Sunday, January 25, 2009

SCA-USATF Announces New Sport Committee Chairs

LOS ANGELES, CA—Following its bi-annual elections, the Southern California Association of USA Track & Field is pleased to announce the election of the following Open Athletics Sport Committee Chairs for a 2009-2010 term of office.

WAYNE JONESS: Chair, SCA Open Athletics Road Running Subcommittee

A native of Appalachian Virginia, Wayne Joness received a B.A. degree in English from the University of Virginia in where he also studied music—the field in which he now works since moving to Los Angeles in 1990. He became a distance runner in high school and, after that, was a recreational runner until relocating to the Los Angeles running mecca.

Over the past 18-years, Wayne has been actively competing in road racing throughout Southern California. He’s run more than 200 So Cal races in total, including 111 10K’s, 26 marathons, and 14 half-marathons. In 2008, Wayne ran the Tokyo Marathon and historic Boston Marathon. He has been a member of Track Club LA since 2004 and participated with the club in numerous masters-level cross country events.

Since being appointed Wayne as Open Road Running Committee chair last February, Wayne has done a terrific job of creating a Southern California Road Championship Series. In 2008, the series featured the SCA 5K Road Championship held in conjunction with the Buena Park Coaster Run, the SCA Half-Marathon Championship held in conjunction with the Long Beach Half-Marathon, and the SCA 10K Road Championship held in conjunction with the Dana Point Turkey Trot. These are the first local USATF Road Championships that have been held in Southern California in more than 20-years. In 2009, the Avia Orange County Marathon on May 3 will be the first-ever SCA Marathon Championship. In just 8-months, Wayne has created a program that offers opportunities for runners in 13 different men’s and women’s 5-year age-groups to be Southern California champions at 4 different road distances and greatly expanded awareness of USA Track & Field development initiatives within the Southern California Road Running Community.

LILY ZEPEDA: Vice Chair, SCA Open Athletics Road Running Subcommittee

A native of the mile-high, runner friendly town of Albuquerque, NM, Lily Zepeda received a B.A. degree in Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She became a recreational runner in high school and, after college, began racing at distances from 1500 meters to the marathon. Lily came to Los Angeles in 2005 in pursuit of the warm weather and a career in marketing. In addition to being our Road Running Committee vice chair, Lily is the Director for a South Bay marketing firm which maintains top accounts in the healthcare, real estate. and retail industries.

Since relocating to Southern California, Lily has competed in more than fifty (50) Southland races, including the Santa Clarita Half-Marathon where she was the 2nd woman finisher in 2006 and in 2008. After posting a 3:20:52 time at the 2008 Phoenix Rock ‘N Roll Marathon, she qualified for, and ran, the 2008 Boston Marathon. Lily is a member of Track Club LA and the Santa Monica Trail Runners Club. She hopes to continue to become more involved in the Southern California running community by helping plan and conduct USATF events.

MIKE MAHURIN: Chair, SCA Open Cross Country Subcommittee

A native of Seattle, Washington, Mike Mahurin’s running career began after he had become a practicing attorney, not when he was in high school or college.

After becoming active in the Southern California road running scene, he took a brief break from running-only to compete in triathlons, including the 2003 Hawaii Ironman World Championship. In 2005, Mike joined Track Club L.A. and returned to competing in long distance races throughout Southern California.

His primary focus has been on the marathon, where his best time to date has been 2:38:00 at the Tucson Marathon in 2006. It was while training for that race that Mike had his first real exposure to cross-country, competing in several races that fall as part of his marathon training. In December, Mike went back to the Tucson Marathon and returned with the men’s individual title. Mike is 38 years old and a Los Angeles-based real estate attorney. He received B.A. degrees in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Washington in 1992 and a J.D. degree from Pepperdine University Law School in 1995. Since I appointed Mike as Open Cross Country Chair last May, he has used his newfound excitement for cross-country running to help revitalize the Southern California cross-country scene in a way that will create more open level meets, attract more of the great distance runners in our area to the sport, and see us bidding to bring the USA National Cross Country Championships back to Southern California again soon.

