Sacramento Struggles With High-Profile Meets

Race directors are trying to fill Sacramento venues like Hughes Stadium. Photo:

Race directors are struggling to compete with other venues across the country.

Several years ago, California’s state capital, Sacramento, was the place to go for elite track meets.

Back in 2000 and then again in 2004, the city hosted the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials. It’s also held four NCAA Championships in the past 10 years.

But according to the SacBee website, the glory days of Sacramento track meets appear to be gone.

The 54th annual Golden West Invitational kicked off this week, but it’s been struggling to maintain sponsorship.

“We definitely need to re-energize things,” commented race director Jerry Colman. “The competition has gotten a lot more intense.”

Participation has declined in recent years, with other larger meets held during the same timeframe pulling top athletes.
“Kids around the country used to anxiously wait to get an invitation to this meet,” commented former meet director John Mansoor. “For many years, it was only for the top eight seniors in [each event] in the country.”

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