John Andrew’s 11.40 ‘world record’ removed from rankings
Yeah, everyone suspected a hoax. And everyone was right. The 11.40 credited to M55 John Andrew was too good to be true. As detailed here three weeks ago, this superfast 100-meter mark found its way onto mastersrankings.com. How good is 11.40? Well, it beats Bill Collins’ listed M55 world record of 11.44. Now the mark is gone. John Seto, overseer of the seasonal rankings site, deleted it over the weekend after failing to verify the time, and for other reasons. I also poked around, writing two other sprinters at the November 15 meet in Texas where the 11.40 was supposedly run. Curiously, meet director Seth Brower has been silent on this issue — despite several email queries from John and me.
M50 Bryan Shilcutt, who ran the 100 at the Texas meet, wrote me: “I have no recollection of this John Andrew. . . . There was a 30-something-year-old in my 100-meter heat on 11-15-09 that probably did run well under 12. And, there was a gent that was considerably older than me in that same heat who finished well behind me.”
George Haywood, an M55 member of Houston Elite, ran the 400 that day a month ago, and he told me via email: “I’m sure I would have noticed an 11.40, especially since there were only a few 55-year-olds there. As they say, ‘There must be some mistake!’ “
Finally, John Seto informed me that the 11.40 was removed for three reasons: It wasn’t under fully automatic timing (FAT); Bryan’s recollection of a younger sprinter going sub-12; and “John’s e-mail address was invalid, so I could not ask him.”
The bogus email address was key to Seto’s decision. Folks who post marks on mastersrankings.com are expected to enter a legit email address “in case we have questions regarding this submission.” When John tried to write John, the email bounced. Bad sign.
But all is well now! A bogus mark has been banished.
And the most important thing?
I’ve been rightfully restored to No. 86 on the M55 seasonal list for the 100!
But watch out, guys! I’m shooting for top 80 next year!