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TK1451
Athletics West 5/9/2009 4:56PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Athletics West was before my time and wikipedia and google seem to be worthless on providing information about it, and the search function on this site only led to a thread telling someone to use the search function, a thread selling gear, and a thread asking who the first athlete to sign was. So I was curious if anyone had much in-depth knowledge about Athletics West. All I really know is that I see a lot of pictures of people wearing Athletics West gear in my high school coach's photos from when he was a world-class distance runner and that Mary Slaney and Virgin ran for them. Who started it? When was it started? Who funded it? Were they centrally-located like the OTC groups or were they as spread out as, say, Adidas athletes? When/why did it disband?
interested onlooker
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 5:01PM - in reply to TK1451 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I was going to bump the buying thread but I'll ask here, anyone know how much the gear was being sold for on the other thread? If it's reasonably priced I'm interested.
Avocados Number
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 5:32PM - in reply to TK1451 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Malmo can probably tell you a lot about Athletics West.

Athletics West was founded by Geoff Hollister, was affiliated with Nike, and was based in Eugene. I don't recall Virgin's affiliation with Athletics West or Nike; he ran in Adidas shoes, and wore an Adidas logo. (He eventually formed his own "club" called Frontrunner Sports, although I'm not sure whether the club had any members other than Virgin.)
gettysburg
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 5:40PM - in reply to Avocados Number Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
virgin was a charter member along with malmo and jim crawford among others.

to the original poster - the whole AW story is all over lets run. looking for it should not be all that hard.
bloomsbooker
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 5:54PM - in reply to gettysburg Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Patti Catalano and the magic AW singlet might have been first fsmale to sign. (ANN AUDAIN??)
Avocados Number
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 5:58PM - in reply to TK1451 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
To answer a few more of your questions: Although AW was based in Eugene, it had athletes throughout the U.S. It was formed in about 1977, and remained active and prominent into the mid-'80s. I'm not sure when or why it officially "disbanded." I do know that the shoe companies generally tightened up on sponsorships around 1984 (particularly after the U.S. Olympic team was selected), and the introduction of "over the table" prize money and appearance fees for "amateur" athletes shortly before that also seemed to loosen the economic ties between individual athletes and clubs.
gettysburg
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 6:06PM - in reply to bloomsbooker Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

bloomsbooker wrote:

Patti Catalano and the magic AW singlet might have been first fsmale to sign. (ANN AUDAIN??)


mary decker was the first woman to join. she was working out with the group and whined her way on to the team.
Was there
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 6:17PM - in reply to gettysburg Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

gettysburg wrote:
mary decker was the first woman to join. she was working out with the group and whined her way on to the team.


Mary was the first to join but she didn't have to whine her way on the team. She was asked to join.
added perspective
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 7:40PM - in reply to Avocados Number Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Well, since at least 99.99% of the population doesn't recall Craig Virgin's affiliation with Athletics West...

That number may be a bit generous, but the point is valid enough. By your measure, I must be a rather rare bird because I do remember his relatively brief stint with Athletics West! Of course Malmo can speak much more authoritatively on this subject than I can, but I specifically recall an article authored by Virgin himself entitled something like "Why I Quit Athletics West." It was written during the latter part of the AW glory days, if I remember correctly. I couldn't find it online during a preliminary search, but I did find this interview that references Craig being a member of the club:
http://www.activeness.net/2006/03/going-distance-catching-up-with-craig.html
Cali Cali
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 7:46PM - in reply to Avocados Number Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Avocados Number wrote:

To answer a few more of your questions: Although AW was based in Eugene, it had athletes throughout the U.S. It was formed in about 1977, and remained active and prominent into the mid-'80s. I'm not sure when or why it officially "disbanded." I do know that the shoe companies generally tightened up on sponsorships around 1984 (particularly after the U.S. Olympic team was selected), and the introduction of "over the table" prize money and appearance fees for "amateur" athletes shortly before that also seemed to loosen the economic ties between individual athletes and clubs.


