USATF Pacific Members and PA-Connected Olympians
Compiled by Fred Baer and Cynci Calvin, and updated 7/15/2021.
KCRA’s Deirdre Fitzpatrick Interview with Robyn and Nick
- 20 km Race Walk Women 1. Robyn Stevens (1:35:13) Vacaville, CA; 1st Olympic Team
- 20 km Race Walk Men 1. Nick Christie (1:30:48) Vacaville, CA; 3rd Olympic Team
- Men’s Hammer: 3. Alex Young (Bay Area resident coached by Stanford Throws Coach Amin Nikfar… see “Who Knew” section below); 78.32m/256-11
- Women’s Discus Throw: (Stanford ’17) 1. Valarie Allman 229-5. This is the #3 all-time performance by an American. Allman holds the American record at 230-2, and she had the No. 2 all-time performance, 229-8, in the opening day qualifying round at the Trials.
- Women’s 5,000 Meters: (Stanford ’18) 1. Elise Cranny 15:27.81.
- Men’s 5,000 Meters & 10,000 Meters: (Stanford ’19) 2. for each event Grant Fisher ; 13:02.53 for 5K; 27:54.29 for 10K.
- Men’s 5,000 Meters: 4. alternate (Alameda, California – Oakland Magazine Feature) Cooper Teare 13:28.08 and ran the fastest final 400m
- Women’s High Jump: (UC Berkeley ’09 ) 2. Inika McPherson 6-4. (McPherson did not clear the Olympic standard of 6-5 but expects to be added when World Athletics releases its final Olympic rankings.)
- Men’s Decathlon: (Stanford ’18) 4. alternate Harrison Williams 8,306 points.
- Men’s Marathon: (Stanford ’11) 2. Jacob Riley 2:10:02
- Women’s Hammer: (UC Berkeley ’22; for Canadian Olympic Team) Camryn Rogers (75.52 meters, 247-9)
- Women’s Marathon (Stanford ’02; for Canadian Olympic Team): Malindi Elmore (2:24:50)
- Women’s Javelin: (Stanford ’19; for Australian Olympic Team): Mackenzie Little (60.90 meters, 199′-9.6″)
- Men’s 400m: (Stanford ’16; for Australian Olympic Team) Steven Solomon (46.82)
- Women’s Pole Vault: (Stanford ’12; for Greek Olympic Team) Katerina Stefanidi (4.8 meters, 15′-9″)
More! San Mateo resident and UC Berkeley Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Robyne Johnson is the Team USA Assistant Coach for the women’s jumps and multi-events, the same position she held for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Cal Bears Announcement
CLICK HERE for a complete list of the coaching staff for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Here’s a shout out to two athletes (Alex Young – Hammer and Tiana Bartoletta – sprints, long jump) who are listed as USATF Pacific members in the Trials’ news reports, but they are relatively recent arrivals to this association. Learn more below…
Alex Young – Hammer
Photo by August Frank, Oregon News Lab
While reading the Day three report (see below) of the 2021 Olympic Trials, Alex Young’s name popped up in the Hammer Throw recap, with his USATF association listed as USATF Pacific. Alex, as the report shows below is now an Olympian, after placing third in a stellar field. Here is additional information about Alex and his USATF Pacific affiliation.
Alex’s coach, Amin Nikfar, who is a dual US/Iranian citizen, was born in San Jose before moving to Santa Clara, where he was a two-time state shot put qualifier at Wilcox High School. His coach at Wilcox was two-time Discus Olympian Mike Buncic. Two-time Olympian and IAAF competito, Nikfar is a Cal Berkeley grad, where he competed in and coached throws, then coached at N. Arizona University (2006-2009), then back to CA to coach at St. Francis HS in Mountain View (2014). After one season at University of New Orleans, he moved on to three stellar seasons coaching at Southeastern Louisiana University (2016-2018). Nikfar returned to California to coach one season at Stanford (2019), and in 2020 moved back to North Carolina for a coaching position at the University of North Carolina.
Alex Young hails from LaVergne, TN and competed collegiately for Southeastern Louisiana University. Here Nikfar coached him to the U.S. hammer and weight throw titles and an NCAA weight throw championship in 2017. Young was an IAAF World Championships qualifier and NCAA hammer runner-up. Young has followed Nikfar for his post-collegiate throwing career, moving with him to Stanford and North Carolina. It was during his stay at Stanford that Young established his USATF Pacific affiliation.
Alex Young Runnerspace.com Interview post-Trials Hammer Competition
USATF Oympic Trials Day Three Hammer Event Report
“Kicking off day 3, the greatest competition in U.S. hammer throwing history saw Rudy Winkler (Ithaca, New York / USATF New York) finally take the American record away from Lance Deal after 25 years, as the defending Trials champion landed the 16-pound orb out at 82.71m/271-4 on his second attempt to add seven inches to Deal’s record. Winkler opened the competition by breaking the Trials record set in 1992 by Jud Logan with an 80.75m/264-11 and then followed up with his monster throw. In round four he hit 82.10m/269-4 and he ended up with five of his six throws beyond 80m/262-5. His record throw moved him to No. 20 on the all-time world performer list.
Winkler wasn’t the only one hitting peak form at just the right time, either, as Daniel Haugh (Marietta, Georgia / USATF Georgia) and Alex Young (LaVergne, Tennessee / USATF Pacific) both notched lifetime bests in the final round to claim their first Olympic berths. Haugh improved to 79.39m/260-5, and Young’s final toss landed at 78.32m/256-11. The trio will give Team USATF its greatest ever squad in the men’s hammer, led by gold medal contender Winkler. Hal Connolly in 1956 was the last American to win Olympic gold in the event, and Deal, who was the 1996 silver medalist in Atlanta, is the last U.S. medalist.”
Tianna Bartoletta, 100m, Long Jump
Cal Berkeley photo
From her youth until the present Tiana has excelled in the long jump and 100m sprint. The Elyira, Ohio native attended University of Tennessee. Her post collegiate career is highlighted by 3 Olympic Gold Medals – one for the 2012 4×4 100m relay which also produced a World Record time, and two in 2016, one for the long jump and one for a repeat win in the 4×4 100m relay. In late 2019, Tianna began coaching jumps and sprints at UC Berkeley, hence her USATF Pacific affiliation.
Tiana qualified for the 100m semis at this year’s Olympic Trials, but her quest to compete on the 100m Team USA ended in the next round. In the Long Jump, Tiana made it to the finals but finished 10th, so she will not be defending her 2016 Long Jump title at her 3rd Olympics.