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Posted: February 1, 2007

Athletics: News & Notes, Volume 8, Number 11

Spotlight shines on race walking at 100th Millrose Games

For the first time in history, the USA Indoor Mile Race Walk Championships will include a race for women Friday night at the centennial celebration of the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

One of the leading contenders in the 14-person field is Deb Huberty of the New York Athletic Club, who finished third in the 3,000m walk at last year's AT&T USA Indoor Championships and ended the 2006 season ranked #6 in the U.S. by Track & Field News. Also keep an eye on Loretta Schuellein of Walk USA, who placed sixth last year at the AT&T USA Indoor Championships

In the men's race, reigning national indoor 5,000m champion Tim Seaman, a native of Long Island competing for the New York AC, racked up his third Millrose victory last February and the 27th national title of his career at any distance. Two-time NAIA 5 km race walk champion Matt Boyles, who finished fourth at last year's AT&T USA Indoor & Outdoor Championships and ended the 2006 season ranked #4 in the U.S. at 20 km, should challenge Seaman for the title.

For tickets or more information on The 100th Millrose Games, visit www.Millrose-Games.com. Tickets are also available at Ticketmaster (call 212-307-7171, visit www.Ticketmaster.com or at Ticketmaster outlets); or at the Madison Square Garden box office. USA Track & Field welcomes you to pay with your Visa.

Masters records news

The Masters indoor track season has gotten off to a raucous beginning with a number of pending records being set recently.

At last week's Thursday Night at the Races meet at the New York Armory, 2004 USATF Masters Athlete of the Year Kathryn Martin continued her assault on the record books in crushing the listed W55 world and American indoor records for the 3,000 meters. Martin stopped the clocks in 10:42.9, which bettered the world record of 11:00.10 by Italy's Lucia Soranzo set in 2005, and the previous American record of 11:25.05 by Joan Ottoway in 2000.

Also on Thursday in New York, Mary-Louise Michelson ran 3,000 meters in 12:30.2, bettering the previous listed American record of 13:09 by Joanne Daprano in 2003. Michelson's performance missed the listed world record by two-tenths of a second.

Elsewhere, Olympian Joan Nesbit Mabe enjoyed a successful outing in running her W45 Masters mile debut last weekend at her collegiate alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Nesbit Mabe finished the race in a world-record time of 5:04.74, bettering the previous listed world record of 5:08.6 set in 2003 by Canada's Patty Blanchard. The former American record of 5:08.81 was set less than a year ago by Lesley Chaplin-Swann.

Conley departs USATF, becomes Executive Director of World Sports Chicago

Michael Conley, who for the last eight years has served the country's top track and field athletes as USATF's Executive Director of Elite Athlete Programs, has been named Executive Director of World Sports Chicago. He leaves USATF effective today (January 31).

Conley's position at the newly created World Sports Chicago, an organization aimed at bringing international sporting events to the city, was announced earlier this month by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

The 1992 Olympic gold medalist in the triple jump and a member of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, Conley was hired by USATF in 1999 to create the Elite Athlete Programs department. Since his hiring, the department has grown to five employees, with vast expansion in the services USATF provides to athletes. Since 1999, USATF has instituted new programs including implementation of USATF's Post-Collegiate Assistance Fund for developing athletes, improvements to the Authorized Athlete Representatives program, establishing athlete lounges at World Championship events and a tradition of celebrating team successes, the launch of USATF's Elite Beat magazine, creation of the annual USATF elite athlete retreat and rookie camp, and the establishment of the Elite Athlete Handbook, among many other new programs.

"Nothing has been more distinctive about what we've done at USATF over the past eight years then how we have increased our service to our elite athletes," said USATF CEO Craig Masback. "In designing the position of Director of Elite Athlete Programs, I wanted to hire a person who would sit in a unique position of both working for USATF and me but who would be charged with challenging me and USATF to pay attention to and serve athletes on a daily basis. Mike has been an employee, partner, and friend and as sad as I am to lose such a valuable collaborator, I am thrilled for him."


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