1999 Annual Meeting Minutes

USATF Montana Association, Inc.

September 19, 1999, Grant Creek Inn, Missoula

The general meeting of USATF - Montana Association's annual meeting was held at the Best Western Grant Creek Inn in Missoula. It was called to order by president Bill Brist at 2:15 pm. The meeting was preceded by 2 1/4 hours of committee meetings. The following were in attendance for both committee and general meeting: Bill Brist, Pam Sikkink, Ben Rush, Ryan Bromburger, Kris Hanson, Kevin Cleary, Zelda Haines, John Bauman, and Garen Marty. The following committee chairpersons were absent from the annual meeting: Stuart Melby, Dave Skelton, Rob Stark, and Mavis Lorenz. Vice-president Mary Aude was also absent for health reasons. Minutes from both the last board meeting and the 1998 annual meeting were circulated for all to read and were approved as circulated and read.

Officer and Committee Reports:

Bill handed out a written president's report that was presented as a "state of the association" report. A copy of Bill's report will be attached to these minutes. Bill has worked extremely hard to put the association on track to follow by-laws during its operation, and to promote Robert's Rules of Order during all meetings in which they would apply. Bill also handed out a diagram of the current USATF - Montana Association structure. He pointed out the holes in committee appointments in the diagram, citing lack of qualified people interested in promoting USATF - Montana as the primary cause of vacancies.

Pam presented the treasurer's report for the association. Income to September 18 was $6,645.84. Expenses to the same date were $6129.04. Pam cited outstanding expenses for the meeting room and for convention delegates ($1000). These outstanding expenses will make it difficult for the association to complete the year with a positive balance in the year's balance sheet. Investments and expenses were made this past year to build the youth committee, to build outreach programs to coaches through the Montana coaches' clinic, and to support the road race series. Income projected from the cross country season will probably not bring the expenses into balance with income.

Pam also presented a registration/membership report. A table and diagram was circulated with membership trends for the past eight years. 1999 shows a tremendous increase in the 0-12 year old members. However, all other age groups either stayed the same (13-19) or decreased substantially. For 1999, the membership to September 18 were as follows: 0-12, 96; 13-18, 282; 19-39, 41; 40+, 24. Total membership so far is 443 with cross country season and the Le Griz remaining to bring in membership.

There was no vice-president's report because Mary Aude was in, or recovering from, an operation that required hospitalization. No report was sent or forwarded via e-mail.

The Youth Athletics report was presented by Garin Marty for Dave Skelton. Dave sent a six page typed report on the youth activities and his progress and changes he would like to see in the coming year. The report was comprehensive and most of it was read into the minutes by Garin. A copy of his report will be attached to these minutes. After Garin finished reading Dave's report, Bill commented that Dave's report showed vision in the long term, and that we needed to set up some proposals from the report to discuss at new business portion of the meeting. Garin commented on Dave's commitment to quality in building programs. He also reported that Dave is trying to make it more fun to be involved in USATF.

Zelda Haines gave the Officials report. She reported that there are currently 43 officials on the books in Montana and all are very actively officiating. This number, however, is down substantially from 4 years ago because many officials did not renew or couldn't be found to offer renewal options. She also was approached from the floor with the possibility of putting on an officials clinic in January. Zelda will work on this with a committee consisting of several current board members.

Zelda also reported on a youth activity that she attended, namely the World Championships in Poland. According Zelda, only youth that attended USATF national championships were allowed to go to the prestigeous event. They also received USATF olympic uniforms.

The Master's Athletics chairperson, Mavis Lorenz, was not present at the meeting due to a last minute conflict. She did send a written report that included a summary of the World cup event, a summary of Al Funk's record setting performances, and an obituary for Manuel White (83) who was a long-time USATF member who was active in his track and field competition past age 80.

Rob Stark, Men's Track and Field chair, was not present at the annual meeting due to difficulties in travel.

Stu Melby, Women's Track and Field chair, submitted a report via e-mail because he was taking Sunday computer class to upgrade training. He reported that open athletes may be able to compete within college noncollegiate open meets and within JO meets in the future.

