Thursday, December 18, 2008

We Have Moved

In order to serve you better, we have moved to http://www/ PreraceJitters is upgraded to an online magazine and will continue to deliver interviews, kicks, news and much much more.

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Thanks for your support and we look forward to a successful 2009.


Jay Hicks

Saturday, December 6, 2008

USA Track & Field Picks New President

RENO, Nev. - Women's Track & Field Committee Chair Stephanie Hightower was elected to a four-year term as USA Track & Field's president Friday at the 2008 USATF Annual Meeting at the Silver Legacy Resort in Reno, Nevada.

A former-world class hurdler, Hightower succeeds two-term incumbent Bill Roe, whose eight years as USA Track & Field's President will come to an end on Sunday, the final day of the Annual Meeting.

Hightower led the way after the first round of voting with 304 votes, with USATF Vice President Dee Jensen in second place with 263 votes and former USATF Vice President Bob Bowman in third place with 58 votes, which caused him to be eliminated.

In the afternoon runoff election, Hightower was the victor with 328 votes, with Jensen tallying 300 votes.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to serve this organization," said Hightower. "We have a multitude of opportunities that lie before us, and I'm just happy that I'll have the opportunity to work with the USATF family and move the sport into the 21st century."

"This is a historical Annual Meeting," Jensen said. "As I said throughout the campaign, we are at a critical juncture. I would like to congratulate Stephanie on her victory and thank my supporters for their hard work. I look forward to continuing to contribute to USATF's future."

Hightower brings a wealth of experience to the USATF presidency. In addition to serving as USATF's Women's Track & Field Committee Chair, she started her USATF Board service as a member of the Athletes Advisory Committee (ACC) and serving as AAC Secretary and AAC/USOC representative.

Usain Bolt To The Rescue

I am not the least bit surprised. In case you haven’t heard, Michael Phelps won SI’s “Sportsman of the Year” this year for winning 8 gold medals in Beijing. Usain Bolt deserved to win the title but apparently was not even close to winning for his riveting performances.

Sports Illustrated Group editor Terry McDonell called the selection of Phelps “the easiest choice I have made.”


But we all know the deal here. Track and field is far from being popular having been riddled with doping allegations and the fact that some of the sport’s former stars are currently serving jail time.

The Olympic Games became the “Michael Phelps Show,” setting a world record every time he dipped his toe in the pool and in the process winning over America.

Television ratings shot through the roof to watch the made-for-tv movie series that played out featuring Michael Phelps.

No one had heard of Usain Bolt prior to 8-8-08. But all of a sudden people were talking about the sport again and what a 6 foot, 5 inch sprinter from Jamaica was doing in Beijing.

For that reason, Usain Bolt is my Athlete of the Year - make that the galaxy.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Kicks: Women's Pumas California SE

The new Puma California SE is here. It comes with a beige upper, dark brown details and yellow, green, and red accents on the laces and the stitching. The colors also appear on the lining. The white sole is a nice balance to the more colorful upper.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

NXN Live on Runnerspace

Lolo Jones Named Humanitarian of the Year

Lolo Jones was named the Visa Humanitarian Athlete of the Year by USA Track and Field. The Visa Humanitarian Athlete of the Year by USA Track & Field is the only USA Track & Field award to recognize off the track community service.

Lolo won the 100-meter hurdles at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Ore. on July 6 in a windy 12.29 seconds (+3.8mps), tying the #2 time ever run under any conditions.

Off the track, Jones gave her $4,000 in prize money to a fund assisting Renee Trout, a single mother from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who was a victim of the Iowa floods after winning the 100-meter hurdles at the Olympic Trials. Jones' sponsors each matched Jones' $4,000 prize, bringing the total donation to $12,000.

While in Des Moines for the Drake Relays in April, Jones gave each girl on Theodore Roosevelt High School track team a pair of spikes and made a $3,000 donation to the school to repair the track and buy hurdles. While competing at Roosevelt as a prep star, Jones set the Iowa state record in the 100m hurdles (13.40), a mark that still stands today.

"I've been receiving help from charities and other assistance programs since I was young so it was only natural for me to give back," said Jones.

Doug Logan best described Lolo Jones and her efforts to give back to the community.

"In order to succeed at the world-class level, athletes must be focused on themselves," said USATF CEO Doug Logan. "Athletes like Lolo Jones demonstrate that that focus does not come at the expense of giving back to your community, or to helping people in need. Lolo's generosity of spirit was accompanied by her financial generosity in assisting flood victims in her home state."

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.
Seed Runnerspace

Runaway Prices Threaten The Games Future

Is it all smoke and mirrors? The IOC is seeking to ensure that there are fewer empty seats at the 2012 London Games.


You could see a large number of empty seats during athletic events in Beijing. Organizers even resulted to having volunteers occupy the seats. The IOC is not sure why or how this occurred and are investigating the matter.

We’ll wait on that results of that investigation. In the mean time, what happened? Exuberant hotel prices and bad publicity dampened tourism-that is what happened.

Standard hotel prices in Beijing were going for $700 a night, to then learn just weeks before the games that a high demand did not materialize at the Beijing Games. And at the last minute hotels dropped prices but well beyond the realistic possibility of fans booking an international trip at the last moment.

So what about the fans?

Sure the Olympics have not been cheap in decades but during an economic crisis that officially started in December 2007 - those prices are hubris - smacking of being out of touch with current circumstances.

The lack of foot traffic at their Olympic exhibit was one major reason cited by Johnson & Johnson as a reason for dropping as a major corporate sponsor.

To be fair, the hotel prices have surged in Olympic host cities and prices are set by the independent owners and operators of the respective hotels. However, the slow economic down and the lackluster performance is the opportunity for the IOC to reign in hotel operators of host cities during the bidding process.

Massively inflated prices and lower than expected turn out ultimately diminishes the appeal Games and organizers had better get them under control if they want to save their golden goose.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.