This Ventura County track competition league traces its origins to 1976. Prior to that time, there was competition among grade schools and Jr. High Schools in the county, but teams were first formed and a competition schedule conducted in 1976. The clubs were: Newbury Park, Moorpark (called SECO), Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, and Ojai. The Ventura YMCA was the sponsoring agency. The first record of Varsity Finals is from 1978 held at Newbury Park H.S.
Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks split into two clubs for the 1979 season. Fillmore was added in 1984. Santa Paula was added in 1986. Rio Mesa competed as an associated (not a full member) club from 1993 until 2003. Santa Barbara was an associated club from 1999 until 2006.
The league has continually evolved. The original Bantam Age group was the same as our current Midget Age group. The Bantams were originally called “Mighty Mights.” In 1981 the age groups were re-named to match up with the National age group track and field governing body, TAC. In 1996 and 97 we had a “Tadpole” age group with boys and girls age five and younger (age group below the Gremlins.) Tadpoles were discontinued in 1998. In 1983 all yard races were changed to metric distances. This was not a significant change for all distances except for the change between 100 yards and 100 meters. That was a 10% change in distance. Triple jump was added for the older girls in 1983 and in 1990 all triple jump events were eliminated. Also in 1990 we began measuring all field events in metric. This was changed back to feet and inches in 2004. Hurdles have changed in distance, height, and spacing several times. Hurdles for Midgets were added in 1995. Spacing for all age groups was changed again in 2004 to match USATF (the national age group track and field governing body that replaced TAC.) Over the years High Schools in the county began to put in all-weather tracks. The first was at Rio Mesa H.S. and the league held all of its Varsity finals meets at that facility for several years in the 1990’s. All-weather tracks are now available at most High Schools.
In 1990 the league incorporated as a 501 c(3) organization and left the YMCA. At that time we also formed the Ventura County Condors as a separate team for all league athletes to compete in national and international competition under USATF. All members of the governing boards of the league and member clubs are volunteers putting in thousands of hours over the years. Hundreds of men and women have served in this organization and quality personnel are continually rotating through as their children join, age, and go on to high school. This league has been a valuable asset to the area.
During our history, we have had several athletes win national championships and set national records in individual and team competitions. Many of our athletes compete for the area high schools and gone on to college competition in Track and Field and in other sports. We have had two alumni athletes who have competed in the Olympics.
(Larry Olson , May 2006)