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 (24-7Вѕ) by Gloria Krug in 2007. Not sure of Christel’s distance, but it was confirmed with a steel tape.
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.
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.
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.