A retired executive with United Heath Group, Jack Wickens has been involved with the USA Track & Field Foundation since 2005. Then in December 2008 he was voted onto the USATF board of directors after sweeping bylaw changes directed by the USOC reduced the board’s size from 31 members to 15. As director of USATFF, Wickens heads up the USA Distance Project which supports training centers across the country. A Bucknell grad, Jack ran on the track and cross country teams for the Bisons.
T.R. Where does the USA Distance Project need to go to maximize it’s potential?
J.W.> We’ve been a godsend for Team USA Minnesota, the Mammoth Track Club, Zap Fitness, and Indiana Elite. We have 10 or 11 elite training groups which are eligible for support, and we are funding about six or seven this year. But we will have a mid-year evaluation to decide whether to add one or two more programs.”
T.R. You list ten “eligible” training centers, but only fund six or seven. Some clubs like the Hanson’s-Brooks Distance Project in Michigan told me they have never applied for support, while Brad Hudson’s group Marathon Performance doesn’t receive a nickel. Yet by having their names listed on the Distance Project website there’s an inference that they are being supported. (more…)