Garin Mary presented a report for his Developmental committee. Garin attended the Montana Coaches Clinic, shared booth responsibilities for USATF booth, and collected names of persons interested in attending a Level 1 Coaches clinic. Garin is tentatively planning a Level 1 for March. He needs info from the national office on how to go about putting one on, especially in how he might bring in clinicians. Bill suggested that he put John Bauman, Mary Aude and Kim Haines on his committee because they have knowledge pertinent to putting on these clinics. Also Garin has connections with Rob Stark to make planning easier. John Bauman said Garin needs 30 participants, that he needs to think about getting junior high coaches involved, and that he should charge about $100 for the clinic to make it successful.

Bill made a plea for names to fill the vacancies on the Board of Directors. Vacancies exist in Laws & Legistlation, Finance, Cultural Exchange, Long Distance Running (all slots), Racewalking, and Athletes Advisory.

Old business:

Bill reported that there was no unfinished business from the last meeting.

New business:

Garen made a motion that USATF "propose to make a plan to develop a system of education for USATF at open track meets through this winter and spring." The motion passed with one voting member absent.

A proposal was made to award the bid of the state Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships to Bozeman Track Club for June 7-9, 2000. The proposal was seconded (Garin) and followed with a discussion on the lateness of the bid (i.e. it was not received a year in advance as agreed upon at last annual meeting), a comment that there was no other site submitting a bid; and that there is still a question of the regional competition site to be dealt with (i.e. should Bozeman TC do state or regional). The question was called and the proposal passed unanimously.

A proposal was made to hold the state Junior Olympic Cross Country meet on November 6, 1999, at Big Timber (hosted by Bozeman Track Club). A discussion followed on the history of attendance at the cross country meet, the question was called and the proposal passed unanimously.

A proposal was made to postpone suggestions of the youth committee made by Dave Skelton during the report reading until Dave could present the proposals himself at a meeting. The proposal was seconded (Garin) and passed unanimously.

A proposal was submitted on travel policies for convention. The proposal was accepted as read and seconded (Pam). Zelda wanted a clarification of the basis of why the policies were proposed, which was to clarify responsibilities of delegates. The proposal passed unanimously. A copy of the proposal is attached to these minutes.

The nominations for convention delegates included Bill Brist (LDR and Officer); Zelda Haines (Officials Committee); Anne Timmons (Women's Track & Field); Dave Skelton (Youth Athletics); Mary Aude (Officer); John Bauman; Kim Haines. If all seven attend, the Montana Association contribution to each will be $143. These delegates will need to submit to Bill, in writing, their intention to attend the convention. Approval of delegates will be made by the Board of Directors via a mail ballot.

Formal election of officers did not occur. John Bauman made a motion to continue with current officers. The motion passed with 6 voting for, 1 against.

Bill made a motion to adjourn the meeting. It was seconded by Kevin Cleary and the meeting adjourned at 4:12 pm.

Submitted by:

Pam Sikkink


Attached Officer/Committee Reports:

Presidents Report:


I want to welcome you all here to the UASTF Montana - Annual Convention. The Association is you-not positions on paper. What you have to contribute is as, or more important than the paper organization itself. People are what make strong organizations, bylaws give direction, Officers keep order and Committees design plan of attack. People make the Association what it is, a Montana Association.


State of the Association - well, itís been worse, and itís been better. This past year was a year of fluctuation. We, as an Association, have been trying to get back to the order which was originally drawn up in our Association Bylaws, back in the early 90ís. At last years meeting, I was elected President of the Association, which at the time seemed to be split into an East vs. West situation. From the Moor, a mention of the idea to "follow our bylaws" was repeated on several occasions,óin-reference on debate on how to handle particular motions on the floor. My first goal as President of this Association was to aim our organization back onto the track which was outlined within our bylaws. I studied our bylaws, and was astounded by the information provided to us, within the document. Answers to Questions and debates from the past several years, which have created rifts between members and clubs, we right there, waiting to be uncovered to allow us to get past the procedural problems bogging us down.

The bylaws are our outline. They are our Rules, and we are bound by them, if we want to be a true Association. There are a few Associations out there that have only one officer. That person handles all-Association business1 and-that person-feels-that they are being dumped on by others by being forced to make all the decisions. Well, to me, that represents a- dictatorship-rather than an association. All the members of the Association should be allowed to take part within the Association, and thatís what will allow the Association to become stronger and more helpful to all of itís membership.

