Charlie Ross has been on our radar before, but he really lit the place up Saturday when he became the first M90 runner to complete the 2K steeplechase â€” or at least any we know of. The local paper reported: “Ross jogged the first 50 meters or so before settling into a fast walk. Heâ€™d accelerate as he approached the hurdles, then clamber over, left hand on top, left leg over, then right leg over. On the water jump, heâ€™d plop into the thigh-deep water and stagger out. Five times he did that. The leader lapped him twice. Woods left him far behind. … Ross clambered over the final barrier, only a few dozen meters from the finish line. The crowd, well aware of the circumstances, cheered him on. He started pumping his arms and ran the rest of the way to the finish. His time of 18:54 was the new world record. He hoped to get close to the 19-minute mark. He never figured heâ€™d beat it.” Story says other records were set, but I haven’t seen results. Anyone have a link? In any case, congrats to Charlie!
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I’m lucky that nobody at Valencia High School in Southern California will ever again run the 120-yard low hurdles. That’s because my 1970 sophomore time of 13.7 seconds for a “C” school record will never be beat. Hal Higdon can’t say that about his steeplechase records. In a wonderful essay called “Losing a record,” this contributing writer for RunnerÂ’s World magazine tells of the world masters meet where he set the just-beaten American record in the 3K steeplechase. “I recall little of what should have been a memorable victory,” Hal says. “[But] my memory from 1977 is not totally a wash. I have near instant replay for what happened on the backstretch of the final lap.” Truth is, we have many record-holders in masters track, but few as eloquent and with such great institutional memory as Hal. My eternal thanks for his gracious submission. Here’s Hal recalling his 1952 Olympic Trials 10K and 1960 Trials steeple:Hal Higdon set an M45 world record in the 3000 steeplechase of 9:39.0. The WR fell eventually, and now is held by Norway’s Nils UndersÃ¥ker at 9:16.1. But who would have predicted Hal’s mark lasting as an American record for almost 36 years? On Saturday, competing at the West Coast Invitational at Willamette University in Oregon, Brad Barton ran the 3K steeple in 9:22.0 â€” his first steeple since the 1992 New Orleans Olympic Trials (where he ran 8:34.31 in the heats and took 12th in the semis). See results here. “I’ve got the paperwork in order and will be submitting it for a new American record,” writes Brad, who earlier this season set an M45 world indoor record in the mile. “It was a beautiful night in Salem.” And it was a beaut of a mark, Brad. Congrats!
So it begins. Germany’s Wolfgang “Wolfie” Ritte has been a world champ and world record holder in the vault for years. Now he’s added to his legend with an M60 WR in the vault of 4.11 meters (13-5 3/4) in his first outdoor meet of the year, according to World Masters Athletics. He turned 60 in January. WMA says: “During the indoor-season Ritte … failed to better the indoor record of John Altendorf (Kamloops, 2010). However at the first outdoor competition (1 May) the German pole vaulter … improved the old record of Altendorf (USA) by seven centimeters.” It was a family affair at WipperfÃ¼rth: Ritte’s W60 wife, Ute, jumped 2.61 (8-6 3/4) and his M30 son Thomas cleared 4.81 (15-9 1/4). Here’s the video, posted on Eurovets site. On the Age-Graded Tables, Wolfie’s 4.11 is worth a 6.07 as an open mark â€” 19-11. And the season is young.
