W90 superstar Olga Kotelko continues her world record romp
Olga Kotelko just kills me. She claims at least 15 world records in the run-up to Lahti, sets eight WRs there, and then what? She goes and sets some more a couple weekends ago at the British Columbia Senior Games in Richmond. Her most notable WR at Minoru Park was in the 400-meter dash. She broke the 3-minute barrier at age 90 to shatter the listed age-group record of 3:06.85 by Mexico’s Rosario Iglesias in 2001. Olga’s time was 2:50.28, according to these results. In July, Olga was among eight greats inducted into the Canadian Masters Hall of Fame. Here’s a report from Doug Smith in Ontario: “Inductees . . . were announced at the Championships Awards Banquet on Saturday, July 18, in Kamloops. Diane Palmason is the Chair of the Hall of Fame Committee. Members of the Committee presented the HOF plaques.”
Olga got her award from HoF chair Diane Palmason.
Doug described the Class of 2009:
Citation: Earl Fee
Known as “The Great Earl”, not only in Canada but all over the Masters Athletics World, Earl Fee has been one of Canada’s greatest masters runners since he first started competing in 1986. In the ensuing 24 seasons he has broken 53 world age and age-specific records, indoors and out, in the 300m hurdles, and the 400m, 800m, 1500m and mile events.
In 2005 his three gold medals and two world records at the World Masters Athletics championships in Spain earned him the title of Male Master Athlete of the year over all other male masters athletes worldwide.
Since March of this year he has been celebrating his 80th birthday by breaking and rebreaking his 400m and 800m world records, and hopes to continue this onslaught while competing in WMA meets in Lahti this month, and here in Kamloops next March.
The Executive and all members of the Canadian Masters Athletics Association congratulate him on his outstanding career, and welcome him to their Hall of Fame.
Harold Morioka presented the Citation. As Earl was at home in Mississauga preparing for the Lahti competition, his Etobicoke Huskies-Striders clubmate Clara Northcott accepted Earl’s certificate on his behalf.
Citation: Jean Horne
In Jean Horne’s 25 year career competing as a middle distance runner in masters athletics, she has won 21 World championships medals: 11 gold and 10 silver. In her very first World meet in 1989 she won the 800 meters. So inspired, she went on to run in nine subsequent World meets, setting her 1500m PB in Finland in 1991.
In Japan two years later she won three golds, earning her the honour of carrying the Canadian flag in the opening ceremonies of the 1995 Games in Buffalo. This experience vies with winning the 800m in a World Record time at Gateshead as THE highlight in her career. Organizations beyond the world of masters athletics have recognized her talents and commitment.
In 1999 she won the Toronto star award for athetics in their Women on the Move competition. This year ongoing injury troubles forced her to announce her retirement from competition – but not for long.
She’s now trying racewalking, and hopes to be ready to compete at the national level by next year. The Executive and all members of the Canadian Masters Athletic Association congratulate her on her outstanding career, and welcome her to their Hall of Fame.
Citation: Olga Kotelko
At 90 years of age, Olga Kotelko is the Queen Mother of multiple events athletes. Since 1997 she has been running, jumping and throwing – and breaking Canadian and World records in the W80, W85 and now W90 age categories. Starting with the World championships in Gateshead in 1999, she has competed internationally, indoors as well as out, winning many gold medals. In the BC Masters athletics championships in Nanaimo this past May, she broke or set 8 World Records, plus two national marks for a total of 10 Canadian records.
Her W85 record for the high jump, set in 2004, earned an age-graded ranking of 92.64%, demonstrating that she is about quality as well as quantity in the record-setting department. Nor have her achievements gone unnoticed.
Besides having been named BC’s Masters Athlete of the Year, she has also won the Vancouver YWCA’s Women of Distinction in Sports award. In her West Vancouver community she is a sought after motivational speaker for seniors, and well known in her local elementary school where she coaches the shot put.
The Executive and all members of the Canadian Masters Athletic Association congratulate her on her outstanding career, and welcome her to their Hall of Fame.
Citation: Ed Whitlock
In the 36 years that Ed Whitlock has been a member of the Canadian Masters International Track Team (CMITT, later CMAA), it seems that the only years in which he did not win championships and set records, World as well as Canadian, were those years in which he did not compete because of work commitments or injuries.
His first World record, an M45 indoor 1500, came in 1977; his first World championship in the 1500 in Hannover in 1979. Then there was what Ed reports as “a wonderful week running four track World records in the mile, 3000m, 5000m and 10,000m”, age-graded from 96.9% to 98.7%. In the intervening years, despite a 13-year break from competition, he amassed a total of 14 World records, and Canadian records in all distances from 800m to the marathon, in M45, M50, M65, M70 and M75.
He holds more Road Racing Bests than any other Canadian runner. Included among those best road performances are the marathon records he has set since becoming the oldest man, at 69, to run a marathon in under three hours.
In 2003, he became the first man over 70 to break 3 hours. In 2004 he improved this with a 2:54.49 at 73. Another sub-three race in 2005 extended the oldest age to 74. His fastest performance remains the M70 world record, and he now holds that distinction for M75 as well. And we can be confident of the accuracy of all of the Canadian road bests, because Ed has chaired the certification of those records for years.
The Executive and all members of the Canadian Masters Athletic Association congratulate him on his outstanding career, and welcome him to their Hall of Fame.
