ATLANTA - May 10, 2019 -- Five east coast top middle distance Olympic Development Track & Field groups are teaming up to launch a new track league. The Eastern Track League creates opportunities for athletes to chase qualifying standards for U.S. and World Championships and for track and field fans up and down the East Coast to witness thrilling middle distance races between some of the sport's developing stars. Competition kicks off Monday, May 13 at the Swarthmore Last Chance Meet in Pennsylvania.
The league is made up of teams from Atlanta Track Club, the District Track Club, Furman Elite, Hoka One One New Jersey-New York Track Club and the Nashville Track Club, all of which had recognized a lack of racing opportunities on the east coast. With the creation of the Eastern Track League, six meets will provide athletes the opportunity to race the 800m, 1500m, 3000m steeplechase and 5,000m before the USATF Track & Field Championships on July 25 in Des Moines, IA.
"Between our five clubs we can create a competitive series that produces fast times," said Amy Begley, Coach at Atlanta Track Club. "Having such talent in our respective clubs will make it possible to chase national and world qualifying times without having to travel across the country or overseas."
The Eastern Track League while driven by individual competitors from each Club, is open to US and international athletes regardless of affiliation. Runners can accumulate points at the first five races in the league based on IAAF scoring tables. Athletes will choose their three best performances as they are being considered for the finals on July 13 in Washington, DC. The final meet will feature an 800m and a 1500m. Prize money will be awarded at the final meet.
"I believe that one of the keys to generating excitement around the sport is creating and fostering team rivalries," said Dave Milner, coach at the Nashville Track Club. "This is a start."
"All of our clubs also have a focus on giving back to the running community," said Tom Brumlik, coach of the District Track Club. "If we really care about that, then it's imperative that we make a strong push to build better track meets in our respective cities."
The league, a collaboration of like-minded clubs, includes existing and new events on the domestic competitive calendar.
"This Series allows the post-collegiate men and women in our club to compete in high quality, no frills competitions without the rigors of transatlantic or transcontinental travel during a key training times for us," said New Jersey-New York Track Club Coach Frank Gagliano.
While the league begins with five clubs and six meets, organizers say this is just the beginning of a new track and field hub on the east coast.
"The fact is, our country has gotten so much faster and deeper over the last several years," said Robert Gary, coach of Furman Elite. "I believe it will grow even more into the Olympic year"
Below is a calendar of meets for the inaugural season of the Eastern Track League. Learn more here.
Swarthmore Last Chance Meet
Meet of Champions
Marietta High School (GA)
May 31-June 1
Music City Distance Carnival
Vanderbilt University (TN)
800, 1500, 3000SC, 5000
Adrian Martinez Classic
Concord High School (MA)
800, 1500, 5000
Princeton University (NJ)
800, 1500, 3000SC
July 13 (Series Final)
DCRR Track Championship
Paul Dunbar High School (DC)
800, 1500, 3000SC