Ahead of us lies a major restructuring within all Associations in the United States. This Plan will lead to changes that will, hopefully, benefit us in the Montana Association, and those others in United States Track and Field. But, they will force us to comply with regulations that do not currently exist. These regulations demand-that we follow our bylaws, and that we continue to develop as a productive Association. This means that we may need-to continue with our trend of getting new members invoked, which will continue to help us to grow and expand our programs.

We have done wonderful things within our Association this past year. Youth Athletics has hosted a great State JO championships which will lay the groundwork for next years State and Regional Championships. Committee Chair Dave Skelton will share some of this information in his Youth Report. Dedication from the Youth Committee is what is making this resurgence work. We participated in the Coaches Clinic in Great Falls, which has allowed us to educate coaches about USA track and field, as well as helped us to build relationships with those that educate a lot of our young athletes. We have developed a Board of Directors, as per our bylaws and have met on several occasions to discuss ways of improving our Association, and to make decisions regarding the operations of our Association.

The Board of Directors is made up of all Officers and Committee Chairpeople. This board is made up of members of the Association that have stepped forward and said, "I want to help make our Association stronger." In the future, these Board meetings will be open to any member within the Association. In order to vote or debate, you must be a member of the board, however. At the present time, we do have board seats open. Let me or another board member know if you may be interested in becoming more involved in the directing of our Association.

An Association is a political body. There-is a-fair share of politics involved in any Association, including our own. We need to continually realize that there is many different opinions and beliefs that are held by others within our Association. We are not able to satisfy everyone, with every decision that has been, or will be made. If you want to have an opportunity to have your opinion heard, you must speak up at the proper time, and be recognized.

Criticism is a-natural part of any- decision-making process and should be noted-as-such. Personal attacks are not. I would like to suggest that we erase all personal differences that may have caused friction between members and start a new path, which will allow us to work together without fear of personal attacks, and reprisals brought forth by voicing our opinion. We have many valuable-members within our Association that may not feel as such because of past confrontations. From this day forward, I, as President of the Montana Association will make a supreme effort to clean the slate and start the Association anew, so that we may work together. under Roberts Rules of Order, to achieve the goals that we, as an Association have set for ourselves.


Youth Athletics Chairmanís Report

Sunday, September 19, 1999

Bill, Mary, Stu, Mavis, and Pam:

Sorry that I am unable to attend our annual meeting this year. However, as you all understand, family takes priority. Unfortunately, I had hoped to spend some time with some of the new youth clubs during out committee meeting, which means Mary Cowle from Butte, Conrad Peterson from Helena, and a representative from Great Falls will probably not attend. Dave and Donna Bennett I hope will still attend as they are real good for the association, and I plan to send Garan Marty to Missoula on my behalf with information to share with the members.

Iíve provided below some notes on what I had planned to discuss at the committee meeting in the morning, as well as the general meeting. I also wanted to make some motions for consideration by the general membership at the annual meeting, but will hope to have the procedures resolved with Bill and Pam before the meeting. However, with any voting that will occur, I am delegating Garan Marty authority to vote on behalf of the Bozeman Track Club.

Please take into consideration the following comments during the general meeting as the Youth Athletics Chairmansí Report. Look at this way, now you donít have to listen to me ramble for two hours! Good luck with the meeting and will keep in touch!

I. Goals

Because youth athletics playís such an integral part of USATF-Montana itís imperative that we strive to reinforce the goals, both long range and short range, that I believe the goals that Bill has set for a larger membership are healthy and the implementation policies are reasonable.

My principle goals that I shared with the association from a year ago are still in effect:

  1. 500 participants in the state track & field championships by the year 20001,
  2. provide a better quality experience for the members participating in track & field and cross county championships,
  3. increase the number of USATF clubs by better hands-on by the youth chair

II. Youth Track & Field

The 1999 State Track & Field Championships in Bozeman had excellent weather with good track conditions. Thus, eight new track & field age group records were set at the state championships. In general, the atmosphere and amenities that we offered was good. However, the presentation of awards and meet results could be improved tremendously. The M.S.U. facilities worked well, but the track program is taking a beating from the construction of the new football stadium. The M.S.U. coaching staff was great to work with. For the coaches and parents that were involved I sensed some great chemistry and I feel that the number of participants will increase next year.

