Willie Banks soars 6 feet at 56; Christa adds two more WRsWillie Banks, the USATF director and Hall of Famer, says he prepared for the high jump at the San Diego Senior Olympics by вЂ” losing weight. Looks like it helped. After slimming down from 203 to 183 pounds this year, he straddled 1.83 meters (6 feet 0) to beat Jim Barrineau’s 1.80 American record from Lisle nationals in August. Then he barely missed 1.88 (6-2), which would have been a world record. But the star of the show at San Diego Mesa College (whose teams name is the Olympians) was W75 Christa Bortignon of Vancouver, BC. She ran 17-something in the 80-meter hurdles and sprinted 200 in 33.39 to set her 11th and 12th world records this season, by her count. The listed W75 WR is 34.40 by Germany’s Paula Schneiderhan at Durban worlds in 1997. See photos of the meet by Tom Coat.
Masters track founder David Pain witnessed part of the meet, held in high 80s and humid conditions, along with close friend Monty Hacker of South Africa, the former WAVA and WMA officer.
M95 record guy Leland McPhie, 98, also watched from a shade tent. But he says he works out every other day at a local YMCA, doing a circuit of a dozen machines, and hopes to break M100 records “if I’m still alive,” he told me with a smile.