M90 relay WRs were years in the making, changed members
Here’s Lydia’s writeup.
ItвЂ™s taken quite an effort to get four men 90+ years old to try for three World Records at the 2014 Outdoor Masters Track & Field Championships. Charles Ross was determined to contact as many 90+ year old runners to get this thing done. History was just waiting to be made in the M90-94 4Ч100, 4Ч400 and 4Ч800 outdoor relays. No one in any country in the world has been able to get a group of four to accomplish this historical feat.In 2012, John Means (91), Orville Rogers (94) and Ralph Maxwell (92) were looking for just one more 90-year-old to set a world record at the [USATF masters] indoor nationals in Bloomington, Indiana, in the 4Ч200 relay. They had been trying for five years to get four in the M85-89 and two years in M90-94 with no success. Orville Rogers volunteer to pay the entire fee if they could get just one more person.
Maxwell approached me to see if Charles Ross could be the fourth. At that time, Charles was only 89 years old, so the only available option was breaking the current record for M85-89. They shattered it by running 3:36.28, but the following year in 2013, when Charles Ross turned 90, two of the four were unable to attend the [outdoor nationals] in Olathe, Kansas.
Orville Rogers turned 95 that year and was setting world records of his own. At the indoors in Boston 2014, the opportunity was missed because no one had tried to organize a team. We were unable to contact Ralph Maxwell and sadly we heard of the passing of John Means.On our return from Boston, Charles and I discussed what it would take to get four maybe even five 90-plus-year-olds to try for the three relays at the 2014 outdoor nationals. His efforts paid off and he had successfully got commitments from four other 90-plus-year-olds вЂ” Ralph Maxwell (93), Orville Rogers (96), Charles Boyle (91) and Roy Englert (92).
Sadly, two weeks before the entry deadline, Charles spoke with Ralph Maxwell. Ralph told Charles that his cancer had returned and that he did not have long to live. Champion Goldy (97) was recruited in MaxwellвЂ™s place as the fifth team member. The team decided to dedicate the three world records to Ralph Maxwell and John Means of the original 4Ч2 indoor relay team.
That historical event was accomplished without a flaw and three world records that have never been set in any country is now a feather in the American Cap!
M90-94 4Ч100 (2:22.37), 4Ч400 (12:41.69) and 4Ч800 (28:17.10) M90-94.
Congratulations, вЂњFore-RunnersвЂќ вЂ” the name selected by the team and placed on our entry form.