Minutes of annual meeting

The New England Walkers elected officers for 2012, reviewed the upcoming calendar of races, and voted to support youth development activities during the club’s annual meeting Oct. 16 at the home of Tom Knatt and Annie Montgomery in Groton, MA.

Officers reelected were Tom Knatt, president; Justin Kuo, treasurer; Brian Savilonis, member-at-large; and Charlie Mansbach, recording secretary. Ed O’Rourke was elected vice president, succeeding Beth Katcher, who chose not to seek reelection.

Steve Vaitones reported on the US-Canada Dual Meet, an event for elite juniors held this past August in East Boston with New England Walkers support on many levels. The races, the course, and the logistics were well received by all, and Steve will look into hosting another international event at the site next year.

Justin Kuo reported in absentia that the treasury contains about $6,800. After a discussion of how to draw new racewalkers, particularly young athletes, NEW members voted in principle to spend $250 on T-shirts, books, and other appropriate materials to help develop youth participation.

Members agreed on a Grand Prix schedule for 2012 that essentially includes every judged race in our region, plus one slightly outside it, the national 10K championship in Albany. The other races are the Dartmouth Relays mile, the Greater Boston Track Club, New England Masters Indoor, New England Indoor, New England Outdoor and Bay State Games 3K’s, the Seacoast 5K, the New England Masters Outdoor 3K or 5K, the national one-hour, and the Connecticut 10K. Walkers may also include a result from one other national championship.

Tom Knatt reported that one-mile results from the 2011 Dartmouth Relays have been submitted for listing as national records in various masters age groupings.

Members agreed to pursue holding a clinic led by Olympian Joanne Dow of Manchester, N.H.

Bill Harriman told members that he continues to hold coaching sessions year-round on Tuesday evenings in Lexington.

Members discussed the appropriateness of letting lap-counters inform walkers of how many laps they have covered while the one-hour races are in progress. A judge halted the practice in this year’s race, then relented, saying that the issue will be discussed at a future meeting by USATF officials.

The meeting was preceded by informal racewalks of indeterminate distances on the Groton rail trail and the usual potluck feast. Those attending the meeting were Tom Knatt, Annie Montgomery, Steve Vaitones, Paul Schell, Ed O’Rourke, Bill and Joanne Harriman, Bob and Hilary Keating, Brian Savilonis and Ann Neuberg Savilonis, Rich McElvery, Beth Katcher, Ruth Karacek, and Charlie Mansbach.

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