced with vulcanized rubber, and a synthetic turf field that uses perforated drain pipes and has a composite base layer. Photo courtesy of Beals Alliance, Folsom, California.
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BOOK OF THE YEAR
s you can see, the book is called Track Town, USA. But it’s really a book of memories. Memories about a place where more great moments in track and field have taken place than anywhere else in the United States, if not in the world. It’s about Hayward Field, and the athletes, coaches and fans who have turned it into a temple of the sport since the first six-lane track was laid down encircling the University of Oregon’s football field in 1921. No-one in 1921 could have imagined how this modest six-lane cinder oval would grow and flourish in the next 90 years, nor foresee the wonders that the world’s greatest runners, jumpers and throwers would produce for some of the world’s most rabid track fans. But thanks to gifted photographers Rich Clarkson and Brian Lanker and the equally gifted writer Kenny Moore, you can re-live them: the early years of coach Bill Hayward, the decades at the top under Bill Bowerman, Bill Dellinger and Tom Heinonen, and most recently the renaissance led by Vin Lananna; icons like Steve Prefontaine, Alberto Salazar and Mary Decker Slaney; the hundreds of national, world and Olympic champions from all over the world who have competed at Hayward; the NCAA and AAU championships, Olympic Trials and Pre Classics; and the more than 200 sub-four-minute miles run on the Hayward track, 141 of them at the Pre Classic alone. Moore’s elegant prose is handsomely illuminated by nearly two hundred photos, beginning with coach Hayward’s 1907 track team and running all the way to the heroics of Andrew Wheating, Ashton Eaton and Keisha Baker in the 2010 NCAAs. Some of the pictures are familiar, for they are classics. Many more, including several of Prefontaine, have never been published before. You don’t have to be from Oregon to love Track Town, USA. Any athlete, any coach, any official, and any track fan who has been to Eugene, Oregon will want to own it. Outside of Eugene, though, it’s virtually impossible to buy a copy of Tracktown, USA at your local bookstore. However, it’s available on the Internet at www.trackandfieldnews.com and clicking on e-store, or by sending a check for $42.90 ($39.95 plus $2.95 for mailing) to Track & Field News, 2570 El Camino Real, Suite 480, Mountain View, CA 94040.
— James Dunaway
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