New altitude for Altendorf — M60 indoor WR in vault

M60 John Altendorf of Oregon added to his legend today at a University of Washington indoor meet, clearing 3.93 (12-10 3/4) and 3.96 (12-11 3/4) in the vault — both indoor world records. Becca Gillespy, who posted the first report, wrote: “He looked great! Definitely a few more inches in the tank this indoor season.” (Becca, BTW, tied for 24th in her event, clearing 3.05, or 10-0). Another witness, M40 runner Mark Alexander, wrote me: “When Altendorf’s mark was announced as an age-group world record, the crowd went wild!”


John, who turns 61 in March, beat the listed M60 world indoor record of 3.91 (12-10) by fellow American Dale Lance in Boston in March 1998. This mark equals John’s M60 outdoor world record, set in Eugene in 2006. In late July last year, John jumped 4.00, the world-leading mark for 2006, but it hasn’t been given record status. Probably because it came at an all-comers meet. Might be missing some USATF niceties.
In the same competition was M70 Gerard Dumas of British Columbia, a Canadian by way of France, who today jumped 2.46 (8-0 3/4). Gerard is better known as the world’s No. 1 statistician and historian of the pole vault. And 1972 Canadian high jump Olympian John Hawkins, an M55, went 3.56 (11-8) in the vault, ahead of M50 decathlete and scholar Russ Jacquet-Acea, who cleared 2.84 (9-3 3/4) — a subpar performance for him. But he “competed on a lark with no practice,” a source says..
Also competing today was M50 Bob Prather, who ran the mile (on an “oversized” track) in 4:40.03. (Bob, now 51, had the top M50 outdoor 1500 time last year in the United States, Mark notes.)
Mark writes: “The indoor series at Dempsey has become so popular that it is difficult for masters athletes to gain entry. Despite being an “open” meet, today’s meet had fairly tight qualifying standards (e.g., 4:42 men’s mile). In previous years, three open meets were included in the schedule; now it’s down to one. Today’s meet finished more than two hours behind schedule, so it’s possible we’ll see further tightening of entry standards in future years — good news for weary officials, but bad for masters athletes.”
Yesterday’s invitational race, the Husky Classic, featured a men’s masters 60 meters, won by Canadian (M52?) Tom Dickson, a volunteer coach at Simon Fraser University.
1 1002 Dixon, (Dickson actually) Tom Unattached 7.62
2 1026 Roberson, James Unattached 7.83
3 1024 Ortman, David (53) Unattached 7.89
4 993 Blake, Aaron Unattached 8.00
5 999 Copeland, Scott Unattached 8.13
6 1013 Hundley, Clyde Unattached 8.89
A note about Dave Ortman’s mark: Four years ago at this same meet, Dave took third — in 7.85 seconds. So he’s averaged a loss of one one-hundredth of a second a year for four years. Poor Dave. Isn’t aging a bitch!

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February 11, 2007

5 Responses

  1. Mary Harada - February 12, 2007

    I do not know how many athletes entered the U. Washington track meet but it is a shame if they make it truly difficult for masters to compete. There are too few masters meets around on as it is. Boston University allows masters to enter its two open invitational meets – The Terrier Classic in January and the Valentine Day Classic in February- the later meet has substantial numbers and both meets are split – men on one day and women on the next. This year the Valentine meet numbers for both the mens and womens meets were hugh. The efficiency with which these meets run is outstanding. Although the Valentine Day women’s meet ran very late in 2006 and no doubt the mens meet did as well. This year they seemed to increase the number of competitors in each heat where possible and the meet moved ahead rapidly because of the superb organization and efficiency of the officials. The results appeared online within minutes of its conclusion. There are no special masters events, one is place in an event by the seed time submitted.
    While there are not many masters who compete -those of us who do turn up are not singled out for special treatment, we are all there as competitors. It is no mean psychological trick to run in such a meet with some of the best college and open club runners. I know that I will be absolutely last in the last mile heat and have the track to myself for that lap. So far BU has been kind enough not to tell me to stay away!
    I appreciate the opportunity to race on a first class track in front of a very large and supportive crowd. I hope that the U. of Washington meet directors will try to continue to allow some masters to enter their open meets if not in masters races then by seed time.
    A handful of sprinters,hurdlers, or middle distance runners in a heat should not slow down a meet. Some of the younger masters are right up there with the college athletes. I do not even think of running something like the 3k as I am way too slow and would take up too much time on the track but in the mile – so far -I do not think I am slowing down the meet very much.

  2. M42 Mark Alexander - February 12, 2007

    Mary, good comments from you as usual.
    The UW Open indoor meet is intended primarily for Division II and Division III athletes. Anyone (youth, open, masters) who meets the qualifying standards can enter, but they are unfortunately out of reach for most masters athletes. I’m not sure the meet could run much faster; we had 36 heats of 60s (one heat every two minutes) and 12 heats of 800s. You get the idea.
    Dempsey Indoor sees a lot of use this time of year. In addition to the open meet, there are five invitational meets. The officials are giving up their weekends to work 12+ hour days, usually with little or no break. Until there are enough qualified officials to support scheduling them in shifts, I think we’re stuck with being largely shut out. It’s a shame, because Dempsey is an amazing facility with a very fast, oversized track. And there just aren’t many indoor tracks in this region.

  3. John Altendorf - February 13, 2007

    Thanks for posting this info Ken. I was very pleased to participate at the UW Open on Sunday. It was my first time and I was very impressed with the facility, the staff and officials. The participants and crowd made it quite an experience for me. If anyone is interested, I posted a video on my web site of my 3.96m jump. In it you hear the crowd as Mark mentioned.

  4. Mark Alexander - February 13, 2007

    By the way, at this same meet in 2005, Becky Sisley of Oregon set an American Record in the W65 indoor vault (2.24m).

  5. John Moore - October 21, 2010

    John,
    What a wonderful accomplishment. I saw Steve Lawrence at our class resunion in The dalles a few weeks ago and he told me to pull up your accomplishment on you-tube. I allways did and do what Steve tells me to do :), so I saw the video and have read the blogs.

    What great memories and the best to your continuing endeavors.
    John moore

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