Kathy Martin’s 2 WRs at Toronto highlight Team USA at WMA meet

Rob Jerome’s photo of Kathy’s 8:52.49 W65 steeple WR.

Bob Weiner, USATF national masters media director, writes what I didn’t have time to. Bless him (and Jeff Brower and Mary Trotto who helped with the stats). “Masters are on a tear! Master Chair Rex Harvey wants the USATF Masters to be the number one masters track and field team in the world, and it appears they are well on their way. Two world and 15 American masters records were set at the World Masters Athletics (WMA) North America-Central America- Caribbean Regional Championship in Toronto, Canada August 11-13 and the USATF Masters Outdoor Throws Championship August 5-6 in Worcester, MA. Masters Track & Field Records Chair Jeff Brower has provided the list below, highlighted by Kathy Martin, 65, from Northport, NY, setting TWO world marks, in the 1500 Meter Run and 2000 Meter Steeplechase, in Toronto at the WMA Regionals.” (Meanwhile, check out the gazillion free photos taken at Toronto for the Ontario Masters Athletics site.)

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August 17, 2017  4 Comments

I stand with the alt-left: So should masters track and field community

With the certainty of offending and losing some readers, I want to say something about our M70 president and his failure to show moral clarity on the Charlottesville horror. Tuesday’s press conference — in which Trump said “both sides” share blame for Saturday’s death and injuries — was sickening and shameful. But my disgust — as a Jew and human being acutely aware of the anti-Semitic and racist elements of the “Unite the Right” folks Trump won’t properly reject — can’t possibly match the revulsion my African-American friends must be feeling. If the Klan marched in La Mesa and saw me on the sidelines, I’d be safe from attack. My black friends would have no such confidence. When David Duke, the Holocaust denier and former KKK leader, tweets: “Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa,” you have to wonder what comes next. Masters track has a history of inclusion and tolerance. We celebrate diversity and make efforts to expand it. Trump is the Anti-Diversity Commander in Chief. Thank God I live in the People’s Republic of California, where the alt-left rules. Neo-Nazis and their enablers and apologists have no place in America. I pray our nation survives Trump. Silence on this issue cannot stand.

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August 15, 2017  54 Comments

Bob Lida lowers own M80 ARs in 200/400 at Toronto WMA meet

M80 Bob Lida sets AR in 400. Photo by Rob Jerome

London wasn’t the only great meet over the weekend. Toronto WMA regionals had some tight competition, especially in the sprints. And with W75 Carol LaFayette-Boyd in the mix, she’s eligible for WMA Best Athlete consideration for her record-setting season. We also finally saw Olympian Walter Dix run a masters 200. He clocked 21.30 to win M30 by more than a second (after running a 10.33 100 into a stiff wind.) See results here. Meet director Doug “Shaggy” Smith informs me that WMA regionals will return to Toronto in 2019, a year ahead of WMA worlds in the same city. I copy-pasted some of my favorite marks. Note the M50 200 — with seven men going sub-24 in a wind-aided race won by Karnell Vickers in 23.12. At 80, Bob Lida went sub-30 in the 200, with his 29.90 bettering his own AR of 30.80 at LSU nationals. (The WR is 29.54 by Japan’s Hisamitsu Hijiya.) In the 400, Bob ran 72.10, crushing his LSU nationals AR of 73.55. (The WR is 70.01 by the same Japanese gent.) Bob’s 100 was a mere 14.63, just a few clicks off Payton Jordan’s WR of 14.35) The M55 100 was dang close, with Canadian native Dr. Al Tissenbaum, (now Team USA) beating Don McGee 11.83 to 11.86. Did I miss any other records?

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August 14, 2017  6 Comments

Anthony Whiteman claims M45 outdoor mile WR with insane 4:10.0

Sub-4 masters mile legend Anthony Whiteman, who turned 45 in November, finally found an outdoor mile race. Saturday at the “Night of Endurance” at Leckwith Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, he predicted a 4:05. Pretty gutsy, since the listed M45 WR is Tony Young’s 4:16.09 from 2008. But Tony tore through four laps in a hand-timed 4:10, he tells me via FB and his followers via Twitter. It may not pass record vetters, but he knows what he ran. And the world does now. Tony ran a 4:07.4 road mile in May and also a 1:51.3 for 800. So he was due. On the Age-Graded Tables, his 4:10 is worth an open (age-20-30) time of 3:47.5! Miles are rare in Britain, Tony says. So let’s hope he gets recognition for his latest mark.