I'd really like to hear Jack Daniel's perspective on this but I doubt he wants to dredge that up. The best I knew at the time, Reebok/Aerobics + needing to free up $$$ to sign Jordan was the death of AW.
Not the truth
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 7:58PM - in reply to Cali Cali Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The closing of AW didn't have anything to do with Reebok or Jordan. They closed the AW facility in Eugene in 1986, a couple of months after Jeff Drenth died in the bathroom there. AW as a club continued until the late 80s early 90s.
jtupper
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 8:50PM - in reply to TK1451 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I don't know much about the early years at AW. Nike moved me from Exeter, NH to AW to run the lab there, which I did from 1983 to 1986. Many AW Athetes lived in Eugene, some did not. Some very successful ones who just came occasionally (often to be tested in the lab) included, Henry Marsh and Doug Padilla, who lived in Utah, and Brian Diemer (Michigan) and Joan Benoit (Maine). Bob Sevene was the main AW coach. Two of us ran the lab and there were several others who provided other services (massage, equipment, travel, etc.). One day in July (as I remember, it was in July), we were advised that the building would be closed and we should remove all our equipment. Fortunately, I had already decided to go back to college coaching (to begin that fall in Cortland, NY) but all the others who worked in that facility in Eugene, were terminated that day, but I can not speak for any deals any of them may have had that I was unaware of. I had a good time at AW, and we learned a lot in the lab.
Super duper
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 9:17PM - in reply to jtupper Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
How close did you work with Dick Brown, Mr Daniels? What kinds of tests did you do on athletes and did you ever publish any of the work?
Cali Cali
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 9:24PM - in reply to jtupper Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Thanks for the first hand account. I knew they dropped the bomb with no notice but hadn't realized you were unscathed. Happy to hear it.
Track Fan
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 9:36PM - in reply to Avocados Number Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Craig Virgin was one of the orginial AW members. He was only with them a very short time, I dont think even 6 months.
Track Fan
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 9:40PM - in reply to Avocados Number Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Nike disbanded AW at the end of 1989. It's purpose was to have a more consistent brand image with their new Nike International line. Steve Monaghetti was the first athlete tocompete in the Nike International uniform at the 1989 Philadelpia Distance Run. Starting in 1990 their were 2 tiers of Nike runners; Nike International, the ones Nike felt had the best chance at Olympic medals, and then the second tier just competed with the Nike logo, not as much $$$ for those athletes but they still did ok.
Super duper
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 9:43PM - in reply to Track Fan Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Track Fan wrote:

Craig Virgin was one of the orginial AW members. He was only with them a very short time, I dont think even 6 months.


Virgin was with AW from September of 1977 to September of 1978. 12 months. He was their 1st national champion, winning the 1978 AAU 10k.
Track Fan
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 10:23PM - in reply to Super duper Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Did not know it was for that long. Thanks.
ridge hs
RE: Athletics West 5/9/2009 11:24PM - in reply to gettysburg Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
[quote]gettysburg wrote:

virgin was a charter member along with malmo and jim crawford among others.

to the original poster - the whole AW story is all over lets run. looking for it should not be all that hard.[/quot

jim crawford ran at the same hs as i did, although 20 year gap. i don't think he was great in hs, but i know he went to college somewhere in arkansas and went on to run 3:55 -56. anybody know other details? always interested in the past.
pre841
RE: Athletics West 5/10/2009 1:10AM - in reply to ridge hs Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I have a June, 1979 Athletics West Newsletter (Keeping Track) in amongst my old running magazines. The front page article is written by Jim Crawford ("Athletics West Takes the High Road").

Some of the names mentioned in the results of the newsletter include:
Bruce Jenner Classic Mile = Mike Manke (4:02.7), Ed Spinney (4:13.7); 800m = Tiny Kane (1:51.3); 5000m = Doug Brown (13:54.8), Paul Geis (14:00.0), Thom Burleson (14:07.2), Alex Kasich (14:14.0) Jim Crawford (14:40.0), Mike Long (15:10.0); Shot Put = Al Feurbach (64'4.25"), Mac Wilkins (62'6.5"); Javelin = Bob Roggy (289'7), Duncan Atwood (264'3"), Rod Ewaliko (263'10).

Boston Marathon: 15th Tony Sandoval (2:15.23), 25th John Lodwick 2:16.41, 36th Kevin McCarey 2:17:50, 266th Lionel Ortega (2:29:44)

Oregon Twilight: Decathletes Roger George and Craig Bigham score PRs in some individual events. Henry Marsh ran 8:05.1 in an opne 3000m.

Then there is a whole article on the team members' gambling losses while altitude training in Tahoe.
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