Club Northwest Responds To USATF's Response
This 3-part drama started with an e-mail from Club Northwest's Becca Gillespy Peter to USATF's interim CEO, Mike McNees.

USATF responded with a release (based on a response McNees sent to Peter) for T&FN to post.

And while we don't want to get into a
Socratic dialectic here, this is Peter's response to McNees's missive:

<Elite Beat
magazine as they are not elite athletes.

The list of meets <>  this guideline would be enforced at only states, "USA Cross Country Championships". If you look at the list of National Championships <> , the winter cross country championships is called, "USA Cross Country Championships <> ."

A reasonable person would assume that a list stating a guideline will be enforced at the USA Cross Country Championships means it will be enforced at the meet titled "USA Cross Country Championships" given that there is a meet with that exact title.

In February I asked Brian Brase [at the time, USATF's Director Of Events & Broadcasting] specifically if the uniform guidelines would be applied to Club Nationals. He said he did not believe that would be the case for 2011.

Given these facts and the absence of communication about this issue with the Club Council, Elite Development Clubs, the LOC and the affected athletes, and the fact this rule was not applied to our Club T&F Championships, we all had good reason to believe this guideline did not apply to our cross country championships.

You state yourself that this information was not posted to the meet website until September 30, and an email not sent out until early November, only a month before the meet. I believe that email only went to the clubs who have already registered for the meet, as Club Northwest never received a copy. Most clubs do not register for the meet until the last minute.

When you all decided this back in January, you should have decided _exactly_ which meets this would apply to and communicated this with the LOC for each meet.

The fact that this meet is a qualifier for an international meet is a recent development that occurred after we bid for the meet.

We (Club NW) took on financial responsibility for this meet believing that it would be business as usual at Club Nationals. Instead you have turned this into an administrative and financial mess for everyone involved and our club is the one that will lose in the end. The money that we lose on the meet is money that we would have spent on athlete support.

I have a simple compromise that would make everyone happy. The guidelines for the international team selection state that the athletes have to declare their interest in making the team. Therefore, only apply the uniform guidelines to those athletes.

This is not a televised meet, it should not matter what the sub-elite athletes are wearing. This would also make enforcement much easier for our poor officials who have been blindsided by this.

Then we can all sit down at the Club Council meeting in St. Louis and decide what the best course of action is for 2012.

Thank you,
Becca Gillespy Peter
Team Manager
Club Northwest>>