August 12, 2017  3 Comments

Gia Lewis-Smallwood bows at London, but her mark beats W35 AR

Gia the AR holder as shown on her IAAF profile.

Gia Lewis-Smallwood, 38, had a bad day at the office. She failed to advance to the discus finals of IAAF London worlds, despite being the American record-holder at 69.17 (226-11), which she did at age 35 in 2014. But now it’s time for my recurring rant. Why isn’t she also the W35 American record-holder? Carol Finsrud is still the listed AR woman, with her 54.52 (178-10) dating to 1992. If Gia’s 69.17 in Angers isn’t kosher, how about her 58.15 (190-9 1/4) Friday at worlds? (The listed W35 WR is 69.60/228-4 by Faina Myelnik.) On Facebook, Gia wrote: “Sometimes you just don’t perform near to your capabilities, that was me today.” How about USATF performing to its potential and listing her latest mark as the AR? Long overdue.

August 11, 2017  One Comment

Angela Copson WRs stamp her as favorite for WMA Female AofY

So who’s going to challenge W70 Angela Copson of Britain for WMA Best Athlete of the Year? As her local paper reports: “Angela Copson came away with six individual gold medals and two team silvers from the European Masters Championships at Aarhus in Denmark last week. The Rugby & Northampton AC star is in her first year as a W70 runner, for female athletes aged 70 and over. She had already set five world records or bests this year before taking part in her first race of the championships, which was the 10,000m, where she broke another world record [with a 44:25.1]. … On the penultimate day of the championships she then set another world record. This time in the 800m when she recorded 2:51.49 to win by over 18 seconds.” The listed WRs are 2:59.55 by Germany’s Elfriede Hodapp and, in the 10K, 44:43.27 by Aussie Lavinia Petrie. Another WR came in the W70 4×100, where the German team of Karin Foerster, Petra Zoerner, Karin Stump and WR holder Ingrid Meier ran 64.28 to crush the listed WR of 66.05 by a German team in 1993. What others records am I missing?

Here’s how Alex Rotas captioned her photo of fellow Brit Angela: “This is the look of joy and triumph on the face of Angela Copson, 70, as she crosses the finishing line and sees that she’s made a new world record in the 10,000m track race at #Aarhus in the European Masters Athletics Championships 2017 #EMACS2017 today. Her time of 44.25mins was 3 minutes (yes! 3 minutes) faster than the existing European record for the women’s 70-74 year old age group and 18 seconds faster than the existing world record. Utterly amazing! Feel so privileged to have been there and to have witnessed every cruel lap of the race. Angela, you are a legend.”

August 10, 2017  2 Comments

Neni Lewis leads record barrage with 3 ARs at Throws Nationals

Carol Finsrud sets up for shot at nationals.

W55 Neni [knee-knee] Lewis, who’s battled injuries over the years, set three American records last weekend at the USATF Masters Throws Championships in Worcester, Massachusetts. Ten ARs were set overall at a meet described by Jerry Book-Weiner as having intermittent heavy rain on Saturday and gorgeous weather on Sunday. Jerry says 94 took part in various pentathlons, two throwers short of the record. Neni’s records came in the ultraweight pentathlon, where her 5221 points upped her own record of 5210 set a year ago at Lisle, Illinois; the 16-pound weight throw (improving her own mark from 15.50/50-10 to 15.88/52-1 1/4); and 11.04/36-2 3/4 in the 25-pound superweight throw, beating her own listed AR of 10.78/35-4 and a June 2017 pending mark of 11.00/36-1. W35 Janine Kuestner set throws pentathlon and ultra weight pentathlon ARs of 3256 and 4589, respectively. W60 Carol Finsrud’s 5214 beat the listed AR in the ultra pent of 5188 by Myrle Mensey in 2013. W75 Joanne Marriott set a weight throw (4KG) AR of 11.55/37-10 3/4 to beat the listed mark of 11.47/37-7 by Joanne Marriott a year ago. W35 Julie Williams-Tinkham nailed an exact 10.00/32-9 3/4 in the 35-pound superweight to crush the listed AR of 9.32/30-7 by Marilyn Coleman in 2014. The only men’s record went to M45 Eric Cole, whose 5049 in the ultra pent upped his own listed AR of 4703 from last year. See results here. More than 500 photos are posted here. Strong kudos to all.

