Spanish statmaster Martinez shows how all-time rankings are done

Andres Martinez of Spain, an M55 runner, is renowned for stat-keeping. He posted his latest offering on Facebook. It shows the top 300 age-graded men’s 100 performers in Spanish history (or at least since 2005). For example, the top hombre is Nolet Canto, 44, who clocked a 10.89 this year. The No. 3 man is Sanza Agreda, who ran 14.02 in 2010 — at age 75. Such lists are a wonderful way of showcasing all age groups. I hope Andres is using the current age factors from World Masters Athletics. Some online forms are dated. Andres also has posted an all-time age-graded list for men’s 1500.

Click to see full list of top 300 age-graded 100-meter dashmen in Spanish masters history.

Click to see full list of top 300 dashmen in Spanish masters history.

September 29, 2014  No Comments

Confessions of a meet director: How Club West got canceled

High-profile October meet bit the dust this year.

High-profile October meet bit the dust over money.

Track meets, like money, don’t grow on trees. But in SoCal, masters athletes have a rich choice — from USATF association and region meets to several all-comers series and Senior Olympics with auto timing. Beneath that sunny surface, however, lies a cold truth. Masters meets put on by clubs and others are struggling to stay alive. That fact emerged in a brutally honest reply I got when looking into the cancellation of the popular Club West Masters Meet this year. The club site says only: “Masters Track and Field Meet – held on the first or second Saturday of October each year. The Masters & Open is cancelled for 2014 but will be back in 2015.” So I wrote Andy Hecker, co-meet director of Club West with Aussie Olympian Beverley Lewis. Andy’s answer is shocking, painful to read. I’ve decided to print it (with permission) to start a conversation on how masters track can assure success for meets, and perhaps look to new business models. My suggestion: Start an endowment via USATF, and subsidize meets with the interest income.

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September 28, 2014  9 Comments

Al Oerter could have been an Olympic contender in 1984 — at 47

Saturday, I made more progress on the National Masters News project — uploading 60 issues to Now 88 issues (the first nine years) are online as PDFs. So many revelations, so little time. But a favorite was the issue of August 1984, which told of hammer-star Ed Burke making the Olympic team at age 44. But I didn’t know Al Oerter had his eyes set on a fifth gold medal — at 47. Al Sheahen was editor, and even though his byline was missing, I presume he wrote about Al’s stepping in a “hammer hole” and injuring himself two weeks before the Trials. Al also quoted Al: “What about 1988? ‘Well, they say I’m already old at 47. I’ll be 51 then, so what the hell,’ [Oerter] laughed. ‘I know I’m going to be throwing over 200 feet, but how far over, I don’t know. But if I can make the qualifying distance for the Trials, obviously I’ll try to make the next team.'” Actually, I’m still missing Issue 74 (October 1984). I expect that soon from the commercial outfit that finished scanning 2,000 pages this month. In any case, check out these marvels of reportage. Sheahen was a helluva writer and hell-raiser.

Ed Burke was shown on cover of August 1984 National Masters News for making the Olympic team at 44.

Ed Burke was shown on cover of August 1984 National Masters News for making the Olympic team at 44. He threw the hammer 235-7. Incredible.

September 27, 2014  One Comment

Masters shooter Angela Jimenez gets love from UK newspaper

American Angela Jimenez, an art photographer who focuses on geezers, is back in the news. She’s featured in The Independent. This nice little story starts out by featuring M95 sprinter Manuel Gonzal Munoz. Reporter Adam Jacques writes: “Nor is he the only nonagenarian athlete out there: almost 50 competed in last year’s track-and-field world championships … and there are thought to be around 9,000 male and female senior athletes who compete at meets globally.” I think that figure is closer to 90,000. Whatever. At least Angela has her say: “I’ve always been interested in projects linked with the human body, especially those dealing with subcultures that challenge visual stereotypes.” We learn that she “usually shoots digitally but for ‘Racing Age’ she borrowed an old-fashioned Hasselblad medium-format film camera: “My idea was that this camera was like the athletes’ bodies – slower and harder to move, a little harder to use.”

Tip for shooting masters: Get way low and tilt camera up. We look studlier.

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September 26, 2014  2 Comments

Japanese gent crushed three M90 WRs at WMA Asian regionals

Middle-distance star Yoshimitsu Miyauchi

Middle-distance star Yoshimitsu Miyauchi

We’re just now learning about world records set at the Asian Masters Athletics Championships — even though WMA brass were on the scene and could have flogged the news on their website. Anyway, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun mega-newspaper reports: “The five-day competition featured 2,900 athletes from 24 countries and regions, including 1,944 Japanese. The oldest Japanese participant was Hidekichi Miyazaki, 104, from Kyoto Prefecture. Yoshimitsu Miyauchi, 90, from southern Kagoshima Prefecture, set world records in the 800 meters, 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters for those between 90 and 94.” His times were 3:50.25, 8:07.09 and 29:59.94, according to the crazy-ass results site (Use Google Chrome to see translation. Click on event number for results.) Yoshi smashed the listed WRs of 4:04.85 (Holger Josefsson of Sweden), 8:07.17 (Holger again) and 31:25.45 (Gordon Porteous of Britain). Nice job! (Yoshi’s been setting records for years, BTW.)

