USATF names Sabra Harvey as 2017 Masters Athlete of the Year

Sabra pulled away from Kathy Martin at 2016 Perth worlds. Photo by Rob Jerome

Every year, USATF names a single Masters Athlete of the Year — sometimes at odds with the choice of the USATF Masters T&F Committee. So it is with 2017. That’s because USATF Masters LDR is part of the process, and the two committees alternate on who is recognized at the annual meeting. LDR star Sabra Harvey is the winner this year even with the stellar WR seasons of Kathy Martin and Bob Lida. USATF says: “Harvey will be honored Saturday, December 2, at the Jesse Owens Awards Banquet in Columbus, Ohio. The event is held in conjunction with USATF’s Annual Meeting.” The Document Library is pretty complete, BTW. Lots of masters reports.

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November 21, 2017  One Comment

Germany’s Margit Jungmann in the running for president of WMA

Margit is being term-limited out of executive VP, so president is next step.

In October 2013, Germany’s Margit Jungmann was elected vice president of World Masters Athletics at Porto Alegre worlds. At 2016 Perth worlds, she was re-elected. And if she has her way, she’ll replace Stan Perkins as WMA president at 2018 Malaga worlds. German sites say her nomination was decided at a recent DLV council meeting in Darmstadt. “The elections to the WMA presidency are planned as part of the Masters World Championships in Malaga on 8 September 2018.” Stan can’t run for a third term (after winning his first by one vote at 2009 Lahti world.) Who will challenge Margit? Rumors here and across the pond say it’ll be Gary Snyder of Massachusetts, our longtime USATF masters national chair. Margit is quoted as saying: “I would like to continue on the successful path that we have taken together in the past four years with the [masters]. At the top of the list of priorities is more professionalism in organizing the world championships.” In 2013, Margit was appointed to the IAAF Masters Commission. I don’t know what she’s done, but she’s at least got service credits. (I don’t see any track competition history for her.)

November 20, 2017  2 Comments

Prize money set in UK for Masters Grand Prix on June 23, 2018

Nifty track at Sheffield Hallam University.

British M45 sprint star Darren Scott shares more details on his Grand Prix series, which I noted four months ago. Darren writes: “The very first of our Grand Prix masters events will be held June 23, 2018, and is open for men/women over the age of 35 at Sheffield Hallam University Stadium. Nearest airports are Robin Hood airport Doncaster (just 30 miles away), Manchester Airport (45 miles) and East midlands (47 miles). The stadium is located on the tram line about halfway between the city centre and Meadowhall with a number of bus routes also serving the site. There is limited on-site parking for events in addition to large amounts of on-street parking in the surrounding area. Races will be graded on times, not age. That way you get a quality race. Electronic timing and wind gauges will be used for record attempts. Athletes from overseas are most welcome. The entry fee will be £7 for first event and £3 for extra events.” (BTW, 7 British pounds equals $9.25.)

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November 18, 2017  4 Comments

M55 Aussie high jumper draws 4-year ban for Perth doping positive

Volodymyr Shelever of Australia won M55 high jump gold at 2016 Perth worlds, but Thursday the IAAF revealed he’s been suspended until 2021 after testing positive for a banned substance. An Aussie site says he had this in his system: 6b-hydroxymethandienone and 17b-hydroxymethyl-17a-methyl-18-norandrost-1_ 4_ 13-trien-3-one (metabolites of Methandienone). That’s a steroid sold as Dianabol. But it’s good news for South Africa’s Neal Bredeveldt, who moves up to the gold position, and American Tom Foley, who now is due a silver. Here’s what IAAF shares: “(Date of birth 25.05.1961) AUS In competition, in “World Masters Athletics Championships”, Perth, AUS 05.11.16 4 years ineligibility from 17.02.17-16.02.21 From 05.11.16.” This reminds me of Chaunte Lowe, the W30 who moved up from sixth to third in the 2008 Beijing high jump results after three Russians ahead of her were caught doping eventually. That an Aussie was a offender is happy news for WMA President Stan Perkins, a fellow Oz-man. It proves Stan is powerless to protect a countryman (thus showing he has no control over who gets drug-tested). But the embarrassment stings.

Volodymyr jumps at October 2016 meet. Anyone know how to contact the gent?