The 1999 Regional Championships in Sheridan, Wyoming offered an excellent outdoor track & field facility, and I encouraged Art Baures, meet director, and Richard Bishop, Wyoming Association president, to continue to think about hosting the regional meet there again in the year 2002. I think itís the best site we can get for our members in Montana with exception of the west participants and clubs, like Eagle Flight. Of the three states in the region Montana had the most participants; Idaho and Wyoming were both very limited, thus the poor turn out (approximately 150 participants). Amenities were limited and they struggled with enough volunteers, as with any track meet. However, the most outstanding observation on my part was that all of the association officers for Wyoming were present to help run the regional meet, as well as support staff and officials from within the association. Something we did not have at the state championships! I am still trying to get the results from Art to post on our website, as well as the floppy for the regional results so we can automatically keep track of the new records, etc. (all three states are now on the Hy-teck software for USATF track meets.

Although I know it is the preference of Kim to require an F.A.T. system at the regional championships, I believe it was the biggest delay of this yearís regional meet due the five different age divisions. Also the number of participants does not have the track record to justify the timing system and it also does not justify the expense. This was the consensus of all three states in Region XI this year.

The 1999 National Championships in Omaha, NB. was hot and a true test for most of our athletes from Montana. I have heard a variety of stories and experiences about the national championships, but most of the parents and athletes have said they would like to go again - as long as it isnít so hot and humid! As whole it appeared Montana had a good representation based on the size of our membership. Although a lot of the athletes were overwhelmed by the competition I want them to all understand that by willing to accept the challenge, putting their best foot forward on a given day, accepting the end results, and being able to learn and find it as a positive experience makes all winners! It would have been easy for the athletes to just give up and not even compete, and it takes a certain personality and individual to compete at the nationals, regardless of their abilities. I understand that the majority of our statesí athletes also had PRís at the championships, which made it a positive trip in itself!

I will be submitting a bid to again host the state track & field championships in Bozeman, but have not yet determined the venue. Depending on what I can negotiate on the rental fee, I may host the state championships at the Bozeman high school facility. The date would still be at least one week after graduation in June. Our only other option to keep the rental fee reasonable will be to continue to charge an admission fee. Some feed back on this would be appreciated. However, a lot of the admission fees went towards the extra medals and programs. The program turned out good enough that I hope to have a sponsor for next year so they will free to the participants

The location of the Regional XI Championships in Montana next year is open for discussion and I think some serious time and consideration needs to be given to this at the annual meeting. Being the year 2000, we have to take advantage of it and pull off a great track & field meet. I sensed from talking to the representatives from Wyoming and Idaho that the location has to be within the central regions of the state.

The Bozeman Track Club would give serious consideration to submitting a bid for the regional championships if there was a serious and strong commitment from the association to help make it a success by providing the necessary volunteers and officials!

With my participation in the state AAIB high school track & field championships and then the USATF 3.0. State championships, we wonít have the officials and manpower to it off by ourselves! I would prefer that we donít wait until next spring to decide, as I want to work with Idaho and Wyoming over the winter and have some information available to hand out when we meet in February at the Simplot Games.

Next years Junior Olympic National Track & Field Championships are in Buffalo, NY. On July I hope to continue to find a means to organize a group for our Montana participants to travel to the national championships together, but will need some feedback from the youth programs that traveled to Omaha, NB.

III. Youth Cross Country

The 1999 USATF-Montana Jr. Olympic Cross Country State Championships is to be held on Saturday, November 6, 1999 in Big Timber, MT. (pending approval by the Association). The meet director is Dan Burmeister who can be contacted at 406-932-4363, P. 0. Box 188, Big Timber, MT. 59011. As agreed upon by the Youth for Region XI the top ten individual finishers and top finishing sanctioned club, for both boys and girls, in each of the five age divisions, will automatically qualify to advance to the USAIF Jr. Olympic Cross Country National Championships.

