Sue McDonald gets first goal: W50 American record in high jump

Sue McDonald

Sue McDonald

In February, Sue McDonald told her local newspaper that she was dedicating her training this year to breaking the W50 American and world records in the high jump. Mission accomplished on the AR. On June 8, competing in the San Diego-Imperial USATF Open Championships, Sue cleared 1.56 meters (5-1 1/4). That topped the listed AR of 1.55 (5-1) by Phil Raschker in 1997. Sue’s jump was made at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. She never made it to the Games, but she tried. She was an All-American collegiate high jumper as a kid and later took up the vault. The listed W50 WR is 1.60 (5-3) by Canadian Olympian Debbie Brill. Sue, a fitness trainer, isn’t listed as an Olathe masters entrant, but she probably has other meets on her dance card this summer. Congrats to Sue!

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June 15, 2013

4 Responses

  1. Peter Taylor - June 15, 2013

    Great job, Sue. Too bad that you will not be competing in either Olathe (USATF Masters) or Berea, Ohio (National Senior Games).

    A brief look at the athlete lists for the two meets readily underscores the benefit of combining the competitions. For example, in Olathe, all women in W50, W55, and W60 will get a medal for clearing a height, as the largest number of competitors in any of those groups is 3.

    The best-known W50 jumper at Berea is Caryl Senn-Griffiths. How nice it would be to have Caryl compete against the Sr Games jumpers plus Sue McDonald (above).

    In total, the Sr Games shows 49 in the groups beginning with W50+, while Olathe shows 18. Both meets will have five Hall of Famers in the women’s high jump (50+).

    Still dreaming of a merger of some sort ….

  2. Mary Harada - June 16, 2013

    merger of sr games and USATF Nat masters will not happen in my life time Peter – but of course it could happen years into the future. And perhaps my lifetime will be short.
    I fail to understand the enthusiasm for combining Sr Games with USATF Nat masters – one has to be 50 to participate in the Sr Games – so that lets out everyone 49 and younger. Plus the Sr games has limited events – for runners – maybe not for field events and jumps – but then – maybe runners do not count any more. The longest running event is 1500 meters – and the race walk is limited as well – but then again – maybe the runners and walkers do not matter.

  3. Peter Taylor - June 17, 2013

    Well, Mary, my enthusiasm for Sr Games can be traced to the need to bulk up our masters events. For example, looking at the women’s high jump, I can see that Kay Glynn will win the W60 class at Olathe with the greatest of ease, as she is the only one entered.

    The group just above Kay, W65, will have only 4 jumpers, which would be unthinkable at Sr Games. There, they will have 13 jumpers in W65, with the field headed by all-world Phil Raschker.

    I would certainly expect a combining of the Sr Games and masters to be followed very quickly by a change in the event list. After all, this would not be Sr Games, and it would not be masters — call it the Jubilee Games or whatever.

    At some point someone will have to step in and say “Enough is enough. We just can’t go on having so many masters events with 1 or 2 people in them.”
    Look at the M35 sprints, which over the years have been a source of great delight, as we used to have fields that resembled heats of college sprinters.

    This year in Olathe we have 2 men entered in the 100 dash for M35, 1 with no time and the other with a time of 12.00. In the M35 200 we have 1 poor soul, that is it. After combining with the Sr Games we might have 20 or more. Yes, if we combined with Sr Games I would be for lowering the age cutoff to 35 years.

  4. Ken Stone - February 2, 2014

    New video posted of Sue’s jump. Old video got lost somewhere. This one includes music and better slo-mo video.

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