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November 16, 2017  2 Comments

Sean the blogger shows how not to write about masters track

Generic geezer sprinter used with Sean post has no photo credit. (But perhaps it’s Alex Rotas)

A sportswear company in the UK has a clueless blogger named Sean, who writes for kudos-sports.com. He interviewed British masters official Maurice Doogan and wasted his time by reinventing the wheel. It appears Sean With-No-Last-Name saw a BBC story about Alex Rotas and her photos of elder athletes. Sean wrote: “Earlier in the summer, a BBC report on Masters Athletics caused quite a stir. Hitherto hidden away entirely from the mainstream, Masters Athletics sees, shall we say, veterans competing in track and field. It is genuinely inspiring to see athletes as old as 90+ getting stuck into sport at a competitive level.” Had Sean done the least amount of research, he could have covered much more interesting ground. Instead, he slept-walk through his chat with Maurice. I suppose 1 percent of his readers will learn something, but I wish Sean asked better questions than: “If 35 is the minimum age requirement, is there a maximum?”

November 14, 2017  2 Comments

Eurovets report on ritzy ‘Management Workshop for EMA’s future’

Three weeks ago, I wrote about the coming powwow of Eurovets enchiladas in Frankfurt, Germany. I said: “One hopes the council reports out what they’re recommending at the Nov. 3-5 meetings.” Well, they delivered — Euro-fluff. Here’s what “KG” posted on the Eurovets site about the “Management Workshop for EMA’s future.”

Members of the Eurovets management meeting gather for a scruffy group shot.

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November 13, 2017  One Comment

M85 Brazilian thrower highlights South American WMA regionals

Mastersrankings.com reports that more than 1,500 athletes took part in the WMA South American Regional Championships that ended Sunday in Santiago, the Chilean capital. “Participants came from several nations outside of WMA’s South American Region including Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Curazao, Guatemala, Indonesia, Mexico, Netherlands and United States,” the story says. I found one Yank (M70 distancer Henry Weiland) and a Canadian (W55 multi-eventer Susanne Lauridsen). “The home country took home about 200 gold and over 550 total, Argentina won over 120 gold and 300 total and Brazil won the third most medals bringing home over 150 with over 75 being gold.” Brazil’s Takumi Matsushima set M85 South American records in the shot, discus, hammer and javelin. Here are women’s results, and here are men’s results. Lots of photos on meet’s Facebook page.

November 12, 2017  No Comments

4 years after the fact, Christian Cushing-Murray nets his M45 AR

Ray Knerr (left) and Pete Magill (right) visit with Cush after his AR 1500. Diana Hernandez photo.

On the Ides of March 2013, Christian Cushing-Murray was seven months away from turning 46. He stepped to the line of the first 1500 heat at the Oxy Invitational in Los Angeles and proceeded to chase kids half his age. He finished 13th in a fantastic 3:55.09, which I celebrated as an M45 American record. It beat the listed AR of 3:56.39 by John Hinton in 2007. (The listed WR is now 3:48.72 by Britain’s Anthony Whiteman.) But years passed, and crickets. No record listing. But this week, Cush learned that his AR application had been approved, and masters records czar Jeff Brower should be posting it soon. On Facebook, Cush said the mark went “unratified because of paperwork issues. … The performance meant a lot to me when I did it — it was the culmination of setting a goal, a year of preparation, and executing a solid race — but the record didn’t really mean much; it was enough to know I did it. Now, in my elder years, I cannot tell a lie: The official record does mean something to me, because I know how difficult — and fleeting — these things are.” Again, thanks to Jeff for righting a Sandy Pashkin wrong. And belated happy M50 to Cush, whose birthday was a month ago.

November 11, 2017  2 Comments

Carol Lafayette-Boyd called ‘Global Sports MVP’ on Canadian site

W75 sprinter/jumper Carol Lafayette-Boyd — a contender for WMA Female Athlete of the Year after setting five WRs in June and competing in WMA regionals in August — tells a Canadian news site she hopes to compete until she’s 100. We learn: “She hopes that her story can help people see that age shouldn’t stop you from starting something you’d like to try.” She says: “Don’t worry how well you are doing because look at me, 25 years later I’m doing better than the first two meets that I had.”

November 10, 2017  2 Comments

Aussies get chance at $100 gift certificates for completing surveys

Two Aussie schools are offering a chance at $100 gift vouchers or $150 digital cameras if you take part in their what-motivates-masters study. But they’re apparently targeting folks who competed in the Australian Masters Games. “The first project will explore the reasons why people get involved in sport and how they continue to participate as they get older,” says one story. “Some athletes will be asked to complete surveys and others will take photos of things that are meaningful to their games involvement and will be interviewed about them later.” My reasons? Athletic immortality and shiny medals.

Tasmania hosted the Aussie Masters Games in late October. No cartoon cracks.

November 9, 2017  No Comments