Mark Cleary sends very sad news: ‚ÄúSumi Onodera-Leonard passed away on Saturday, March 25, around 5:30pm. She was an active member of the SoCal Track Club since 2002. She set several age group American records (even world records as a W80) and won countless national titles as recently as 2016. Sumi was inducted into the Masters USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2006. Her memorial will be held on Sunday, April 9, at 5 p.m. at Nichiren Church, 2801 E. 4th St. Los Angeles, CA 90033.‚ÄĚ She recovered from a nearly fatal auto 2003 accident in Arizona and specialized in the 4 and 8. Will add more later.
Sumi was short enough to relax in a hurdle, but never showed inferiority.
Wayne Bennett reports from Texas on the latest edition of the 200-meter age-graded handicap exhibition at the Bobby Lane Invitational at UT Arlington. Wayne, now 80, won last year. On Saturday, the victor was Dr. Kent Brown, 72, who ran 145.3 meters in 19.47. Second was Matt Pace, 62, 154.6 in 20.60, then Marcus Santi, 45, 178.7 in 21.47. Fourth was Lindy Raney, 58, 163.2 in 21.61. Fifth was Reggie Garner, 56, 165.4 in 22.33, with Wayne in sixth ‚ÄĒ 127.1 in 22.46. Seventh was Gary Tannehill, 59, 162.1 in 23.92. ‚ÄúWe think this is a great opportunity to show college athletes and their parents what older athletes can do and maybe encourage someone to join us,‚ÄĚ Wayne writes. ‚ÄúLast year‚Äôs race encouraged Gary Tannehill to start competing in masters track. We really enjoy this race.‚ÄĚ
Lucky seven who took part in annual Bobby Lane Invitational handicap 200 from left were: Marcus Santi, Reggie Garner, Gary Tannehill, Lindy Raney, Matt Pace, Kent Brownm and Wayne Bennett.
Roland and his latest 400 indoor WR in M50. Photo by Karl-Heinz Flucke
Folks are returning to their home countries after Daegu worids, and local media are cheering their achievements. Over the next few months, watch for many more. In Germany, the track federation celebrated M50 Roland Gr√∂ger and compatriots with records. ‚ÄúI did not enter the 60 meters to concentrate fully on the 400 meters,‚ÄĚ said Gr√∂ger (M50, TopFit Berlin) after winning the final round of the second round on Sunday in Daegu. In this start-to-finish victory, he improved his own indoor world record from January 2017 from 51.92 seconds to 51.73 seconds,‚ÄĚ said one report. We also learn: ‚ÄúAt the end of the 7th World Championships for Senior Citizens, the Lord Mayor of Daegu thanked all athletes for their participation in the first World Championships for Senior Citizens in Asia. At the same time, thanks went to the many volunteers. For the many young volunteers there was as a small compensation for their work, and for the attending audience the concert a concert with the most famous and most famous singer and songwriter of South Korea, Hwang Chi Yeul. The President of the World Masters Athletic Association, Stan Perkins, thanked the world champions for their perfectly organized World Championship, which will leave a lasting impression on the more than 4,000 athletes.‚ÄĚ Videos are popping up, too:
How do you do better than this for an M65 relay ‚ÄĒ Charles Allie, Charles Powell, Thad Wilson and Bill Collins? That dream team made four circuits of the Daegu track to set a 4√ó200 world record of 1:48.58 Saturday to slice the listed WR of 1:49.78 by a Guido MuŐąller-anchored German team at 2004 Sindelfingen worlds. That‚Äôs an average of 27.15 per leg. Amazing. And three other Yank squads set American records on the final day of worlds ‚ÄĒ W55, M35 and M50. Masters media guru Bob Weiner did double duty at Daegu. He ran the M65 1500 (7:32.96), 3000 (DNF) and 8K cross country (48:49.00) all while overseeing publicity. Here‚Äôs his world meet wrap-up.
