World champions gear up for Boston nationals
Masters track is wacky. First you compete in the world championships and then, a week later, go for a national title? That’s the way it be, but nobody’s complaining. This weekend’s Boston indoor nationals will play host to hundreds of American and some foreign guests. Close to a dozen world champions from Linz will be in Beantown, including W45 gold medalist (and American record holder) Lesley Chaplin-Swann, the 800-meter champ and former British citizen. She shares some thoughts on her Austrian experience.
I thought you might be interested in my thoughts about competing in my first World and National Championship as a US citizen:
I am looking forward to Boston as much as I did Worlds. Boise last year was my first major track meet and it was a nerve wracking experience. I was totally in awe of all the greats. I watched Kathryn Martin run for the first time having read about all her achievements; I saw people like Ms. Valien and Max Springer compete, they were all so inspiring.
My experience in Boise as I have noted previously to you, was bittersweet. my citizenship paperwork in process, I was unable to claim the record that I had broken. The naturalization process seemed like an eternity; I still did not have it by the time Hawaii came around; in reality the process took only 11 months but it seemed like an eternity.
A year later, I find myself in the midst of all the greats that I read about and admired only a year ago; I feel so honored and fortunate.
My success to date is as much my coach’s achievement as it is mine. Mike Spino coached me for about a year 8 years ago when I was about to become a master and I was running on the roads. I approached him again about a year and a half ago and asked him if he would consider coaching me.
Although he had essentially retired from coaching (he had to brush the dust off his stopwatch) he agreed to work with me. He is totally committed to our efforts, we are a team.
To wear a US uniform and compete for the United States of America in Linz was truly an honor. To actually win the 800 in Linz was an incredible experience and I still can’t believe I did it!
To meet and compete with all the greats in the world was truly humbling. What great camaraderie there was amongst the US athletes. We were all there supporting and cheering for each other as we saw a teammate compete.
And so on to Boston. I am so looking forward to competing on a track that so far I have only seen on television. And again, to compete with all the greats in the US as a US citizen will mean so much to me.
From what I read it appears that Boston will be a great meet; I am grateful to be a part of it.
I also got a note from M40 Linz triple jump champion Gregory Foster, who wrote: “I will more than likely forgo Boston because I’m nursing a groin strain. Perhaps my next meet will be after September the 3rd, my 45th birthday. Take care and keep doing what you’re doing.”
Greg also expressed his opinion on Willie Banks’ goal of triple-jumping 50 feet at age 50:
“Regarding Willie – I think if anyone is capable of jumping 50′ at age 50 it’s Willie. He’s health conscience (a vegetarian) and relies on technique/good mechanics rather than brute strength or power.”
Best of luck to all at Boston.