LIU Post Alum Co-Chairs Olympic Trials
Stephanie Koithan,Internal Communications Coordinator
LIU Post, Long Island University
Vincent Lananna, who began his track and field career as a student and athlete at LIU Post, was co-chairman of the 2012 USA Olympic trials organizing committee. Currently the associate director of athletics and director of track and field at the University of Oregon, Lananna credits his track and field beginnings at LIU Post for the beginnings of a distinguished career that has led him to the Olympic Trials.
The USA Olympic Trials, which were held from June 25 to July 2, determined which athletes would represent the USA in the London Olympics beginning July 27. Lananna headed up the entire event in "Tracktown USA," a nickname for the town of Eugene, OR. that has become synonymous with the top track and field honors in the nation, bestowed upon America's best athletes.
Lananna was a four-year standout runner on the LIU Post cross country and track and field teams. He captained the 1974 cross country squad, helping the Pioneers to a fourth place finish at the NCAA Division II Championships. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in history and psychology from LIU Post in 1975, he began his coaching career by mentoring the Pioneers cross country program for the next five years. In 1991 Lananna completed his Master of Science in Social Studies Education at LIU Post.
"My experiences at [LIU] Post provided me the opportunity to work with two of the finest people, men who have impacted my life tremendously, and they're Roy Chernock and Allen Dawson," Lananna told Newsday. "Both people, both of them great coaches, were so influential in shaping my life, teaching me to be a hard worker, and everything else," Lananna said. "Roy certainly taught me to fight for what I believed to be right; Allen was a great coach, and also tremendously modest and humble. Those were great lessons. I often think about all that."
Lananna has become one of the top track and field coaches in the country at the Division I level, including stints at Dartmouth (1980-92), Stanford (1992-03) and his current position at Oregon. He was a four-time NCAA Cross Country Coach of the Year at Stanford, and led the Cardinal to five team, and 22 individual, championships. He was also an assistant coach for Team USA at the Summer Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.
Over the years, Lananna's athletes -- at Dartmouth, Stanford and Oregon -- have claimed more than 40 conference and NCAA team titles, produced more than 35 NCAA gold medalists, and been members of six Olympic teams. Lananna was inducted to the LIU Post Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
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