Eurovets Prez Kaschke invites brass to Frankfurt for pricey meeting

Kurt (tall guy in tan suit) and EMA Council colleagues.

Kurt Kaschke, recently re-elected president of European Masters Athletics, has invited 20 of his Eurovets friends, mostly on the council, to a three-day meeting soon at the swanky Lindner Congress Hotel Frankfurt in Germany. EMA apparently is picking up the tab (at an estimated cost of $18,000). EMA General Secretary Helena Pires de Carvalho sent attendees email beginning: “The meeting in Frankfurt is for focus on the development of European Masters during the next four years.” She attached a PowerPoint (which I converted to a PDF) and an attendance list (also here). The “targets” of the meeting are listed below. Nothing out of the ordinary. But WMA President Stan Perkins isn’t listed (he often attends such soirees.) And the meeting isn’t listed on the EMA website. (Par for the course for Kurt, known to remove items from the Web.) So what are they up to? We’ll see. Major rules or statute changes presumably have to be made at a General Assembly, but one hopes the council reports out what they’re recommending at the Nov. 3-5 meetings.

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October 21, 2017  No Comments

USATF masters records get big rewrite; ratifications are expedited

Regina Jacobs now owns 6 masters American records.

My Hero of the Year is Jeff Brower, USATF Masters records chair, who has done a massive rewrite of the AR books and reformed the ratification system. Quietly updating USATF age-group records, he’s added marks as old as 1985 (an M60 5000 of 16:52 by Jim O’Neil, wiping out a recently listed 16:56.9 by Nolan Shaheed in 2012) and reached back to old IAAF world meets to remove two W35 records by Latrica Dendy. In this Google doc showing dozens of approved records, Jeff lists a half-dozen indoor and outdoor W35 middle-distance marks by Regina Jacobs between 1999 and 2003, when she retired after testing positive for the steroid THG. (Her earlier marks apparently stood as legal.) Olympian Jearl Miles-Clark is now credited with W35 indoor and outdoor records in the 400 and outdoors in the 800 — marks dating back to 2002 and 2004. Sandra Glover’s PR 53.32 in the 400 hurdles at 2005 IAAF worlds displaces the previously listed W35 record of 61.19 by Latrica at 2009 Lahti WMA worlds. Another notable update: Jackie Joyner-Kersee finally gets credit for her 6.79 (22-3 1/2) long jump at a 1997 Athens meet. (The previously listed AR was 6.50/21-4 by Willye White in 1974.) Just as momentous is Jeff’s announcement that masters records can be vetted and posted ahead of the annual meeting in early December.

These middle-distance marks are now listed as USATF age-group records.

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October 20, 2017  4 Comments

W60 Carol Finsrud named USATF Athlete of the Week for 2 WRs

Two weeks after Joy Upshaw won USATF Masters Athlete of the Week honors, another Hall of Famer got the same recognition for a record-setting outing. On Wednesday, W60 Carol Finsrud was cited for world records in the discus and throws pentathlon. (Official results have yet to be posted, but Indy HQ took my word for the marks, based on Carol’s self-reporting.) Also listed as notable was all-galaxy Kathy Martin. “Running an age-graded 15:47 (21:23 actual time), the 66-year-old Martin was the fastest female finisher at the USATF Masters 5K Cross Country Championships at Boston’s Franklin Park,” the story said. “Nat Larson — 55-year-old Larson had the fastest men’s age-graded time at the USATF Masters 5K Cross Country Championships at Boston’s Franklin Park, recording a 14:21 (16:56 actual time) to win by 16 seconds.”

Carol at 2016 worlds, winning W55 bronze despite 4 fouls. Rob Jerome photo

October 19, 2017  2 Comments

Club West Masters Meet returns to Santa Barbara on Oct. 22

Jim Hanley writes: “I just heard the good news that our meet, the California State Senior Games Championship, is confirmed for June 2, 2018, at Caltech. … On another subject, attached is a flier for the Club West Masters meet scheduled for Sunday, October 22, 2017. …. Note that there is a late fee for day of race signups. In many cases, and I can’t speak for the Santa Barbara people, you can have this waived if you contact meet management in advance and let them know that you are coming. … Even better is to register online at DIRECTATHLETICS.COM.” The meet was one of my favorites in the early aughts, where I met M100 thrower John Whittemore. Here is meet information.

Lynn Naftel (left) and Kathy Bergen battle at 2002 Club West Masters meet

October 18, 2017  3 Comments

Huntsman World Senior Games track meet starts (and an apology)

That’s not egg on my face. It’s a ham and cheese omelet. A week ago, I posted a rant about results not being posted for the Huntsman World Senior Games. Of course, a good reason existed: The track meet had yet to start. (It officially opened Monday, Oct. 16, at Dixie High School.) I apologize to meet directors Angie Poulton and Don DeNoon. (But please expedite results.) The really good news is that Rob Jerome is expediting his photos from St. George, Utah. Check out these early efforts.

