400s sizzle at LSU nationals, but rain/lightning hamper hurdlers

Another day of contrasts at LSU nationals. Day 2 saw American records in the M50 and M80 400-meter dashes — and a near-miss in M40 and W50. And lightning led meet officials to delay seven short-hurdles finals until Saturday morning, along with some throws. But USATF jumped the gun declaring M50 Khalid Mulazim’s 51.13 a world record, even though it beat the listed WR of 51.39 by Fred Sowerby in 1999. (We’ve been reporting how Germany’s Roland Gröger has been chipping away at Sowerby, topped by his 50.73 three weeks ago.) Also not highlighted was M80 Bob Lida’s 73.55, which beats the listed AR of 75.4 by Harold Chapson wayyyyyy back in 1983. (Bob ran 70.20 at Daegu worlds.) Also remarkable is M40 Antwon Dussett’s unpressed 48.94, which missed the listed AR of 48.44 by James King in 1989. W50 Charmaine Roberts clocked 61.95, just shy of the listed AR of Jai (pronounced Jay) Black’s 61.38 of 2012. Baton Rouge also saw Olympic medalist Walter Dix’s submasters debut, running 100 in 10.32 in his first masters nationals. Welcome, Walter! Hurdlers 60-plus on Saturday face a grind, including the shuttles and the long hurdles. But guts is what they’re made of. And here’s a highlight for Saturday:

Here’s the USATF news release for Day 2:

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — Two-time 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Walter Dix made his USATF Masters debut on Friday, representing the young end of the masters meet spectrum, at USATF Masters Outdoor Championships at LSU.

Dix (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) is looking to extend his athletic legacy into the USATF Masters circuit with his first foray into the national outdoor championships. The 31-year-old took off from the gun and was unstoppable in the M30 100m preliminary heat, clocking in at an impressive 10.32. Dix will continue his journey to gold tomorrow in the final at 2:09 p.m. local time.

On demand video of today’s events is available on USATF.TV+. Click here for full results.

The first record of the meet was set by Khalid Mulazim (Cleveland, Ohio) of Southwest Sprinters Track Club, blasting through the M50 400m to take gold in a world record time of 51.13. Mulazim’s time usurps Fred Sowerby’s 1999 record of 51.39.

Current world record holder in the M45 age group, Allen Woodard (Houston, Texas), easily overtook his 400m competition in 49.71. While Charmaine Roberts (Beltsville, Maryland) of Athena Track Club, fell just a half-millisecond short of the 400m W50-54 American record, but still captured gold in 61.95.

USATF Masters Hall of Famer Rita Hanscom (San Diego, California) ran a fast 15.84 in the W60 80m hurdles before rain threatened to suspend competition.

Inclement weather progressed and several events were rescheduled for tomorrow. The existing Saturday schedule will run as advertised, with the remaining hurdles heats from Friday running on the infield starting at 8:00 a.m. Hammer throw is moved to 7:00 a.m. and women’s weight throw will now start at 9:30 a.m.

Also on Saturday, 101-year-old Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins will descend upon LSU in a must-see 100m world record attempt. Hawkins, who lives in Baton Rouge, is the oldest living female competitor in track & field. The centenarian will race at 1:00 p.m. local time. Watch live on USATF.TV +PLUS.

In addition, 92-year-old Dixon Hemphill (Fairfax Station, Virginia) will continue his dominance at Masters Outdoor Championships with the 100m at 2:33 p.m.

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July 14, 2017

9 Responses

  1. Paul Murphy - July 15, 2017

    LSU is now my favorite outoor venue. The cool, quiet indoor warm-up/check-in areas made the weather outside irrelevant. Also, the volunteers and every local resident I encountered were incredibly friendly and helpful.

  2. Matt B. - July 15, 2017

    That 40.12 is amazing! Age 101

  3. Track Fan - July 16, 2017

    “Weather outside irrelevant???” This is an outdoor meet and any records set in the indoor venue will be ineligible. It’s great that we have the indoor areas as a fall-back when the rain and lightning come but the weather has been an enormous game changer in this meet. The officials have been extremely flexible and accommodating and the facility is excellent but if you dismiss the weather conditions as irrelevant you are sadly mistaken.

  4. Ty Brown - July 17, 2017

    Running hurdles in a down pour was horribly dangerous and scary.

  5. Kathy Bergen - July 18, 2017

    The humidity in Baton Rouge was oppressive and exhausting. It rained every afternoon with lightning strikes causing delays everyday. In fact, the men’s 200 prelim, among other events, had to be run indoors. This was a surprise?

    The announcers were annoying and never stopped talking. They selectedly praised some athletes and ignored most others including World Record holders, American Record holders and prior national champions. Who supplied the information?

    When races would start we would hear “They’re rolling.” ? The field events were completely ignored. Where was Peter Taylor when we needed him?

    When an athlete lay on the track for 20 minutes after a terrible fall, the announcers waxed poetic about the wonderful emergency services and announced where we could find the app or web site for wonderful local restaurants.

    There was no shade in the stands and insufficient shade for the field events.

    The officials, as usual, were very efficient, accommodating and knowledgeable. The volunteers were great at providing cold drinks everywhere and keeping the restrooms clean and well stocked.

    We spent over $2000 to participate in this meet. It was great competing, connecting with friends and meeting new ones. If this was the only bid for our National Championships then there is something wrong with the system.

  6. tb - July 18, 2017

    My favorite nationals, by far. Could have done without the male announcer, however. His signature start to a race was just irritating.

    Can’t believe we got to compete at LSU. Loved it.

  7. Ty Brown - July 18, 2017

    I agree with Kathy. The announcers had a ton of misinformation regarding World, and American records, and who holds them. It appears they need to put some time in on research. Peter, we miss you. You spoiled us all.

  8. Doug Spencer - July 21, 2017

    For sure missed Peter Taylor

  9. Ken Stone - July 21, 2017

    If your association would like to bid for a masters nationals, here’s the go-to info spot:
    http://www.usatfmasters.org/bid.htm

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