Decathlon nationals marred by Chris Bates injury; may skip worlds
Chris Bates was on a tear at the national masters decathlon championships in Dallas over the weekend, getting three personal bests (for his age group, I assume). Then disaster struck. “I popped my left hamstring badly on my second attempt at 3.80 in the vault.” He soldiered on in the javelin, however, and threw a PB from a couple steps “but just couldn’t run at all and had to hobble straight-legged in the 15 just to finish the dec.” He ran an 8:35 in the last event and still won the M45 age group. But his record hopes вЂ” and perhaps chances at worlds вЂ” were toast. “Now I’m questionable for Sac,” he wrote before heading home to Oregon. (See results here.)
Stefan Waltermann, the only M60 entrant, said he arrived injured (and also is doubtful for Sacramento).
“The annual family reunion of the American masters decathletes is a meet I simply have to attend, injured or not,” he wrote me.
He added these details about the event:
St. Marks of Dallas is the perfect venue for multi events, simply the best. I guess with the name of the donor Lamar Hunt prominently displayed, the world-class facility should have been a surprise to nobody. If the facility is one ingredient of a successful host, people are the second. Fun loving, knowledgeable, effective, caring… It would be hard to find better hosts.
A never ending supply of water and Gatorade, plenty of oranges, two big tubs serving as ice baths, tends all over the place. What else? Long jump pits suited for Olympic Games, pole vault pits with favorite wind guarantees (I’m not kidding), perfect throwing rings, a fast track, well, I should stop gushing.
The event, the facility and the hosts deserved a larger group of athletes. I guess with the National Senior Games and the worlds coming up, a low turnout was to be expected. It was a bit too low for my taste. As to the competition, in the M45, Chris Bates was right on track for a new American, maybe even a word record, when disaster struck in the pole vault. Now, we might have lost a medal
contender for Sac to a serious hamstring injury. Another medal contender at the worlds, M65 Bob Baker arrived with an injury, started the 100 and pulled up after 30. The “heart & soul” of masters decathlon, M55 Jeff Watry arrived injured.
Russell Jaquet-Acea needed a good 1500 to beat second place Dennis Webb by 18 points in the M55. Kay Glynn scored big in the women’s decathlon, scoring 6900 points without finishing the 1500. In the high jump, she missed Phil Raschker’s W55 record by 1 cm and almost cleared 1.50 on her second attempt.