Brian on Facebook.
What a difference a day makes. Less than 24 hours after I noted an M50 time of 52.98 seconds for the indoor 400, the mark on mastersrankings.com
has been changed to 62.98. The mystery began when someone other than Brian Marlier,
53, posted a 52.98 from the Jan. 19 Northern Arizona University Invitational in Flagstaff. The results say
it’s so. But eyes flew wide at the mark, which is close to the listed M50 world indoor record is 52.44 by Arizona’s Michael Sullivan
in 2011. So I had to check this out. First I wrote John Seto
, the USATF masters rankings coordinator (still looking for a successor in that role, BTW). John replied: “I do not know if it is valid, BUT it is listed in the official meet results. He submitted all of the results posted.” (Later I learned Brian hadn’t posted the mark.)
This is what mastersrankings.com originally said about Brian Marlier.
Then I wrote to NAU, and head track coach Eric Heins replied: “We know as much as you know about the results. The unattached athletes must register online and check in at the clerk’s table. So I assume Brian is Brian, and he did in fact run 52.98.”
Next step was trying to find our new superstar. I found a Brian Marlier on Facebook with a graduation date marking him as an M50. I later found a work email address.
He is a 50-second prep quarter-miler from his days 1977 graduate at Moline High School in Illinois. And Eastern Illinois University’s track roster from 1977-78 shows a freshman named Brian Marlier.
I had an exchange of email with Brian today, and will get more details later.
But the fact is: Results can be wrong. So kudos to whoever fixed the mistake online. The mark is respectable for M50, but he’s not one of the youngest men to beat their age in the 4.
The early comments on this story came before I updated the post (and took the post offline for several hours Monday).