It took years for USATF Masters T&F to launch its own website. It took only months to establish a social media presence â€” after my rant of November 2014. Thanks to the efforts of several ladies, we now have an official USATFMastersTrack account on Facebook. Our Twitter handle is @USAmasterstrack. On Instagram, we are also usatfmasterstrack. Credit national sprint champ Sandy Triolo for the latest breakthrough. She follows efforts by another woman, who contacted masters media czar Bob Weiner with an offer of help. The USATFMasters.org is a great reference site, but itâ€™s lame for newsy news. (In fact, it still bears this note: â€śOutdoor Nationals (Jacksonville, FL) are around the corner!â€ť)
Mary Rosado is nonstadia team manager for Team USA (helping Phil Greenwald) at Lyon worlds, and she has some notes for folks: â€śThe need for all non-athlete guests to buy a non-athlete credential at the Technical Information Center (TIC). Unlike past years when anyone could attend any of the venues without a credential, this meet has very strict security regulations.Â In order to enter any of the venues when events are going on, both the athlete and any guests with them must have official WMA credentials.They must take their passports with them to obtain the official credentials at the TIC. After that it is best to leave their passports in the safety of their hotel and carry a color copy of their passport.â€ť Mary also has info on uniforms.
Anselm LeBourne and Renee Shepherd can relax now. They wonâ€™t have to pay their own way to compete in masters exhibition races at IAAF Beijing worlds. Today (Wednesday) I got confirmation from both that USATF will take care of travel expenses. â€śI sent my passport info to USATF yesterday and they booked the flight to Beijing,â€ť Renee said via email. Anselm says details are still being worked out. But this is wonderful â€” and the news comes exactly one month before Renee runs the 400 and Anselm the 800 at the Birdâ€™s Nest stadium. Iâ€™m hoping to learn what brought about this change of heart. I wonâ€™t credit my petition just yet, since other factors may have been at work. But THANK YOU to all 104 who showed support for this effort!
At Jax nationals, the top three finishers in the W55 400-meter run were Daphne Sluys (68.15), Vicki Fox (70.36) and Susan Loyd (72.88). Someone noticed that USATF has no listed record for the W55 4-by-400. So the trio joined with veteran relayist Cheryl Bellaire and clocked a 5:03.58 (average time 75.9 in the muggy weather Sunday). Instant nonclub American record! Cheryl, the W55 winner of the 2000 steeple in 9:11.21, was on the Athena TC team that set a W50 club American record in the same event at the 2013 Penn Relays. Give them credit for seizing the moment and filling in the vacant space between W50 and W60. Now all we need are records in the age groups W75 and up.
With tailwinds topping 10 mph, sprinters at Jax nationals had a field day Saturday. Records were negated, including a stunning 14.12 by M80 Bobby Whilden Jr. (with the listed WR being Payton Jordanâ€™s 14.35). Bobby won by an incredible 2.5 seconds! But contrary to USATFâ€™s Day 3 news release, W75 Kathy Bergen didnâ€™t set a WR of 15.70. (Her wind was reported as 3.6 mps â€” nearly twice the allowable. Besides, she had a wind-legal 15.31 at Mt. SAC in April.) Given the crazy air, itâ€™s even more remarkable that hurdlers finished a relay. But the foursome of Anne Sluder, Melanie Blake, Lisa Edwards and Shara Coletta clocked 1:14.60 to become the first W35s to run the event. Hence an American record. Anne dropped down from W40, in fact, a couple days after raising her own AR in the pentathlon to 3746 points (from 3727 in June). We also get late word of a W50 record in the 1500 â€” claimed late Friday (after a rain delay) by Marisa Sutera Strange at 4:51.86. The listed AR is 4:52.55 by Kathy Martin in 2012. (The listed WR is 4:40.7 by Denmarkâ€™s Gitte KarlshĂ¶j.)
The British are paying for three masters athletes to compete at the IAAF Beijing exhibitions next month â€” joining several other countries but not the richest in the world. Bridget Cushen, BMAF secretary, writes: â€śI am very pleased to inform you that UK Athletics are funding the travel cost to the IAAF World Track & Field Championships in Beijing of our three WMA selected Masters athletes, Sally Read-Cayton, World and European 400m Hurdler Virginia Mitchell and David Heath. Official British apparel is also included. British Masters Athletic Federation is most grateful to UKA with whom we enjoy good working relations, and to WMA for funding the hotel cost.â€ť So Iâ€™m reminding you again to sign our petition calling on USATF to pay for air fare for Anselm LeBourne and Renee Shepherd. Letâ€™s get to 100 signatures by July 29 â€” a month out from the 800/400 races in China.