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  9 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

Vin Lananna hints masters events at 2021 IAAF worlds (if asked)

Vin Lananna brought his “listening tour” to San Diego on Sunday, and I joined a dozen local USATF brass at a shoe store where we sat in a semi semicircle on wooden folding chairs and peppered the prez with comments and questions. Since I was covering for Times of San Diego (see my story), I mostly kept quiet. But I got in some “journalistic” Qs in a one-on-one afterward (see my video) — after the group got kicked out of the store to make way for a yoga class. My masters question was: Can you guarantee that 2021 IAAF worlds in Eugene will host masters exhibition events? He said yes without saying yes, noting how masters are embedded in lots of UofO meets. But he said the LOC has to be asked. So listen up, WMA. Start thinking about events at Hayward Field. (And listen to audio of the meeting, starting after 4 minutes.)

Vin Lananna, in Nike shirt, was personable in San Diego, and actually did listen.

October 8, 2017  No Comments

Joy Upshaw named USATF Athlete of the Week for W55 100 AR

Coach Joy Upshaw, whose USATF roles are too numerous to mention, finds time to compete somehow. And when she does, it’s serious. After making the 360-mile trip south last weekend from the SF Bay Area to run the Sri Chinmoy meet in Glendale, she scorched the 100 in 13.27 seconds to claim the W55 American record (beating the fabled 13.30 by Phil Raschker in 2002). Even though she’s gone faster (at 2016 Mt. SAC Relays), USATF on Thursday named her USATF Athlete of the Week. If you count M35 Justin Gatlin, Joy is the seventh masters-age athlete to gain the honor this year — after Kathy Martin, Allen Woodard, Bob Lida, Julia Hawkins and Kevin Castille. When news of her AR was shared on her track club website, the notice said: “With her good running form — that she coaches in Jackrabbits — she was able to focus and race to a win and a W55-59 age group 100m American record! She made sure to thank the officials, meet directors and her competitors, because as we know in Jackrabbits class, having good sportsmanship — no matter what place you finish — is important.” Nice. Even records are teachable moments.

Joy in her element — coaching the Jack Rabbits youth club near Stanford.

October 6, 2017  7 Comments

Carol Finsrud blows past W60 throws WRs, but meet only for fun

M40 Hondo Salgado handles 98-pounder at Florida beach meet. Carol Dixon photo

Results of the inaugural Ultra Weight Pentathlon World Championships in Florida and a throws meet in Texas show great marks. On Oct. 1 in Lockhart, Texas, W60 Carol Finsrud went crazy at her hometown Atlas Field Series. “Word out of Texas has it that Carol Finsrud has just torched the W60 American record in the Throws Pentathlon currently held by Myrle Mensey,Bob Cedrone posted on the masters throwers page on Facebook. “The existing record of 4451 points, which Carol just missed at the 2017 USATF Masters Throws Championships with her 4417 total, now moves to an other worldly 5060 points (!) pending approval by the Masters Records Committee. I think that this may also be a World Record as well, but I need some back up on that claim. WOW!” Carol also recorded a 40.81 (133-10) discus fling, which crushed the listed WR of 39.24 (128-9) by Germany’s Karen Illgen in 2002. Turns out the meet fell short of record specs. Carol posted: “Thank you for all of the kudos! I can’t believe how on I was last Sunday at Atlas Field! We did not have weights and measures, three certified officials etc. so no records will be submitted. It was fun and it brought a big smile to my face!” But thank goodness results are posted at mastersrankings.com for historians of the event.

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October 5, 2017  4 Comments