Dash of the centuries due in Puerto Rico
Next week’s 15th World Masters Athletics Championships will have dozens of dramatic dashes — but none as momentous as the slowest. For the first time in WAVA/WMA meet history, two centenarians will line up beside each other in the same race. Waldo McBurney of Kansas and Everett Hosack of Ohio will face each other on Saturday, July 5, in the M100 100. With luck, they’ll tangle again on Tuesday, July 8, in the 200-meter dash final.
McBurney is the kid. He’s just 100 (DOB 10-3-1902). Hosack is the true veteran of these games. He’s 101 (DOB 2-28-1902). McBurney also is entered in the 5K racewalk and shot put. Hosack will put the shot, too, and adds the hammer, discus, javelin and weight pentathlon. Whatta man!
This will be the second WMA world meet in which the M100 age group (100-104) is contested. Before 2001, the oldest age group was 95-and-over, which put the triple-digit kids at a distinct disadvantage.
At the 2001 Brisbane WMA, the first documented 100-year-old competed in the world championships — M100 Leslie “Les” Amey of Australia, who won the 100 in 71.05 seconds and set an inaugural M100 world record in the 1500 (19:59.54). Amey — actually 101 years young — almost caused a computer crash, though. When results came out, Les was placed second in M95 because the Hy-Tek computer software program couldn’t go beyond M99!)
Amey and Hosack aren’t the oldest masters competitors on record, however. In 1998, 103-year-old Ben Levinson of Los Angeles put the shot at the Nike World Masters Games in Eugene.
Sadly, Levinson has gone to that big track meet in the sky. But while Hosack and McBurney are still with us, we need to rejoice at their athleticism at the big track meet in Carolina, Puerto Rico.
(For the record, my money’s on Hosack in the 100 and 200.)