Saturday saw 94 tough out drenching, including M45 John Wirtz here in shot.

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August 9, 2017  No Comments

Meet Ruben Whitney, saying farewell to his M35 USA 100 record

Ruben is shown in September 1980 issue of National Masters News.

In response to an email, Ruben Whitney gave me a call Monday morning. Yes, THE Ruben Whitney — holder since 1980 of the M35 American record of 10.3 seconds for 100 meters. By inattention, ignorance and incompetence, at least seven Yanks besides Justin Gatlin who ran sub-10.3 have failed to get credit for beating Ruben’s record. Until this season (and Saturday, when Justin ran 9.92 at IAAF London worlds), the fastest American M35 apparently was Darvis “Doc” Patton, who clocked 10.07 in May 2013. In my Times of San Diego story, I quote USATF masters records czar Jeff Brower as saying: “It’s a difficult issue.” He notes some of the issues, including the fact that older elites don’t apply for records. I note the fact that USATF Rules recommend a “Recorder of Records” at every meet. But few meets take this admonition seriously. But with London IAAF being among the meets where any official mark is eligible for slam-dunk record status, we now have no excuse but to see Justin’s 9.92 displacing Ruben’s hand-timed 10.3. I asked Ruben for his message to Justin. “Well, congratulations, and it’s a long time coming. A long time coming.” Ruben’s story is sad, too. Check it out.

August 7, 2017  2 Comments

Nearly 80 Americans set for Toronto are world or national champs

Bob Weiner’s news release on WMA Toronto regionals includes a nifty chart by Mary Trotto noting the Yanks with current world or national titles — 77 by her count. “In addition to USA and Canada, nations represented at the meet include Mexico, Australia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Belize, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, UK, India, Ireland, Peru, Antigua and Barbuda, Guatemala, Indonesia, Virgin Islands, Brazil, Nicaragua, Barbados,” Bob writes.

York Lions Stadium hosted 2015 Pan Am Games and will be a 2020 worlds site.

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August 6, 2017  No Comments

Clock starts! When will the M35 records for 100 meters be updated?

The August 1980 issue of National Masters News carried this buried item on page 3: “Bill Seldon reports that on June 14 Ruben Whitney of San Antonio, Texas, tied the 35-39 world mark for the 100. Whitney’s 10.3 would break the existing American mark of 10.4. set by Mel Pender in 1973. It would tie the global best time set by Ed Jefferis of South Africa in 1971. National Records Chairman Pete Mundle is verifying the mark. Whitney ran 10.7 in Philadelphia (at AAU masters nationals at Penn) with what appeared to be a heavily taped hamstring.” Hey, Ruben. Someone broke your American record Saturday! Of course, I noted as early as 2006 that Ruben’s 10.3 was bettered by assorted M35s, including Jeff Laynes, Dennis Lewis, Kevin Braunskill and a cat named Carl Lewis. So thanks, Justin. Assuming you pass doping control and your birth certificate isn’t fake, your 9.92 at London IAAF worlds in the 100-meter final Saturday should be listed as the M35 American and world record. That beats Ruben’s 10.3, probably hand-timed, and all the others that never got AR recognition. The listed M35 WR is 9.96 by Kim Collins in 2014. Now let’s see how soon Jeff Brower and Sandy Pashkin reflect the Gatlin 9.92 on their lists. At least mark the mark as pending, ladies and gents.

August 5, 2017  4 Comments