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October 17, 2017  12 Comments

W60 Carol Finsrud finally claims legal discus and throws pent WRs

Carol joined Masters HoF 10 years ago.

After warming up at home recently in Lockhart, Texas, with all-comers throws beyond the listed W60 world records, Masters Hall of Famer Carol Finsrud reported on Facebook she notched two WRs last weekend at the Texas vs. The World meet at Texas State University in San Marcos. “I threw the discus 40.76 meters (133-9),” she writes. “The previous American record held by Carol Frost was 32.58 meters (106-11) and the previous world record was 39.24 (128-9) by Karen Illgen…. I also set the world record total in the throws pentathlon with a score of 4727 points. The previous American record total of 4451 points was held by Myrle Mensey and the previous world record total was 4637 points set just this June by Tiny Hellendoorn. I want to thank Seth Brower for putting on a great meet, all of the officials and volunteers, all my fellow throwers and their families, the Texas Throwers Club, and most importantly my husband Mike Graham!”

Here’s what we want to see: record paperwork for USATF poised for filling out.

October 16, 2017  8 Comments

Failing Times of India pretends Man Kaur is fastest W100 sprinter

Man Kaur is getting faster, but not WR fast.

For once, I have something nice to say about WMA and USATF and their record lists. Despite W100 Julia Hawkins not yet having gone through the annual meeting records review, her 39.62 over 100 meters at the June National Senior Games is listed as the American and world age-group record. This is important because in India, W100 Man Kaur is still being depicted as the fastest female centenarian over 100. The Times of India, which apparently has no Internet access or phone lines, calls her the record-holder and quotes her as saying: “I am preparing myself for the World Masters Athletics Championship in Spain next year. Of late, I have been running four seconds below my world record time (1 min 14 seconds) and I am sure of breaking my record again.” Who has the heart to break the news to Man? Certainly not a top paper in India.

October 15, 2017  2 Comments

How I fared on San Diego TV, using the M-word in political chat

“How dare he insert masters track into a political discussion!” That’s something nobody said Friday after my appearance on San Diego’s public radio-TV station. In my debut on the KPBS Roundtable, a weekly show featuring local journalists discussion current events, I defended the idea of 84-year-old Dianne Feinstein running for a sixth term in the U.S. Senate. I actually cited the example of 100-year-old Don Pellmann and his record-setting Senior Olympics outing two years ago. In any case, I was there to discuss my two-part series on a 25-year-old church secretary appointed to the La Mesa-Spring Valley school board despite having little contact with public schools. (Her main advantage over her deeply experienced rivals? She’s a Republican. The folks she beat were Democrats. Conservatives dominate the board.) My segment is at the end.

October 13, 2017  One Comment

November street mile for over-65s features M60 Steve Scott visit

Ryan Lamppa, founder of bringbackthemile.com, shares news of a street mile on the Oceanside coast, a half-hour north of San Diego. It’s called the Tri-City Medical Center Festival of Senior Miles. The race targets 65-plus, but will include a cameo by former American mile record-holder Steve Scott, 61, who coaches in the area. Ryan writes of the event at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22: “The cost is $30. Each senior participating will receive a T-shirt, Tri-City Medical Center backpack, custom Trot medal and Senior Mile neck ribbon plus free finish line photos. Family members are welcome to participate free of charge to provide assistance if needed. Family members will not receive above amenities without registering (shirt, medal, finish food, backpacks, etc.).” Sign-up info is here, including a photo of last year’s oldest entrant, a 96-year-old lady named Mickey Stolzoff (who started but didn’t finish, apparently).

October 12, 2017  No Comments

Jeff Harrell ends M75 season in Texas just feet short of discus AR

Jeff has the guns for records. He’ll shoot for M80.

M75 Jeff Harrell’s local paper in Texas tells how he saved his best throw for last this season, tossing his discus 42.44 meters (139-3). That’s close to the American record of 43.83 (143-9) by Roger Busch in 2016. “The throw is the longest by a Texan in 75-79 Masters history and third-longest by an American in the age classification,” says the story, which quotes Jeff as saying: “Worldwide, there are 17,448 athletes from 107 countries listed on Masters Track and Field. The top 300 discus throwers are ranked in my age group of 75-79 and I’m ranked No. 2. Not bad for a guy that never threw a discus until I was 60 years old.” Wow! The story adds: “Harrell is contemplating a return around four years from now to take part in the 80-85 age group, if he still ‘feels good.'” Talking about Senior Olympics, he says: “No one holds the title and record in three different age groups. I do in two and would like to be the first to hold three.” Pace yourself, champ. Stay in shape.

What would we do without mastersrankings.com confirming what athletes do?

October 11, 2017  No Comments