Kathy Bergen, Christel Donley claim American records at Pasadena

Kathy Bergen — despite an injured hammie — cleared 1.25 meters (4-1 1/4) today in the high jump at the California Senior Games at Caltech. That beat the listed W70 American record of 1.22 (4-0) by Leonore McDaniels in 1998. (The listed world record is 1.27 (4-2) by Christiane Schmalbruch in 2007.) Kathy already has at least three world records this season, including the indoor 60 and high jump — and the 14.76 100 at Mt. SAC, where she hurt her hamstring and still feels it. Kathy, along with several other hobbled athletes, used the meet in Pasadena to qualify for the 2011 National Senior Olympics in Houston. They got a taste of Texas heat as well, with temps in the high 80s (and appreciable humidity). In the shot, meet organizer Christel Donley (whose son helped with heat sheets) beat the listed W75 American record of 7.51 (24-7¾) by Gloria Krug in 2007. Not sure of Christel’s distance, but it was confirmed with a steel tape.

The grandparent-grandchild relay, a traditional treat at the Caltech meet, included one pair in which the elder ran the wrong way. (Photo by Ken Stone)

The meet was well-attended and had lots of great races — with a 96-year-old and a 92-year-old stealing the attention of camera crews. In fact, the 92-year-old gent entered nine events — and delayed the meet about a half-hour by finishing the 1500 in 23 minutes and the 400 in something over 4 minutes. But that’s the Senior Olympics for you.

Kathy Bergen went on to clear an American record. (Chris photo)

Here’s a photo gallery of the event. My wife, Chris, took the bulk of the pictures.

Olympian and former world record holder Willie Banks, 54, high-jumped 1.80 (5-10 3/4) with his usual three-step approach and straddle, and later took one try in his signature event (the triple jump).

M75 sprint great Bobby Whilden, a Houston native on a West Coast swing (he’ll also compete at the Hayward Masters Classic), edged former world champion Dick Richards in the 100. Don’t have their times yet. Results are still being processed.

Oops. This gent, well in the relay lead, took off in the wrong direction -- back toward the starting line. (Ken photo)

Meet organizers graciously let a handful of 40-somethings compete, including Liz Palmer and Amanda Scotti of the Sacramento-based Golden West Track Club. (But I don’t think they were eligible for medals.)

My wife and I competed too. Chris won a silver and two bronzes, and I won an M55 bronze in the 50-meter dash (7.58). But I let out ear-splitting yells after hearing that I clocked 13.97 (legal automatic time) in the 100. I later ran a legal 28.86 in the 200 (and avenged my defeat in the 100, when Andy Hecker, my arch-rival, beat me by a step.)

Both were my fastest legal times in four years! Thank goodness for Caltech’s Mondo track — and Andy’s coattails.

In the 100, I was edged by Andy Hecker (in green shorts). My wife caught a great series of reactions in my last few strides. (Photos by Chris Stone)

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June 5, 2010

15 Responses

  1. Bubba Sparks - June 6, 2010


  2. Karen Vaughn - June 6, 2010

    Great performances by two great ladies!

  3. Liz Palmer - June 6, 2010

    Congrats to Christel and Kathy for two super performances! Well done, ladies. I was eligible to compete as a “sub-senior” since I turn 50 this year and would qualify to compete as W50 at the national meet in 2011. The meet organizers graciously gave me a medal in my own age category. But Ken, I have to correct you on Amanda Scotti’s age. She’s 52 and will be 53 later this year. She only LOOKS (and runs!) like she’s 40.

  4. Geri Stone, Mama Mia, Grandma Geri - June 6, 2010

    Great pictures, and story. What do you expect from a 92 year old? Just like the seniors here in L.W.

  5. Tom Phillips - June 6, 2010


    What a superb photo to accompany the blog! I am in awe.


  6. christel donley - June 6, 2010

    We (Jerry and I ) got back home to COS (Colorado Spgs) and now here it’s 80 plus F. Summer is finally here – or is it still spring?

    I can’t believe, that I already read comments on our meet, while I am still sorting out highlites.
    Thanks to you all!. And the photos are priceless,
    the results will come, give us a “few hours”. Need to check with the Timing people, and today is still Sunday!!
    I still hear Ken screaming – he was sooo excited about his times, and Yes, our blogmaster is FAST.
    Chris, thanks for the photos!!

    By the way, this is the 18th year of the Senior Games, that I have been the meetdirector, and my oldest son, Nils, has been the clerk for all the sprint events, without him,I get panicked.
    Changing heats, finding lanes for late-comers and late sign-ups is an unbelievable task. And YES, we
    do take some of the older athletes on the day of the meet, that’s how these Senior Games started out: a friend, a spouse, watching, and wanting to try
    something new – and the joy and excitement of those
    who stay with it – and have joined the USA Masters
    T&F, is worth all the effort.

    And yes, Willi Banks joining us in the Senior Games, is/was great. Years ago, I paid to watch him!!!
    And the athletes who took second behind him, were thrilled!
    Once you read the results, check out some names, that have been on the Senior/Masters scene for a very looong time! It is a joy to see them again.

    Thanks to all, you were/are great.
    Christel Donley

    PS, Bubba, hang in, you should have been there!

  7. annelies steekelenburg - June 6, 2010

    Christel, we all love YOU !!
    And thanks again, I had a great time.

  8. christel donley - June 6, 2010

    Results will get out tomorrow evening, so stay tuned.
    By the way, the ONLY chance for me to qualify for the NSG, was this meet, so I played ping – pong,
    one jump here, one jump there and 2 throws, no concentration, just to get a mark. And all this with a torn rotatorcuff – (my throwing arm) which needs surgery. Will wait until after Nationals.
    Please, no comment, I know its ….. well, not smart.But I have 4-6 months to heal, so by next year, I could be back.

  9. Mellow Johnny - June 6, 2010

    just saw $5 parking for nationals…this was an issue last year in Oshkosh as well…wish they’d stop with the nickel and diming…$45 is already a steep price to compete relative to our Oregon Assn and NW Regional Assn Champs ($20 each) not to mention transportation and lodging…

  10. Mellow Johnny - June 6, 2010



  11. Gene Bynre - June 7, 2010

    Where are the results for the Pasadena meet?

  12. Ken Stone - June 7, 2010

    Results are now posted here:

    Update: This now includes javelin and triple jump.

  13. Nadine O'Connor - June 7, 2010

    Many thanks to Christel, Nils, all of the ever patient officials, and many volunteers. Despite all of the many last minute entries and big numbers in some events, the meet was efficiently run and great fun. They somehow made it possible for many of us to run from event to event to qualify for the 2011 National Senior Games and still have time to visit with old friends and new. Any one who has been lucky enough to compete at this meet over years has seen Christel running from event to event, heat sheets in hand, rounding up competitors, quickly take a throw, get folks to the staring line, then take a quick jump over the bar. If the Energizer Bunny people ever need a new mascot, Christel is it!

    Who do we thank for all the treats and goodie bags? Even a nicely designed T-shirt?

  14. christel donley - June 8, 2010

    The biggest Thanks goes to Cindy Rosedale, the
    Director for the Senior Games and all other events at the Pasadena Senior Center.

    Her ability to organize and deal with non-stop questions, is “non plus ultra”
    Without her, we would not have a meet like we did.

    18 yrs. of working together has taught each other a lot.

    Hubba, hubba, Cindy

  15. Ken stone - August 16, 2014

    Here’s are 2014 results of this great meet:

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