The National Championships will be held this year on Saturday, December 11 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and National Championships for the year 2000 will be held Saturday, December 9, in Reno, NV.

IV. Website

The use of our Associationís Website has become a great tool for youth athletics in Montana and has the potential to be an even more powerful means of promoting USATF in our state. After communicating with numerous Associations and USATF clubs across the country I have come to realize the potential there is. First and foremost for youth athletics is to update the results from the state track & field championship in terms of new records.

Secondly, I hope to submit an update on the Junior Olympics program and expand on the information available to youth in the state that has an interest in USATF-Montana. This involves a schedule of major road races across the state during the summer, which is one of the biggest requests of our youth in the state. I also believe that they donít need to all necessarily be USATF sanctioned, but there should be a strong focus on sanctioned races (Snow Joke Race, Sweet Pea, etc.).

Thanks to the assistance of Steve Yockim in Sidney, Montana and his digital camera, who just sanctioned a USATF club this past summer, we are attempting to provide some "eye wash" for our athletes to find themselves on the website, as well as create some good promotion for new members. To this end, it is important for us to recognize at least two of our athletes who placed in the national championships. We need to get pictures of both Leila Ben-Youssef from Sidney (national champion and new recorder holder in the Young Womenís Pole Vault) and Egen Graf from Bozeman (6~ place in javelin) on the website as part of the Junior Olympics program for our state. In addition, I would like to get digital pictures of the state cross-country meet in Big Timber in November for the website.

The entry form for the state track & field state championships that we currently have on the website is not what I want, so will be working with Pam to solve the problem. Once we have it figured out we would be adding the entry form for the state cross-country championships scheduled for Big Timber, which 4~ needs to be up and available pretty soon.

I hope as an Association that we can encourage all of the sanctioned clubs for the Association to provide us with some general information about their club for the website. If nothing else to give new members who may be interested in starting a new club an idea of the USATF clubs currently in the state, as well as the variety and range of USATF programs in the state. I sense some individuals are reluctant to start a program because they feel it needs to be "big time" in terms of membership, financial stability, sponsored events, tightly structured, etc. A short blip from each of our sanctioned clubs on our website will easily demonstrate how "open ended" they can be in starting a USATF program.

I would like to see us access more links so we can be the "go to" guy in the state for information on running, cross-country, road racing, etc. Examples are Youth Runner, MHSA site, F. Website Links

V. Newsletter

The newsletter is another great opportunity for the Association to keep our memberships informed, but on the other hand it is also a great chance to give special recognition to our members who are so deserving (example: establishing new records, special awards, or finishers in nationals). Needless to say, I missed the opportunity to take advantage of including the track & field results, at the state, regional, and national levels for this season. I would hope that we still might be able to send out a fall newsletter if our budget permits. If not, 1 would ask the Association to see what the possibility would be of me placing an update from our Junior Olympics track & field circuit on the website. I feel there are at least eight to ten athletes in the state who are USATF members and who are deserving of our associationís recognition.

VI. USATF-Montana Youth Athletics

With the millennium year I will be striving to develop a few committees that will focus on not only strengthening the youth program, but the association in general. These will include:

  1. club recruiting
  2. promoting Jr. Olympic events, and
  3. establish a "pool" of meet officials for the Jr. Olympics program.

With regard to awards for the Jr. Olympic program, I feel the team trophies for the track & field state championships are going to encourage more USATF clubs and a larger membership at the youth level. In addition, the state "champ" medals and co-ed relays I think are going to start generating a larger interest at the high school level. On the other hand, the participant ribbons for the younger three age groups were a great touch and the response from parents and coaches were overwhelming, and reassuring that we are headed in the right direction for the next two to three years. Although there was some added expenses for the Association,

I strongly believe that our membership is going to start increasing rapidly if we stay with the strong commitment of offering a great experience for the participants, parents, coaches, and spectators at our state championships.

I would like the Association to start giving thought in the next couple of years to starting a scholarship program for graduating members who wish to continue their education at the collegiate level. It may seem far-fetched right now, but I feel it is consistent with our mission statement and healthy for the credibility of the Association. I will continue to follow up on this at the next Board of Directors meeting. (added report here from Gavin).