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September 25, 2014  No Comments

Seto: Post results on before brief outage

John Seto of writes: “The rankings submission form will be shut off starting Saturday, September 27, and back up by October 4, so please submit any results you want to before then. The site and all the lists will be available during the shutdown. I will be working on making some database changes, website upgrades and data correction during this shutdown period. Consequently, the multiple athlete results that some of you have sent and my meet result conversions and insertions may not be done until after the shutdown. Please pardon the delay inserting results.”

Me hopes John will give homepage a face-lift as well. It's gotten entirely too junky and self-promotional. He deserves support for incredible work, but give visitors a navigation break!

Me hopes John gives homepage a face-lift. It's gotten entirely too junky and self-promotional. He deserves support, but give visitors a navigation break!

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September 24, 2014  7 Comments

Guido Müller named IAAF World Best Master for record 3rd time

Guido also won WMA AoY in 2004 and 2009.

For the third time in a decade, Germany’s Guido Müller has been named WMA World Masters Athlete of the Year (male division). WMA didn’t reveal the winner, however. The Eurovets spilled the beans. The news leaked thusly: “Guido Müller made the double. He became European Best Veteran and now he will be honoured in November in Monaco during the annual IAAF Gala. Well done Guido – stay healthy and fit!” The winner of WMA World Best Masters Athlete (female division) has not been publicly divulged, but scuttlebutt says Australia’s Lavinia Petrie, a W70 distance record-breaker (5K and 10K), also is headed for Monaco. (I wrote about her in March.) I’m still steamed about Olga Kotelko not getting the honor. But a posthumous award wasn’t in the cards for her. Meanwhile, WMA thinks the biggest news in Masterstrackland is elections at the Asian Masters Athletics General Assembly: “As part of the General Assembly, elections for the Executive Committee and Council were held. The results of the election were as follows.” I won’t bore you with all the details, but Vigrantanoros Viwat of Thailand beat M75 hurdler Kyoshi Konoike of Japan for president. In any case, congrats to Guido and Lavinia — Oceania’s rep.

September 23, 2014  3 Comments

Olympian Jud Logan bellows, blows away M55 hammer WR

Vying to be the next Ed Burke (throwing hammer records into his 70s), Olympian Jud Logan set an M55 world record Sunday in an Ashland Masters Series meet in Ohio. YouTube video shows him smashing the listed HT record of 63.70 (208-11 3/4) several times, topped by a monster 67.27 (220-8 1/4). Haven’t seen results posted. But the USATF calendar shows it to be a sanctioned event — with Jud himself as the meet contact. No surprise on the WR, though. Jud set the M50 WR of 71.71 in 2009. The listed M55 WR was by Austria’s Hans Pötsch. Chuck Greene reports: “Jud celebrated his entry into the 55-59 bracket with a World-Record hammer throw in excess of 67 meters! The event (and performance) was highly anticipated. On hand for the festivities were USATF officials Jim and Kathy Whettenhall; they brought along two steel tapes!”

September 22, 2014  12 Comments

Dick Richards adds M80 mark to his set of U.S. long jump records

Dick, shown winning at 2010 Sacto nationals, takes good advantage of his speed in the LJ.

Coming back from a hammie pull earlier this season, M80 Dick Richards long jumped 4.22 (13-10 1/2) Sunday at the San Diego Senior Olympics to beat the listed American record of 4.19 (13-9) by Mel Larsen 10 years ago at Decatur nationals. It’s his third AR. (He holds M65 and M75, too.) Prepping for 2015 worlds, Dick also ran the 100 in 15.20. Also returning from layoffs were masters greats including Jim Selby, Doug Smith and Lynn Naftel, all doing well on Mesa College’s Mondo track. In addition, Nadine O’Connor fell a fraction short of a W70 American record in the long jump, and Rita Hanscom ran another great 300-meter hurdles in W60. See results below. Nadine’s jump of 3.82 (12-06 1/2) was close to the AR of 3.84 (12-7¼”) set by Audrey Lary at Decatur nationals. Rita’s 53.86 in the long hurdles was a good go at Phil Raschker’s AR of 52.17.

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September 21, 2014  3 Comments

Nick Berra repeats at Runners Pentathlon; Athenas top team

Nick Berra is a beast at the runners pentathlon — an annual event contested this year at Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. The meet was held August 10, and Chuck Shields graciously shared results, together with this writeup: “The 2014 Advanced Sports Chiropractic Runners Pentathlon was held at Carey Stadium and Athletic Complex on the campus of Germantown Academy. The competition was a USATF-sanctioned event produced by the Greater Philadelphia Track Club. Runners competed in five events, 3000m, 200m, 1500m, 100m (in order) with the final event being the option of the 400m or 800m. 2014 was the third year for the team competition in which three-person teams competed in the same 5 events, but in separate heats. The scoring was age-graded with cash prizes for the top five individuals. All participants received award certificates proclaiming that they were “Still Alive after Five!” The winning team also received a cash prize.” The individual results are here. The team results are here. And a series of short videos are here. Nice work! Video shows Nick and other top finishers.

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September 20, 2014  2 Comments