By Jay Young
David Reinhardt has held nearly every imaginable administrative, official and coaching position when it comes to track and field. As Director of Athletics and Health & Wellness for Chautauqua Striders, he has spent the last few years making sure that the biggest meets in the area come off without a hitch.
David Reinhardt makes a point during the USATF Region 2 Championships at Strider Field in 2009.
P-J file photo
Now, after being named the Youth Northeast Zone Representative for USA Track and Field in December, Reinhardt's job will mostly stay the same-but the scale will change significantly.
Working with USATF, Reinhardt will now oversee the biggest meets across Regions 1 and 2, which includes national events in New Jersey, Maine, Delaware, West Virginia and Connecticut.
"I have done track and field at all different levels," Reinhardt said of the change. "I have had worked in the Niagara Association as the youth chair from 2003 until 2011, they run the Junior Olympics and all of the youth programs that we do," he said.
The Niagara Association is one of several parts of the USATF, which is divided into associations and regions across the country.
"This September I was elected the president of our association," said Reinhardt. "We have over 1,600 athletes, over 1,000 of those are youth, we have several different competitions for cross country, track and field, marathons and trail running."
After serving as the youth chair for eight years, Reinhardt was elected as the Niagara President in 2013 before earning his newest appointment as zone representative.
"I got a phone call in November of last year from our national youth chair, he asked me if I would be interested in being the zone youth representative," said Reinhardt.
Reinhardt's experience organizing and running meets over the past decade made him the natural choice for zone representative, especially after his role as meet director for the Region 2 Championships in 2002 and 2006.
It was at the USATF National Convention in Indianapolis that Reinhardt was officially nominated for the position by Bruce Long of Pittsburgh, who would be stepping down from the post.
So far the USATF has wasted no time putting Reinhardt to work in his new position. Just a few months after being elected he was on his way to New Jersey for one of the biggest meets in the country.
"After I was elected in December, we had our indoor zone championships in New Jersey in February, and then from there I was the assistant meet referee for the indoor championships in Baltimore in March," said Reinhardt.
Since taking over the position, it seems as though Reinhardt has spent more time on the road than he has in Jamestown, but he's just fine with that.
"The traveling is alright," he said.
See REINHARDT, Page B3
Growing up in a track family, Reinhardt has always been used to long roadtrips for meets around the country. In fact, he has made his new position as zone director a family affair.
"It is one of those things that when I talked to my wife about this I said 'We are going to do this as a family, ' " said Reinhardt.
He added, "My wife is usually helping out with registration and the kids are helping out with awards."
While last year's Junior Olympic meet was held at Strider Field, this year Reinhardt and some of the best track athletes from the Southern Tier will be making the trek out to Richard Stockton College in Gallaway, N.J.
Looking to make a splash at this year's meet will be Jordan Powers, who was a USATF All-American last year in the steeplechase. Also making the trip to New Jersey will be Maple Grove's Hope Pietrocarlo, who is the top seed in the 3,000 meter run.
Unsurprisingly, Reinhardt will be on the road before making the trip down to New Jersey this weekend.
"I'm heading to Massachusetts to oversee the Region 1 Championships at Fitchburg State University," he said.
Having Reinhardt as the new zone representative can only mean more good things for track and field in Section 6 and the Jamestown area.
"Dave is very well qualified, we have a very close relationship, he's actually my son-in-law," said Jamestown assistant coach Ron Graham "This was a good time for him to be in that position, it puts him in an inner circle with youth athletics all across the country."