Citation: Roger Ruth
In 1970 Track & Field News selected Roger Ruth as World Masters Athlete of the Year. He was THE pioneer masters pole vaulter, and was never defeated in Masters competition until the torn rotator cuff that he sustained while vaulting at the World Championships in Hannover in 1979 ended his vaulting career.
He vaulted in the three previous world championships, including the first meet in England in 1972, where he competed as a member of the original team of Canadian masters athletes. Not only did he win every masters vault, he also earned 2nd and 3rd places vaulting in Canadian open championships.
The World record marks that he set in his 40s have remained the Canadian M40 and M45 records, outdoors and indoors, since 1972/1973. His M45 vault earns an age-grading of 91.57%, the highest vault mark of all age groups in the Canadian records. He also has a still-standing M45 record in the long jump, and he triple-jumped, as well.
Roger was the BC Sport Federation Masters Athlete of the Year for all sports in 1975. For the past three decades he has maintained his interest in and love for the vault, and is recognized as one of the world’s best vault statisticians and historians. The executive and all members of the Canadian Masters Athletic Association congratulate him on his outstanding career, and welcome him to their Hall of Fame.
Citation: Wilmer Vernon “Whitey” Sheridan
Whitey Sheridan was a true pioneer, mentor and role model for masters runners. When the masters athletics movement was getting underway in the late 60s and early 70s, Whitey was already in his 50s, and had been competing on the roads for decades.
He ran his first road race in 1929 when he was 13, and kept on racing until his 85th year. He ran all distances from 800m to the marathon, just missing the Canadian Olympic marathon team in 1952 at the age of 36, when only one runner was selected. He kept up his running, competing on the track and cross-country as well as on the roads. His Canadian record for the M75 5000 meters indoors, set in 1991, still stands. A favourite race was the Hamilton ‘Round the Bay 18+ miler, which he ran 50 times.
He was inducted into the Canadian Road Running Hall of Fame, and was a long-time member of the Hamilton Olympic Club, often providing coaching and support for younger runners. The many medals and awards that he won over this long career filled his basement room to overflowing. He did miss out on one award, though.
As he described in an autobiography printed in Masterpiece in 1987, he “received a haircut for one prize – but the barber was not open on Saturday afternoons”. The many members of the Canadian Masters Athletic Association who remember Whitey’s outstanding career are proud to have his memory celebrated in their Hall of Fame.
Citation: Howard West
Although Howard West was active in sports for most of his life, his career in Masters Athletics didn’t begin until he was 82. While watching a track meet at the Saskatoon Fieldhouse, he decided he’d give the sport a try. He started with the sprints, then moved on to the throws. His first attempt at international competition, in Gateshead in 1999 at age 86, resulted in some good performances, but no medals.
Determined to do better, he returned home and connected with Alex Johnstone, a throws coach. After four more years of training and competing nationally and internationally, he achieved his dream of medalling at the World championships in Puerto Rico in 2003. In his new M90 category, he won the gold in the weight pentathlon, as well as bronzes in the javelin and 200 meters.
Also in 2003 he set a World record indoors in the weight throw that still stands, along with his five indoor and four outdoor Canadian records. His achievements did not go unnoticed in his home province. He was named the top Saskatchewan Masters competitor in 2001 and 2003, and won the Sask Sport Award as the outstanding masters athlete in all sports in 2003. He also gave back to his sport, supporting youth and masters athletics financially as well as in volunteer capacity.
He was an inspiration to all who watched him compete, and will always be recognized as one of the top masters athletes of all time in Saskatchewan. The executive and all members of the Canadian Masters Athletic Association congratulate him on his outstanding career, and welcome him to their Hall of Fame.
Citation: Brian Oxley.
Although Brian Oxley is being honoured for his many contributions to masters athletics as an administrator, his initial involvement was as an athlete. In his words, he “tried them all” – 200m to the marathon, plus steeplechase, jumps and throws.
He loves cross-country, and cites the team bronze that he, Arthur Taylor and Johnny Johnston won in the WAVA Cross Country race in New Zealand in 1981 as one highlight in a master career that stretches from 1973 to the present.
Amazingly, his stint as a member of the CMAA executive covers this same time frame, from 1973 to the present.
He chaired the Organizing Committee for the first World Championships in Toronto in 1975, and subsequently succeeded Don Farquharson as president of CMAA (then CMITT) when Don became first president of WAVA. At one stage in those early years, Brian found himself serving as President, Treasurer and Bulletin editor, all at the same time. He then became involved at the international level, becoming president of NCCWMA, and thus serving on the WAVA/WMA council where he had earlier played a part in developing the constitution. He occupied a number of roles at the international level, including that of Records chairman.
As any member of CMAA who follows masters athletics at the international level may be aware, contributing at this level can be stressful thanks to what Brian diplomatically refers to as a “European management style”.
After several instances in which the European leaders seemed to be ignoring the Constitution, Brian “walked away from it all. It was no longer fun”.
Demonstrating his keen sense of the fun of masters athletics, Brian included the following anecdote from his early competitive days:
“I couldn’t throw the javelin any further than the discus and was puzzled by this. My father-in-law claimed to know a bit about it, so I asked him to watch what I was doing. I threw the discus, then threw the javelin – which pierced the discus! “Do that again”, he said. I had to have the discus repaired by a carpenter at work”.
The executive and all members of the Canadian Masters Athletic Association thank and salute Brian for his years of dedication to the administration of masters athletics, and welcome him to their Hall of Fame.