Yanks Collins, Powell, Wilson and Allie hear national anthem at their 4√ó2 medal ceremony. Photo via Jackie Thomas-Allie Facebook
Bob Lida (center) posted this on Facebook with note: ‚ÄúMedal ceremony for 200 meter, with my good friends Bob Cozens of USA and Tony Bowman of Great Britain. Ran 29.15, lowering the world record time I set at USATF Nationals couple of weeks ago. I‚Äôm pleased, but was hoping to go under 29 seconds. Need to wait until outdoor season.‚ÄĚ
Kathy Martin on Saturday ran 1500 meters in 5:25.29 at Daegu worlds to crush the listed W65 WR of 5:36.88 by Britain‚Äôs Angela Copson. This means she now has WRs for 800, 1500, mile and 3000 this season. Also notching his second WR of the meet is M80 Bob Lida, whose 400 in 1:10.20 destroys the listed WR of 1:11.24 by Canadian legend Earl Fee in 2009. Earlier, Bob bounced his own 200 WR, clocking 29.15 ‚ÄĒ way better than his 29.84 from the recent ABQ nationals. Also setting records were Germany‚Äôs Roland Gr√∂ger, whose 51.73 lowered his own season best 51.92 and M50 WR for 400. And Aussie Jeanette Flynn (1:10.34) and Brit Caroline Marler (1:11.72) both broke the listed W65 WR of 1:11.89 by American Carolyn Cappetta back in 2001. Holland‚Äôs Hans Smeets became the oldest M70 to go sub-5 in the indoor 1500 (his 4:59.62 nipping the listed WR of 5:00.43 by France‚Äôs Jean Claude Demarque). The listed outdoor WR is 4:52.95. Canada‚Äôs Christa Bortignon improved her own WRs in the long jump and triple jump, with marks of 3.17 (10-4 3/4) and 7.09 (23-3 1/4). Brit Jane Horder‚Äôs 9.90 took down the listed W60 WR in the 60 hurdles of countrywoman Carole Ann Filer‚Äôs 9.96. Ukraine‚Äôs Oleg Fedorko cleared a WR 1.74 (5-8 1/2) to beat the listed M60 WR of 1.73 (5-8) by Finland‚Äôs Asko Pesonen and had three misses at 1.77 (5-9 3/4). Not least was the W75 WR of 14.34 (47-0 3/4) in the weight throw by Germany‚Äôs Gudrun Mellmann. I may have missed some records. (Been busy scooping the world on an FBI investigation of M40 congressman Duncan Hunter.)
Kathy Martin established herself Wednesday as a front-runner for WMA Female Athlete of the Year by lowering her W65 PR in the indoor 3000. Of course, that means another world record. This time, she clocked an incredible 11:35.98. That beats her previous W65 best of 11:37.19 at the Armory and the listed WR of 11:49.53 by Britain‚Äôs Angela Copson.) (The listed outdoor 3K WR is Angela‚Äôs 11:48.2.) WMA requires you compete in one of their international meets to be considered for ‚Äúbest athlete,‚ÄĚ and she‚Äôll likely be nominated. She also set 800 and mile records earlier. In winning her race, Kathy beat Britain‚Äôs great Rosalind ‚ÄúRos‚ÄĚ Tabor by 52 seconds ‚ÄĒ lapping her. Peter Taylor wrote in a Daegu preview: ‚ÄúMartin, a member of the USATF Masters Hall of Fame, will compete on the track in the 800, 1500, and 3000. Perhaps to ensure that she gets sufficient aerobic training on her trip, she will also run the 8000 cross-country race and the half-marathon.‚ÄĚ So stay tuned for more fireworks!
Kim Collins will not be Bill Collins, we learned over the weekend. The St Kitts & Nevis M35 and M40 world-record holder at 100 (crazily faster at 40 than 35 ‚ÄĒ 9.93 to 9.96) says he is retiringafter IAAF London worlds this summer. That means he won‚Äôt be challenging the 11.44 M55 WR by unrelated Bill of Houston. I‚Äôve learned never to say never (about masters comebacks). But the elite professionals generally stay retired. (No money in geezer track.) Also announcing he‚Äôs hanging up his M40 running shoes is San Diego‚Äôs Meb Keflezighi, the famed Boston Marathon winner and Olympic silver medalist who says his last 26-milers will be Boston in April and New York City in November. ‚ÄúPeople say, ‚ÄėWhy stop? You‚Äôre still at a high level.‚Äô But it takes a lot out of you,‚ÄĚ the four-time Olympian told The Associated Press. ‚ÄúEven when my family gets together, I‚Äôve got to get my run in. I love the sport. I had the best job in the world for a long, long time. But I have to be fair to my wife and my three daughters.‚ÄĚ Fair enough. But when the kids leave the house, well. See you at the all-comers meets!
