by Chris Bishop
At this event, the New York USA Track and Field will crown top athletes from around the State. Our own Russ Ebbets, who contributes monthly articles to The Pace Setter, is the meet coordinator of this historical event.
The inaugural event will have eight running events and four field events. To qualify for these events, competitors must be 15 years-old and up, finish in the top three of their respective events at the regional championships held in the Adirondack, Long Island, New York City, and Niagara regions of New York State. Qualifying meets dates are yet to be set, but Ebbets said they would probably be held several weeks before the Empire State Classic on July 24.
The event is being partnered by the Cortland Regional Sports Council at the SUNY Cortland campus and if successful, may become a fixture at the campus. Ebbets also envision a junior meet at the next Empire State Track & Field Classic if all goes well.
COVID is on the minds of the planners who are optimistic that it can be held in July. If it cannot, the planning is such that it can be held the following year.
Russ Ebbets was the track coach at Union College from 1981 to 1988. He left the region to go to New York Chiropractic College and has been in private practice in Union Springs since graduating. He is so passionate about track and field events that in addition to being a successful doctor, he coaches and write articles about medical and sports topics. He was a finalist in the Track and Field Writers of America Book of the Year 2019 contest.
So, mark your calendars and look for more news during the coming months. Our columnist Russ Ebbets will definitely keep Pace Setter readers posted about this exciting event where NYS athletes will get the opportunity to break national records and set standards for future events.