Read the rest of this post » National Masters News â€” in essentially a three-paragraph column â€” USATF nationals masters chair Gary Snyder asked: What do y’all think of setting a standard for medals at nationals, so folks can’t earn one if they go superslow in solo races or field events? In the months that followed, letters ripped the idea a new one. And tonight an M80 runner friend of mine (who doesn’t subscribe to NMN) phoned me with fear in his voice. He’d heard from a reader about this cockamamie concept and worried that it might rob him of a gold. I told him: Don’t fret. Ain’t gonna happen. But just to make sure we nip this notion in the bud, what do you think of requiring medalists at masters nationals to achieve a set standard? Also, an FYI for my SoCal friends: Santa Ana College this Saturday, May 11, is having another masters meet. See the details. mini-profiles of the 18 IAAF World Best masters athletes since 2004. They appear in a section of the World Masters Athletics website labeled WMA Hall of Fame. That might be a stretch, since I’m not aware of any official Hall of Fame for geezer track outside the national Halls of Fames, such as those in USA and Canada. But it’s a nice gesture. Also new is a section of the lefthand navigation rail titled Last Modified, which shows what’s new in the site. And apropos of nothing, I learned over the weekend that my wife and I had four photos accepted into the San Diego County Fair’s Exhibition of Photography. (One shot was one I took of Miss La Mesa hearing her name announced and three shots were by Chris Stone, including two of the women’s high jump champ at the 2012 Olympic Trials.) We’ll learn June 8 whether we’ve won ribbons or monetary prizes. Race info is online, but here are the basics: Top 16 fastest runners (age 30 and up) will be accepted. Entry fee is $25 If you are capable of running 4:45 or faster, you may register online. Medals and Nike shoes to top 3 finishers. â€¨â€¨Prize money is â€¨$200 First Placeâ€¨, $150 Second Place,â€¨$100 Third Place. Deadlines are May 28 or until the field has been filled. June 8 for provisional entry/waiting list.” For more info, contact Dave.
Tom Bernhard graciously informs us: “Kevin Castille is originally from Louisiana and now lives in Nicholasville, Kentucky, but he may now consider Northern California to be his second home. For the second time this month and for the fourth time in 13 months, he has set an American 40-44 age group record here. On 4/7/2013 he destroyed Paul Pilkingtonâ€™s M40-44 10 Mile road record of 49:34 with a 48:56 (net time) at the SacTown Ten Mile Run in downtown Sacramento. Last night, he took down his own M40-44 10,000m mark of 28:57.88 set at the 2012 Payton Jordan Cardinal Invite with a 28:53.54 at the 2013 edition of the same meet in Palo Alto. Full results of the heat are listed here. The listed WR for M40 remains the amazing 28:30.88 by Finnish Olympian Martti Vainio back in 1991.
Nick Berra and Lance Elliott resumed their 800 rivalry Friday at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, with Nick recapturing the masters men’s title in 2:02.70 to Lance’s 2:02.87. Last year Lance beat Nick, the 2010 champ as well. For the first time, women had their own race as well â€” running Saturday morning. But the field was much smaller as American record-holder Alisa Harvey won in 2:17.78 at age 47, handling Jennifer Burke, 41, almost 4 seconds back. USATF even noted Alisa in its press release on Drake. Congrats to the entrants and Mark Cleary for overseeing this USATF Masters Invitational event.
Ladies first: “Athena B W50 finished fifth in time of 4:34.03 for a new American record at Penn Relays Friday night. Order was Debbie Hoffman, Lorraine Jasper, Julie Hayden, Cheryl Bellaire (but picture order is different). Splits [were] 65,66,71,70 with some seconds in there somewhere,” said masters mole 6674d. They beat one of the oldest masters records on the USATF books: 4:36.85 from Eugene worlds in 1989 by Marylin Fitzgerald, Barbara Meadows, Jeanne Hoagland and Irene Obera. (The listed W50 WR is 4:10.80 from 2009 Lahti worlds by a British team.) And the Houston Elite M60 team of Bill Collins, Horace Grant, George Haywood and Charlie Allie clocked 3:51.33 (averaging 57.83) to beat the listed WR of 3:53.87 by an American team including M60 legend Larry Colbert at 1999 Gateshead worlds. Also revealed is a 4×1 world record for W40 in 4×100 of 49.48 by Toccata Murphy, Donna Lawrence, LaTrica Dendy and Renee Henderson. Not only crushed a British mark of 51.50 but also went sub-50! Congrats to all! Sorry for missing these earlier.