ERIC BARRON: Chair, SCA Open Track & Field Country Subcommittee

Eric Barron is a graduate of Harvard University, where he competed in collegiate track and cross country, and the University of Michigan Law School. In 1996, he created Track Club LA–a team of some 90 men and women competitive and recreational long distance runners. Since 1999, he has been the distance coach and Head Women’s Cross Country Coach at Santa Monica College, where he has also been active in the California Community College Track Coaches Association. Eric holds USATF Level-I and Level-II coaching certifications. In 2006, he became the Head Coach for Nike Team Run LA, a USATF Elite Development Club of Los Angeles-based men and women distance runners. Last month, its men’s team placed 10th at the 2008 USA National Club Cross Country Championships in Seattle.

Eric has been active in growing our Jim Bush Southern California USATF Championships and supporting us hosting 3 meets in 2008 that produced 94 qualifiers for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

This summer, he will be conducting a new series of open-level track meets at Santa Monica College that will greatly exceed any summer program we have previously attempted to offer in support open-level track & field in Southern California.

CHRIS RAEL: Chair, SCA Open Race Walking Subcommittee

Chris Rael resides in Laguna Niguel and is a graduate of Magnolia H.S. and Cal State Fullerton. He is a high school biology teacher at Santa Ana High School and, over the past 17-years, has also taught history, English, math, and Spanish. Chris began race walking at age-15 and after 30-years continues to compete at an elite level, be a member of the USA National Race Walk Team, and compete internationally.

He was a finalist in the 1992 U.S. Olympic 50K Walk Trials, raced as a member of the 2005 USA 50K National Team, won a U.S. Masters indoor walk title, and earned a bronze medal in the 20K Walk at the 2005 World Masters Championships. As a race walking coach, Chris has stayed abreast of the scientific-based training techniques that have advanced both his sport and long distance running.

Since being appointed Chris our Open Race Walk Committee Chair, he has been the architect of an incredibly successful elite race walk development initiative in Southern California that has become a model for other USATF Associations across the country. In its first year, Chris’ initiative focused on the six NAIA schools in Southern California, recruiting their second-tier men and women distance runners to try competitive race walking (an NAIA championship event), and conducting coaching clinics to provide the technical instruction, training methods, and encouragement necessary for them to experience success at the national level. In only 4-months of intensive training walkers from Concordia University in Irvine and Westmont College qualified for the men’s and women’s NAIA National Track & Field Championships, then won Southern California USATF Race Walk titles.

Since then, Chris’ next step has been to these promising walkers in the sport after their collegiate careers, keep them improving, and keep them competing at the next level in open, national-class events…with the ultimate goal of vying for a spot on our USA Race Walk National Teams.

GARY HILLIARD: Chair, SCA Open M.U.T. Subcommittee

New SCA Open Athletics M.U.T. Committee chair Gary Hilliard lives in Sierra Madre, CA with his wife of seventeen years, Pamela Hilliard. Now 54, he was born near Pittsburgh, PA and is a registered/licensed civil engineer for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

Although he says he has always enjoyed running, he didn’t start running in organized events until the 1980’s. His running resume lists some of the better known ultra marathons such as the Western States 100-Mile, Angeles Crest 100-Mile, nearly all the events in the Southern California Ultra Distance Running Series, and now includes more than 150 marathons and ultra-marathons.

Gary’s running slowed down a little this past year and a half after a near fatal motorcycle accident in which he broke his back, neck, both arms, lost a kidney, punctured a lung, and severed his liver and spleen. While this slowed him down, he is also a four time cancer survivor and says he just doesn’t have it in him to quit.

Some of Gary’s other M.U.T. activities include being Logistics Director of the Mt. Wilson Trail Race and Assistant Race Director for the Angeles Crest 100-mile Endurance Race. He is also Director of the Southern California Grand Prix Ultra Series and the Race Director for the Mt Disappointment 50K and 50-Mile Endurance Race. The 50-mile distance, he is proud to say, has served as the USATF Southern California Association 50-mile Trail Championship for 2007 and 2008. He is also the Director of the Mt Disappointment United States Forest Service Trail Maintenance and Work Projects program—approved to work to preserve trails and stations for all users in the National Forest.

Working with the Southern California Association and Lorraine Gersitz (who has now moved on to become SCA Masters Committee M.U.T. chair), Gary says he looks forward to this new endeavor representing Southern California USATF as its Open Athletics MUT Committee chair.


Skip Stolley
Vice President, Southern California Association/ USA Track & Field
825 16th Street /suite B
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Tel (310) 453-7655 Cell (310) 200-5527 Fax (310) 829-6926
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