Sean Wade crushes M50 3K WR, Dutch duo soar and Meb!

Trials winner Galen Rupp listens as Meb parries questions from the press.

Y’all should know by now that Meb Keflezighi held off all but Galen Rupp at the Olympic marathon trials in Los Angeles, which I covered for the USOC and also Times of San Diego (with a few photos). He ran 2:12:20. Good for him. He’ll be 41 at Rio in August — the oldest-ever American marathoner at the Summer Games. But a big Southland shoutout to Colleen de Reuck, who at 51 finished the race under hot conditions (mid-70s being brutal for road runners). She clocked 2:49:57. And 43-year-old Kevin Castille, the oldest in the men’s race, dropped out just after the half-marathon. He was on a killer 2:18 pace. (See his New Yorker profile.) Across the country Saturday, Sean Wade ran an indoor 3000 at Boston University in 8:43.63. (See results.) That slaughters the listed M50 WR of 8:49.37 by Britain’s Nigel Gates in 2004. Sean’s mark, set against collegians like the recent mile, is worth an 8:23 on the Age-Graded Tables. Amazing. Across the pond at Dutch masters indoor nationals, Rietje Dijkman raised the W75 high jump WR to 1.24 meters (4-0 3/4) and W65 Weia Reinboud boosted her own WR to 1.39 (4-6 3/4). But looking at my headline, are you thinking what I’m thinking? Keflezighi for president! (And if anyone says you’re not a natural-born citizen, just point to Ted Cruz.)

February 13, 2016  No Comments

Memo to Suzy Favor Hamilton: Masters track would welcome you

Suzy could use a dose of supportive track.

Suzy could use a dose of supportive track.

Suzy Favor Hamilton’s story of mental illness and a detour into the sex industry is retold — in her own words — in a BBC piece. Now 47, she seems to shun competition. It got her into world-class trouble. But what if she dipped a toe into masters track? “My running career was highly successful. I won more NCAA Championships than anybody ever had. I won seven US Championship titles between 1991 and 2004, set a couple of American records, and made the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic teams,” she writes. “I won a lot, but tended to ‘choke’ at the big, big meets. I didn’t know why and it ate at me. My body would just tighten up on me unexpectedly towards the end of a race. Like I was running with a piano on my back. I even fell on purpose in the 1500m final at the Sydney Olympics when, as the favourite, I knew I would not medal with 50 metres to go.” In masters, we all have issues. But the stress is less. I’ve written Suzy via her blog. Hope she’s open to us.

February 12, 2016  One Comment

Jesse Owens, our patron saint, also subject of NBC hour special

Can't wait for this movie.

Can’t wait for this movie.

As we wait for “Race” to show up in movie theaters, check out Sunday night’s documentary on Jesse Owens. As Variety (not your usual source of track news) reports: “NBC Sports continues its efforts at releasing documentaries with the debut of ‘More Than Gold: Jesse Owens and the 1936 Berlin Olympics.’ The one-hour documentary will debut Sunday, February 14, at 12:30 p.m. on NBC. The program will examine Jesse Owens’ historic performance at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. Actor Morgan Freeman does the narration….The documentary also features archival footage from the 1936 Berlin Games, including restored elements from ‘Olympia,’ the official film of the 1936 Olympics by German director Leni Riefenstahl.” The movie won’t make track great again (as some candidate likes to say), but it won’t hurt the sport’s popularity. Meanwhile, T&FN editor Garry Hill thinks our salvation is sexifying events for sake of spectator pleasure. Check out his column. The truth? The sport hasn’t had legs since we lost the Soviets as geopolitical foil, and it doesn’t pay like MLB, NBA or NFL.

February 11, 2016  10 Comments

Celebrating 20 years of covering masters track — AKA ‘just a hobby’

We sold these cute mousepads back in the day.

I don’t have the exact date (and trust me, I’ve tried to figure it out), but February 2016 is the 20th anniversary of this rollicking site. As noted in site history, it began on AOL as the Masters Track & Field Home Page. (Every site had “home page” in title back in February 1996.) I stole source code from ESPN and designed my own logos. In 1999, Portland half-miler Dave Clingan and I combined our sites (his rankings/calendar and my rants/raves) and registered masterstrack.com. The blog element began in January 2003. So what is this self-congratulation about? Another pitch for donations. Consider this my semiannual pledge break. I often call this site “just a hobby,” but in fact it’s more than that. I’m traveling to Portland to cover the IAAF masters exhibitions, and I’ll be in Michigan for nationals. Costs money. So a PayPal donation or check would be appreciated. Write me at TrackCEO@aol.com, and I’ll share my address. Muchas gracias.

Here's a sliver of what my site looked like in 1999 — same as when founded in 1996.

Here’s a sliver of what site looked like in 1999 — same as in February 1996.

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February 10, 2016  15 Comments

W45 Emma McGowan joins Sub-60 Club with indoor AR in 400

Emma leads collegians in her 59.30 at Emory.

Emma schools collegians in her 59.30 at Emory.

A couple weeks back at the Emory Crossplex Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama, 47-year-old Emmanuelle “Emma” McGowan broke out of a box and into the American record books. The W45 Lyon world champ at 100 and 400 relay clocked 59.30 for the 400, nipping the listed American indoor record of 59.37 by Charmaine Roberts in 2014. (Results are here.) Emma, coached by Clifton Culpepper at Maximum Quotient TC, graciously answered my questions. She obviously has a lot left in the tank. Emma writes: “Before I ran that 400 (lane 5) I was nervous even if it was my second race this indoor season. Not a good push in my blocks at all; it looked like I was running an 800! Then I got boxed in after the break line. As soon as I completed the first lap, I was thinking I have to make my move after the curve. I made it and started catching up the college girls one by one, and trust me it wasn’t easy. At the finish line, I checked the clock right away; I wanted to run sub-60 because in December I ran 1.00.57. Got very pleased with the results — mission accomplished!”

