Hope for record ratification of Hinton’s 2008 indoor mile
Records, and John Hinton, deserve more respect.
John Hinton, then 45, ran a 4:20.18 mile on Jan. 19, 2008. Nobody disputes this. But did he set a world indoor record? Well, yeah. The listed M45 age-group world indoor record was (and still is) 4:21.90 by Albin Swenson in 1993 (setting aside Tony Young’s 4:13 this year, which came on an “oversized” track). But USATF Masters T&F records chair Sandy Pashkin rejected the Hinton mark, citing the lack of a USATF sanction for the meet — the prestigious Hartshorne Memorial Masters Miles at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Now comes word that any masters runner who breaks an age-group record at the SISU Foundation 800 Meter Challenge Race on May 2 in Arizona will see the record ratified — even without a USATF sanction. Why? Because the SISU 800 is being contested as part of an NCAA meet, which confers its sanction status on the masters 800. (Here’s the email exchange that supports this.) How interesting! But wait! There’s more! Who issued the opinion that OKs masters records without an explicit USATF meet sanction? You guessed it: Sandy Pashkin.
So I wrote Sandy on Tuesday: “It seems that John Hinton’s mile at the 2008 Hartshorne race came in an NCAA-sanctioned event. And since this appears to be enough for a masters record, Hinton should have his mile mark ratified as a USATF age-group record. Will you seek ratification of the Hinton mark under this scenario?”
Sandy replied the same day: “The Sanction was not for the mile which was on a different day than the College events.”
I forwarded Sandy’s note to folks up in New York, and Tom Hartshorne replied:
Ken and company, Sandy is wrong that our mile events were on different days than Cornell’s Upstate Challenge Track and Field competition (formerly Cornell Invitational in the era when Sandy herself competed in our first women’s masters mile 1981.)
Proof of that is the elite invitation I sent out this year to our elite men and women 40′s invites which clearly states the date (1/24/09) and the fact that our event is a featured race of Cornell’s Upstate Challenge and the link below which is Cornell’s Track and Field calender for 2008-2009 which has the Upstate Challenge listed for the same date (1/24/09).
The same was true last year and the year before all the way back into the 70′s when the event was called the Cornell Invitational. If need be I can email a copy of our 2008 invite letter and dig up proof of Cornell’s calender for that Jan. 19th 2008 event during which Hinton set the record.
The Upstate Challenge has been a one day event for a long time. In fact, on the Friday preceeding the Saturday of Cornell’s Upstate Challenge every year for over a decade there has been a large high school meet held in Barton Hall, the very same facility that hosts the Upstate Challenge.
Wanting to give Sandy a final chance to make amends, I wrote her again Wednesday, saying:
Rick Hoebeke informs me: “The 2008 Hartshorne Mile and the college events ALL OCCURRED on the same day, on the same track and as part of the same college meet!!!!”
So what else do the Hartshorne people need to make the record happen?
Sandy has yet to reply.
In December 2008, Sandy submitted a long list of masters records to the USATF Records Committee, including one for a W35 800 mark done way back in 1998. So there apparently is no statute of limitations on records. She can fix this.
Sadly, all this hoo-haw could have been avoided had Sandy studied a rulebook interpretation posted by Steve Chantry as a comment on this blog on December 1, 2008:
I have just read the Masters Track narrative about John Hinton’s record at Hartshorne last year. I think that there is a mistake in their rule interpretation. Note that within the USATF rule cited: Rule 262 Rules Applicable to All Records on page 154 paragraph 3 (a) in the last sentence, it states: “In Men’s and Women’s Track and Field, Long Distance Running, Race Walking and Masters Track and Field, no record shall be acceptable unless it was made in an event that had been sanctioned by USATF, a member organization of USATF or another member Federation of IAAF by competitors eligible to compete under IAAF rules.”
I interpret this last sentence as meaning that the event must meet one of the following standards: 1) sanctioned by USATF; 2) sanctioned by a member organization of USATF; or 3) sanctioned by another member Federation of IAAF.
Here is the website: http://www.usatf.org/about/rules/2008/
Tom, your running club sanctioned this meet and your running club is a “member organization of USATF.” I don’t see the problem and they need to fix this.
Of course, the NCAA qualifies as a member organization of USATF (or else records set at NCAA meets wouldn’t be eligible for USATF record status).
So now the ball’s in Sandy’s court.
Please make this right, Sandy.