Rex Harvey (1946-2019) was a towering figure in the world of Masters Track and Field.
He was someone who looked for what needed to be done and quietly stepped in to do it, from being a key figure in rescuing the 1997 WAVA Championships in South Africa to marking throws in the sun for hours on end.
Rex served eight years (2001-2009) as WMA’s Vice President-Stadia, responsible for the Track and Field events at World Championships. That, and his service as the Masters Representative on the IAAF Council, was the culmination of many years of involvement at the international level, including several terms as President of the NCC Region and serving as the USATF MTF Chair from 2016 until his passing.
As Chair, Rex was passionate about and committed to improving USATF’s Masters programs. He was instrumental in developing and refining the age grading tables. He developed the World #1 Program, enabling many US masters athletes to travel to the Indoor World Championships in Poland in 2019.
Before his involvement as an administrator, Rex had a distinguished career as a Combined Event athlete. He represented the US in international competition in the Decathlon and Pole Vault. As a masters athlete he set numerous American and World Age Group Records, won 13 consecutive National Masters Decathlon titles, and earned several world championships in the Decathlon, Pole Vault, and relays. In his lifetime Rex completed 162 Decathlons, reputedly the most of any athlete in history.
Rex earned a Master of Science degree at USC after attending Iowa State University on a track scholarship where he was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and participated in four NCAA University Division championships. A Vietnam War Air Force captain, Rex was a member of the US Military Track and Field team representing the US at international competitions and competed in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Decathlon trials.
Rex Harvey’s accolades include receiving the USATF President’s Award, WMA Honorary Life Membership (one of only three Americans so honored), and a WMA Special Recognition Award (also one of only three Americans so honored). Rex was inducted into the Masters Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2000.