MaxQuo's 47y/o Emma McGowan Kogalama runs a Masters Indoor World best 59.30 400M at Emory Invite in Birmingham AL.

Posted by Clifton Culpepper on Sunday, January 24, 2016

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February 9, 2016  9 Comments

Jumpers that we idolized in 1960s are shown in their video glory

Dick Fosbury. Ed Caruthers. Otis Burrell. Phil May. Art Walker. And a bunch of other vertical and horizontal jumpers are featured in this compilation of 1960s legends. Track & Field News posted the link, and it’s worth your perusal — just so you can see those insane scrap-foam pits and three-sided metal high jump bars that we ALL landed on and made into V-shaped worthless gear. This era followed the sawdust era, and it made jumping what it is today. Otis is still jumping, BTW. Hope he enjoys these historic clips.

Dick Fosbury's revolutionary flop is shown several times in this video.

Dick Fosbury’s revolutionary flop is shown several times in this video.

February 8, 2016  13 Comments

Rex Harvey cancer surgery coming Feb. 19 at Houston hospital

Rex shares his first update since October 2015

In his latest update, M65 role model Rex Harvey says of his cancer fight: “Got some action going now. I have finished the current 12 chemos which went well but were getting very tiresome. We went to Houston [the MD Anderson Cancer Center] for several of their own tests a couple of weeks ago. They have set my surgery for 19 Feb in Houston. My surgeon sees about 12 cases a day of the appendix cancer that I have. A far cry from my 3 oncologists here in Phoenix that have seen a total of 3 in there entire careers. It’s a relief to finally get to someone who knows what is going on. [Wife] Joni and I are leaving Prescott on the 15th to drive over to Texas. Will have to be there 2 to 3 weeks.”

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February 7, 2016  31 Comments

Sean Wade shatters M50 indoor WR in mile, AR in 3000 in Boston

Results from Boston University mile of Feb. 6, 2016

Results from Boston mile of Feb. 6, 2016

Last year, Marc Bloom wrote about 49-year-old Sean Wade, asking: “Can a 50-year-old run a 4:20 mile? Sean Wade, who at age 30 ran the 1996 Olympic marathon in Atlanta for his native New Zealand, hopes to attempt that feat next February when he turns 50.” Well, he’s there now, and Saturday at Boston University he clocked an incredible 4:23.07 — smashing the listed M50 indoor WR of 4:26.75 by Nolan Shaheed in 2002 as well as Nolan’s 4:25.04 outdoor WR at Eugene in 2001. Age-graded, Sean’s 4:23 is worth 3:50.1 as open time on the Age-Graded Tables. The real indoor WR is 3:48.45. According to Facebook, Sean a couple hours later ran the 3000 in 8:51, bettering Nolan’s listed American record of 8:54.73. (The WR is 8:49.37, which Sean will seek next week.) Sean ran with collegians, and he’s a coach with The Kenyan Way group. Nice job, Sean!

Sean Wade (left) at Boston indoor meet where he shattered WR and AR.

Sean Wade (left) at Boston indoor meet where he shattered WR and AR.

February 6, 2016  7 Comments

Doubts raised about Nolan Shaheed’s seed time for IAAF race

Screen shot of Ron's Facebook note to Nolan Shaheed on Jan. 27, 2016.

Screen shot of Ron note to Nolan on Jan. 27, 2016, via Facebook.

Within hours of my posting the list of over-60 men invited to the IAAF Portland 800-meter race, I was getting private messages. They basically said: “What? At 66, Nolan Shaheed has a recent 2:17.5?” Some cited mastersrankings.com, where Nolan’s best listed 800 of recent vintage is 2:31.88. I didn’t put much stock in that, since many marks don’t make it to John Seto’s site. Besides, he ran 2:13.69 in 2014. But then I saw this Facebook note from Ron Pate to Nolan: “Hi Nolan, You said you are not in race shape, but are you all healed up? Hope so.” Uh oh. I wrote Nolan and got no reply. I wrote some WMA folks. Crickets. So now I’m worried that Nolan will either embarrass himself in Portland or, worse, be accused of fibbing his time. I’m hoping to be proved wrong. Nolan is one of our greats. But a 2:17.5 at age 66 is one of the best M65 marks of all time. Is he really up to that?

February 5, 2016  21 Comments

Meet Joan Hunter: masters mom behind the next great prep miler

Joan Hunter (left) with her Athena TC running buddies. Her son could be the next Alan Webb.

If Drew Hunter has his mom’s guts and smarts, look for him to go sub-4 in the mile Saturday at the Armory Invitational. Drew, as most track fans know, set a high school record in the indoor 3000 recently at the masters friendly JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Competing against elites and collegians, Drew clocked a sensational 7:59.33. But few people know his mom, Joan Hunter, is a great coach and masters sprinter and miler herself, sometimes joining the Athena club for record 4-by-4 or 4-by-8 relays. Ten years ago, Charlotte nationals announcer Pete Taylor wrote: “Joan Hunter (W40 400 in 62.73, 5th, in her first nationals). Not what she expected; “it was like a big college meet.” She’s now W50 and focused on Drew’s career — one of her nine kids (with five adopted). Her Twitter description: “Mom of 9, coach of many more, and still trying to train and race in my spare time.”

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February 4, 2016  10 Comments