Masters headline the no-masters Dream indoor meet
How ironic. Three weeks after informing us that masters events aren’t welcome at the 2008 “Run for the Dream” indoor meet January 21 in Fresno, meet organizers announce that their headline entrants are — two masters athletes. M35 Allen Johnson and W35 Stacy Dragila — both Olympic champions — are the touted pair. And both have shots at world age-group records — the indoor hurdles and pole vault. The listed M35 WR for 60-meter hurdles is 7.40 by Britain’s Colin Jackson in 2002. The listed W35 indoor vault record is 4.25 (13-11) by Romania’s Gabriella Mihalcea in 1999. What would Fresno do without us old farts?
Here’s the news story:
Olympic gold medalists Allen Johnson and Stacy Dragila headline a list of professionals invited to compete in the Run for the Dream Indoor Track and Field Meet on Jan. 21 at the Save Mart Center.
Other athletes invited to the meet, part of the Visa Championship Series, include Virginia Powell, a two-time U.S. Outdoor champion in the 100-meter hurdles, and Bershawn Jackson, 2005 World Outdoor champion in the 400 hurdles. Professional athletes will compete in the third meet of the day, pitting some of America’s best against international competition. The meet also will include high school and college divisions.
Bob Fraley, track and field coach at Fresno State, said he plans to finalize the list of participating athletes by Dec. 30.
Johnson, one of 55 invited athletes, placed seventh at the 2007 U.S. Outdoor Championships. Over the past 10 years, his accomplishments have made him the best American hurdler in World Championships history. He is an 11-time U.S. champion and seven-time World champion. In 1996, he won an Olympic gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles.
Dragila, a native of Auburn, is credited with popularizing the women’s pole vault. She earned a gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games, the first time the event was added. She is a 17-time U.S. champion and three-time World champion.