Daegu coverage again delayed for latest details on Allen Woodard‚Äôs 400 WR. He reports that the race was run in 79-degree and windy conditions, and ‚Äúcoming home there was a good headwind. I‚Äôm happy to have run my fastest time so far in these conditions. ‚Ä¶ I am really looking forward to a great season in 2017.‚ÄĚ He also confirms he‚Äôs 48 now. He goes on: ‚ÄúThere is a lot involved [in] breaking a world record in the masters. Fortunately for me, I had Bill Collins there the first time I broke the world record in 2015 at Rice University in 2016. Thanks, Bill! It seems like our world record of 3:22 in the 4√ó4 did not qualify, and now my 49.32 I ran at the USA Masters nationals meet did not get ratified [as a world record]. I‚Äôm really confused about the national meet. Records show that the 400 meter world record is still 49.69, which I ran that time back in 2015. Since then, I‚Äôve set new records. In 2016, I‚Äôve ran 49.12 @ UIW, 49.17 @ Baylor, 49.38 in Atlanta, 49.17 @ Rice and 49.32 @ the National event. Again, those were all times I ran in 2016. All times documented. So far, this year in 2017, I have ran the times of 49.49 @ Trinity University and now the new record in the 400 meters is 49.09 that I ran this weekend at Texas Southern University Relays.‚ÄĚ Here‚Äôs the 49.09, with Allen taking third.
Last April, Allen Woodard of Houston was open about his 400-meter goal: sub-49 at age 46. A year later, he‚Äôs closer still. At Saturday‚Äôs Texas Southern University Relays, Allen clocked an incredible 49.09 against the kiddies to lower his own listed M45 outdoor American record of 49.32 at 2016 Grand Rapids nationals. (The listed WR is Allen‚Äôs 49.69. Go figure. And he also has an unratified 49.12 from last May.) On the Age-Graded Tables, 49.09 is worth an open time of 43.7. Allen‚Äôs all-time PR is 45.8 in an injury-shortened career. The season is young, and so is Allen. How much faster can he get? Here‚Äôs a video of Allen‚Äôs 49.12:
Caroline Powell is a top medal contender in Daegu. Photo by Alan Ramage
Athletics Weekly reports that many of the nearly 600 Brits from their masters nationals are entered at Daegu worlds. Tom Phillips counted 109. This means a country a fifth the size in population of America has more entrants. I can only guess why. UK‚Äôers take ‚Äúathletics‚ÄĚ more seriously. They have more disposable income. They have a much more developed club system with financial resources. Talk among yourselves. But there‚Äôs no question that the British version of Track & Field News kicks our butt on masters coverage. AW, as it‚Äôs known, has a great preview of Daegu. ‚ÄúCaroline Powell set a W60 400m world record when joining her age group a couple of years ago and ‚Äď after competing in the three sprints in the British event ‚Äď she heads the British women‚Äôs challenge in Daegu, alongside Carole Filer,‚ÄĚ the story begins. ‚ÄúPowell will face Canadian Karla Del Grande, who is ranked just a fraction slower over 200m but looks favourite over 400m. Also in the W60 group, Filer goes in five jumps and hurdles as well as the pentathlon. Hurdlers Joe Appiah (M45) and Neil Tunstall (M55) add to British strength over the barriers, with Tunstall also taking in the 200m/400m double. Mensah Elliott, meanwhile, is down for the M40 hurdles.‚ÄĚ So yeah, AW knows masters.
Ken has followed track as an athlete, writer and web-master since the late 1960s, and saw most sessions of track and field at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He also attended the 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Trials, the last three as a blogger and Patch correspondent. [More...]