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Posted: February 7, 2009  :

Athletics: USATF News & Notes, Volume 9, Number 5

Legendary coach Payton Jordan dies

Highly accomplished athlete, coach, meet director, administrator and National Track & Field Hall of Famer Payton Jordan died of cancer Thursday at his home in Laguna Hills, Calif. He was 91.

Born in Whittier, Calif., on March 19, 1917, Jordan was an outstanding athlete at the University of Southern California before becoming a legendary coach at Occidental College and Stanford University as well as a record-setting Masters runner.

At USC, where he was coached by fellow Hall of Famer Dean Cromwell, Jordan excelled in track, rugby and football. On the track, he helped the Trojans win two national collegiate team titles and was a member of a world-record setting 4x110-yard relay team. In addition to his collegiate success on the track, Jordan helped USC beat Duke in the 1939 Rose Bowl. He won the AAU 100m title in 1941, and after World War II and a stint in the Navy he became track coach at Occidental College, turning that small school into a national power.

After 10 years at Occidental, he moved to Stanford in 1957. Over the next 22 years, he took the Cardinal to a second-place NCAA finish in 1963, produced seven Olympic athletes and numerous NCAA champions. Jordan served as the head coach of the 1968 Olympic team in Mexico City after serving as an assistant at the 1964 Olympics.

A successful meet director, Jordan directed two of the greatest track meets ever held on American soil -- the 1960 Olympic Trials and the 1962 USA-USSR dual meet that drew 150,000 fans over two days. Both events took place at Stanford.

Known for his prowess as a masters competitor, Jordan set numerous records as a sprinter. He set his last masters world record in the 100-yard dash at the Penn Relays in 1998, at age 80. He posted his final masters world record in the 100 meters in 1997.

A member of the USC, Occidental, Stanford and NAIA halls of fame, among others, Jordan was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1982. He was awarded the Dwight D. Eisenhower Fitness Award by the U.S. Sports Academy in 1999.

2008 USATF Youth Race Walk Honor Roll

The USA Track & Field Race Walk committee annually honors the top young race walkers in America. The following athletes were judged the best in each of their age groups by a panel of elite athletes and coaches at the 2008 USATF Annual Meeting in Reno.

The criteria used to evaluate their performances was the athletes times and places in major competitions, including the USATF Junior Olympics, USATF Youth Athletics Championships, USATF Junior Championships, USA World Race Walk Cup Trials and the events that comprise the USATF Race Walk Junior Grand Prix Circuit.

All athletes recognized will receive a Certificate, RW patch, and a T-shirt from the Race Walk committee commemorating and congratulating them on their achievements.

A big thanks to RW Committee Secretary Ginger Mulanax and Maryanne Daniel, chair of the Women's Development, for all of the work they did in making this happen.

Young Men
Roberto Vergara - South Texas Walking Club, South Texas Association
Ricardo Vergara - South Texas Walking Club, South Texas Association
Evan Crowdus - Kentucky Racers, Kentucky Association
Young Women
Catherine Davis - Southeastern Pennsylvania Athletics club (SEPAC), 
Mid-Atlantic Association
Melissa Moeller - Indiana Race Walkers, Indiana Association
Nina Yang- Unattached, NYC, NY, Metropolitan Association
Intermediate Boys
Trevor Barron - South Park TC, Three Rivers Association
Matthew Forgues - Maine Racewalkers, Maine Association
John Randall - Miami Valley Track Club, Ohio Association
Alex Chavez - South Texas Walking Club, South Texas Association
Intermediate Girls
Christie Bernier - Maine Race Walkers, Maine Association
Allison Chin - Miami Valley Track Club, Ohio Association
Claudia Ortiz - South Texas Walking Club, South Texas Association
Youth Boys
Sorenson, Tyler - Pleasanton Heat Track Club, Pacific Association
Steven Valadez - South Texas Walking Club, South Texas Association,
Santosh Dandi - Unattached, Merriam, KS, MO Valley Association
Youth Girls
Nicolette Sorensen - Pleasanton Heat TC, Pacific Association
Lila Haba - Umoja Track Club, Pacific Association
Molly Josephs - Walk USA, Long Island Association
Midget Boys
Nate Roberts - Salem Track Club, Oregon Association
Emilio Mancha - Elgin Track Club, Illinois Association
Daimon Todd - Umoja Track Club, Pacific Association
Midget Girls
Ashley Jacobs, Athletic Track Club, Southwestern Association
Katie Michta - Walk USA, Long Island Association
Jennifer Vargas - South Texas Walking Club, South Texas Association
Bantam Boys
Justin Liedke - Cornhusker Flyer, Nebraska Association
Adam Haba - Umoja Track Club, Pacific Association
William Katzman - Albuquerque Track Club, New Mexico Association
Bantam Girls
Caitlin Palacio - Unattached, San Jose, CA, Pacific Association
Sydney Beal - South Dayton Flyers, Ohio Association
Erin Jacobs - Athletic Track Club, Southwestern Association
Cherylen Chavez - South Texas Walking Club, South Texas Association

For more information on USA Race Walking, visit:

About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.

For more information on USATF, visit

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