USATF has graciously posted Team USA for Budapest worlds in late March. The roster here is a who’s who of masters track. But of the 140 athletes listed (with hometowns and events as well), some aren’t competing after all. They include IAAF Best Master Bob Lida (calf injury) and Hall of Famer Phil Raschker, 67, who says she is taking the season off. (Not an injury, but life issues have emerged.) “It is time to step back and hopefully I’ll be able to come back next year,” she wrote recently. In any case, some great Yanks are going. Among the best: M65 Charles Allie (sprints), M45 Nick Berra (middle distances), M60 Bill Collins (sprints), W75 Jean Daprano (name any race up to 1500), M35 Antwon Dussett (sprints), W60 Kathy Martin (800-3K and cross country), M70 Steve Robbins (sprints), M60 Nolan Shaheed (800-1500), W60 Joy Upshaw (usual mix) and W85 Johnnye Valien (ditto). Longtime superstars Emil Pawlik and Larry Barnum appear to be making comebacks. The busiest American by far: W65 Mary Trotto, entered in a dozen events, including a relay. Ice yourself, Mary!
Here’s a little ditty about Rog and Diane, two American kids growin’ up in the heartland. It’s my latest masters love story. (Earlier episodes told of Jim Chinn wedding, Larry Barnum and his Aussie bride, and Dave Clingan and sweetie.) In this case, Rog is M65 world champ Roger Pierce and Diane is W45 world medalist Diane Tedford Pomeroy. They recently announced their engagement on Facebook, and I shamelessly wrote Roger for details. Mostly, I was curious about what happened to his three-decade marriage to Fran. In April 2006, my post was titled: “Roger Pierce credits wife for masters track career.” But life happens when you have other things planned. And so it was with Roger.
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What’s the biggest pressure cooker in sports? If not the Olympics or Super Bowl, try the World Cup soccer tournament. And who can help you cope under the strain? In Britain, it’s Dr. Steven Peters, the perennial shrink to the stars. He’s famed for helping the UK cycling team grab Olympic hardware. Now we learn that Steve is tapped to help the Brits prepare for Brazil 2014. This report is a good summary, which quotes an adviser to England manager Roy Hodgson as saying: â€œSteve Peters canâ€™t help you to do a Cruyff turn better or hit a 40-yard pass any more accurately than you can do it. Steve Peters is not going to help the players run an extra 100 or 200 metres or make them any quicker, although he is a sprinter himself, but what I can guarantee, if the players buy into it, he will be able to help them with mental preparation and make them understand how the mind works, especially when you are going into pressure situations.” Good on you, Steve!
Canada’s Helly Visser and Germany’s Guido MÃ¼ller are in a race to see who sets the most records this year. W80 Helly ran the 800 and 1500 last weekend inÂ 3:46.70 and 7:38.11, both WRs, after setting 1500 and 3000 WRs earlier this year. See results of the Alberta Provincial Indoor Track and Field Championships in Alberta. Helly’s 800 beats the listed WR of 3:47.53 by Germany’s Melitta Czerwenka-Nagel in 2011. Avenging his countrywoman, M75 Guido ran the 400 in 63.12 for his latest age-group WR. He won three golds and a silver (the 60) at German nationals in Erfurth, also clocking 8.92 for 60, 27.87 for 200 and 10.89 in 60 hurdles. See results here. The only man who can handle Guido in the 2 and 4 is American Bob Lida. But not this year.
Kim Collins keeps on truckin. He turns 38 in April â€” the Bernard Lagat of sprinting. Last season, he tied the M35 world record for 100 with his 9.97 in Lausanne. On Feb. 25, he smoked the pups in Prague with a 6.49 for 60 meters. That beat the listed WR of 6.50 by American Darvis “Doc” Patton a year ago. Kim is a four-time Olympian from Saint Kitts and Nevis who refuses to retire. But why should he? He’s running as fast as ever. (See his yearly progression.) The only question is whether he’ll get credit for the WR. WMA still doesn’t list Kim along with Linford Christie even though Kim ran 9.97 at an IAAF Diamond League event. Here’s the 6.49 race:
Great idea: picking top masters via online vote. The Eurovets site says W60 Lidia Zentner and M75 Klemens Wittig were named Germans Best Master Athletes 2013. Sayeth the site: “During the German Senior Indoor Championships in Erfurt … WMA Vice President Margit Jungmann (GER) and DLV Vice-President Dr. Matthias Reick honoured two well-known athletes. It was Lidia Zentner and Klemens Wittig, who were elected online by the German athletic family as Germanyâ€™s Best Master Athletes of the year 2013. Both had outstanding results in national and international events and set new European and World Records. They are still in top condition and want to participate this year in the World Indoor Championships in Budapest and in Izmir, where the European Stadia Championships will take place.” Why can’t USATF hold a similar poll? Voting can be conducted behind a security wall tied to your membership number. The USATF Masters Awards Committee would narrow the field, and the rest of us get a chance to weigh in. Just do it.
Masters relay records outside worlds and Penn are rare. But two WRs at one meet? That’s the case at the Boston University Last Chance Meet on Sunday. An M40 team of Ed Winslow, Chris Blondin, Mark Williams and Nicholas Berra clocked 7:49.90 to crush the listed indoor world 4×8 record of 7:58.12 set a year ago in New York. Mark shared these amazing splits: Ed (1:59.91), Chris (1:59.69), Mark (1:55.75) and Nick (1:54.93). An M35 team also claimed a WR, but the listed best of 8:11.58 from 2004 seems way slow. Mark says splits on Central Park Track Club’s 7:55.13 were Andrew Hogue (2:02.49), Rob Gill (1:58.09), Peter Brady (1:58.49) and Jonevan Hornsby (1:54.06). So the M35 record is behind the M40. Talk about rarities.
In 2002, Shaun Bownes of South Africa ran the 110 highs in 13.26. Not too shabby, since the world record was 13.2 back in my day. Now Shaun has his sights set on Budapest indoor worlds. A blog post gives details. We also learn: “Some of his outdoor successes in the 110m hurdles were a bronze (1998) and Gold (2002) at the Commonwealth Games. Shaun’s toughest competition will come from Don Drummond (USA) with a SB of 7.99 followed by Herbert Simoes (Bra) with a best of 8.10. A total number of 24 competitors have entered in this age group. He holds the South African Masters record in the 35-39 age group, but has not been actively participating in the 40-44 age group until recently.” Great to see the best going head-to-head. Welcome to M40, Shaun! Any other ex-elites coming out of the woodwork?