I would also like to request that the Association give consideration to recognizing non-sanctioned USATF events at the state championships and establishing a state meet record for the high school co-ed relays. Although I have not received all the answers from the national office, it appears that a state Association may have the authority with the understanding that such non-sanctioned events are also events that you cannot advance to the next level of competition. In particular, I will want to propose prior to the next track & field season that we recognize the high school co-ed relays as a state event and be able to list a record for the event in the year 2000.

In keeping with Billís goal of 1,000 members, I am going to pursue over the next couple of years to hosting an open and masters division with r~ the Jr. Olympic State championships. This probably wonít happen for a couple of years, but I will be pursuing the reality of it all as I get some feedback.

I am also giving consideration to incorporating a division for USATF Disabled Handicap competition, which is receiving a whole lot of positive feedback from the Special Olympics people here in Bozeman. They are showing a great interest and if We can find a volunteer from their program to coordinate such an event, we might seriously look into it.

We will be hosting a race-walking clinic here in Bozeman, early next spring to lay the groundwork for some great race walking competition at the state championships next year. We almost took a shot at holding the clinic this fall, but itís to close to the cross-country season and the demonstrators/instructors are no longer available.

VII. USATF-Montana Membership Fees

I had hoped to discuss membership fees at the annual meeting. However, as I wonít be attending I still want to share my thoughts. Some of the amenities that I have asked the Association to assist the youth program with did not come free. Thus, tapping what limited revenue we already have. But for me providing every possible amenity for our members is almost more important than the competition itself--- I said almost!

Although I do not believe this is an incorrect statement for the younger age divisions of the Junior Olympics. On the other hand some of the amenities that we offered at the state track & field championships benefited all of the participants. None the less, I feel boosting the membership fee will dilute our efforts to promote the benefits of a USATF membership card for the youth of our state. I think once we have established a track record of hosting "top-notched" state championships then we can give consideration to increasing membership fees. The focus needs to be on increasing our membership numbers, which will ultimately increase our revenue ability.

VII. Comments

After one year as youth chair for USATF-Montana I must confess that it has been a challenge, but an exuberant one at that. I believe there is a lot of potential with youth athletics in our state, but I think the success will lie in the number of volunteers who will step up to plate and sharing a vision for the program with me. My regards to the members of the Association and my apologies for not attending our annual meeting for the year of 1999. Thank you.

Dave Skelton

Youth Athletics Chair


Travel Policies Proposal


USATF Convention Travel Policies

Philosophy Statement:

As an Association looking to continue to provide new and improved services and information to our members, and at the same time to continue to strive to reach a level of excellence in all aspects within the entire USATF structure, we value and recognize the importance of having representation at the USATF convention. The Montana Association believes in providing some financial support for selected members to attend the convention and thus shall have an item in the budget each year for this purpose.

  1. Budget:
    The Finance committee annually recommends to the Board the amount of Money to be budgeted for attendance and participation at the USATF National Convention. The proposed budget is to be developed by the Finance committee, and is to be presented to the Board of Directors at the Spring BOD meeting.

  2. Applying for USATF Montana support:
    Delegates to the National Convention are selected by each Sport Supervising Committee Chair. This selection, is subject to the concurrence of the Association President and approval of the Board of Directors. Delegates who want to be considered for support must submit a statement indicating why he/she wants to attend the convention and the potential value of his/her attendance to the Montana Association. This statement is due to the President within two weeks of selection as a delegate. At that point, a selections committee will review applicants and chose those which qualify for funding.

  3. Criteria for Selection:
    a. active member of Montana USATF
    b. must have demonstrated interest in the affairs of the Association
    c. able to effectively represent the Association interest on issues
    d. attendance at the convention is primarily to represent the Associations interests
    e. must plan to be in attendance at all meeting of your assigned sports committee

  4. Responsibilities for Reporting Back:
    a. a typed report summarizing your activities at the convention and how you represented the Associationís interests must be submitted to the President by January lís, following the convention, the report will then be submitted to the Board of Directors at the Spring BOD meeting. This report will be edited and published in our Associationís newsletter.