Monday, November 17, 2014

USATF Announces 2014 Hall of Fame Class

 November 12, 2014
The group will be honored Thursday evening, Dec. 4, at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet

INDIANAPOLIS – Trailblazers and living legends comprise the 41st National Track & Field Hall of Fame induction class featuringStacy Dragila, Lance Deal, Tom Burke, Pat “Paddy” Ryan and contributor Theodore “Ted” Corbitt, USA Track & Field announced last week.

The group will be honored Thursday evening, Dec. 4, at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet, which is a part of the USATF Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California.

Dragila, the first women’s Olympic pole vault champion, holds two IAAF World Championships and a World Indoor Championship title as well. She joins four-time Olympian and Olympic silver medalist Lance Deal on the slate of modern athlete inductees, which includes those who have retired within the past 25 years.

Tom Burke, who competed in the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, in 1896, and hammer throw legend Pat “Paddy” Ryan represent the two veteran athlete inductees, which include those who have been retired for 25 years or more. Both two-time Olympic medalists, Burke won gold in the 100 and 200 meters at the inaugural Games, while Ryan earned gold in hammer throw and silver in weight throw at the Antwerp 1920 Games in Belgium.

The Contributor honor is presented to someone who has made a significant impact on growing the sport of track and field. Receiving the honor is Ted Corbitt, a man regarded as the “Father of American Distance Running.” Not only was he the first African-American marathoner to make the U.S. Olympic Team, but he was also also the founder of USATF’s Road Running Technical Council, where he became the galvanizing force behind measuring and certifying the official distances of race courses.

Theodore “Ted” Corbitt
January 31, 1919 – December 12, 2007

Ted Corbitt was the first African-American marathoner named to the U.S. Olympic Team and is affectionately regarded as the “Father of Distance Running” in the U.S. He was an athlete in his own right, but his greatest contribution to the sport was as founder of USA Track & Field's Road Running Technical Council. Corbitt created a national program for accurate road measurement and certification, as he oversaw a list of nationally certified courses and handpicked road course certifiers. He wrote the 1964 booklet “Measuring Road Running Courses,” which opened the door to a strategic program for measuring, verifying and certifying American race course distances. Born in 1919 in Dunbarton, South Carolina, Corbitt competed as a distance athlete at the University of Cincinnati. He overcame racial prejudice and was sometimes unable to compete in areas deemed too dangerous, but his challenges only deepened his desire to succeed. Corbitt served in the U.S. Armed Forces in World War II in Okinawa before taking on Pacific Theater duties after the war. In 1950, he earned a masters degree in physical therapy and remained committed to his love for distance running. Corbitt was elected president of the New York Road Runners Club in the late 1950s and was president of the Road Runners Club of America in 1960 and 1961. A man of many passions, Corbitt was a clinician, teacher, physical therapist, editor and avid runner up until 2007, when he passed away at the age of 88.

Find biographies of the other four USATF honorees on the USATF website.

this article Courtesy of Running USA wire

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