by Graeme Shirley
In January, the first of these President's columns described our Board of Directors and what a special group they are. Never was this more evident than in the Association Outdoor Track & Field Championships June 17. Men's and Women's Track and Field Chairmen Rahn Sheffield and Wes Williams, and meet director Jennifer Nanista, were given a budget and a mission: Conduct a championship to rival the one Dixon Farmer put on in the 1984 Olympic year.
They responded by assembling almost 200 athletes from the Olympic Training Center, collegiate programs, and other open competitors looking for qualifying marks or tune-up meets. The athletes rewrote the record books. They set five new Choc Sportsman Oval records, tied another, and scared several others. There was a Guam National record in the 100 meter dash, and 31 marks that exceeded Olympic Trials standards.
Stadium records are not easy to come by at San Diego State, with its history of WAC and Mountain West Championships, and Aztec Invitationals, among other meets. Josh Norman's 10.09 second 100 meter dash took down the 10.15 held jointly by Olapade Adeniken and Frank Fredericks from 1991. Angela Daigle (23.24, 200 meters), Bayano Kamani (49.23 400 meter hurdles), Robinson Pratt (5.51m, 18' 1", pole vault), Lindsay Taylor (4.45m, 14' 7¼", pole vault), and Shakeema Walker (13.78m, 45' 2½", triple jump) all set or tied stadium marks.
The 1984 meet featured a number of famous athletes, including Jackie Joyner, Randy Williams, Ramona Pagel, Ruth Wysocki, Monica Joyce, James Sanford, and Diane Dixon. A head to head comparison of the winning (quality) marks this year versus that memorable 1984 meet gives the 2004 edition about a 20-12 lead.
San Diego attracts athletes globally, particularly in the Olympic years. The Association meet had competitors from 18 different IAAF federations.
In early August, 23 San Diego Association masters athletes traveled 2000 miles to Decatur, Illinois for the National Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and came back with 25 National Championships. The individual gold medalists were Kettrell Berry (2), Terry Cannon, James Chinn (3), David Ciccone, Gerry Davidson (4), Rita Hanscom, Bud Held, Leland McPhie (5), Nadine O'Connor (2), Jim Selby (3), and Jolene Steigerwalt (2).
The Dirt Dogs Cross Country series will begin August 21 and continue through the championship November 13.
The San Diego Association Annual meeting will be October 20, at which time elections will be held.