800 headed to ABQ for indoor nationals, 44 from New Mexico
More from Bobâ€™s blast:
The address of the Convention Center is 401 2nd Street NW, Albuquerque NM 87102. The detailed schedule may be found here.
The overall meet website with entrants and events may be found here.
Media is welcome and will be credentialed onsite.Â For interviews and onsite coverage information contact Bob Weiner, USATF Masters Media Chair, on location or at cells 202-306-1200 or 202-329-1700, e-mailÂ email@example.com.
The Albuquerque meet will feature at least 44 athletes from New Mexico, headed by Lisa Valle, 49, ofAlbuquerque, a middle-distance star and 2009 world outdoor champion in the 800 and 1500, competing at those distances plus 3000m; Paul Fragua, 59, of Albuquerque, a middle-distance ace but with great ability in the 400, running the 400 and 800; and David Salazar, 65, of Cedar Crest, a standout in the middle distances who became a pentathlete for a while and now is returning to the 400 and 800. All three are members of New Mexico Track Club.
The meet will be the Mecca for masters sprinters, according to meet announcer Peter Taylor. At last count, we had 239 in the 60 dash alone.Â
Sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers, and other masters athletes who love an excellent surface, a steeply banked track, and high altitude are flocking to Albuquerque, New Mexico, on the first weekend in March for the USATF Masters Indoor Championships.Â The sprints are headed by a bevy of international stars ranging in age from 30 to 99.
Reverend Champion Goldy, from Haddonfield, New Jersey, takes the honors for seniority among the male sprinters, having been born just over 99 years and 1 month ago. On the womenâ€™s side, Sumi Onodera-Leonard, the Hall of Famer from Huntington Beach, California, takes seniority at age 87.
New Mexico Leading Masters T&F Profilesâ€¨
By Dave Lopez, New Mexico USATF Masters Chair
Paul Economides â€“ Age 70 â€“ from Albuquerque, NM â€“ entered in Shot Put, Weight Throw and Super Weight Throw in 2016 National Indoor meet â€“ holds the World Record in Throws Pentathlon and American Record in Discus Throw (M65) â€“ has participated & medaled in numerous national meets over the years â€“ has been throwing since the seventh grade â€“ slowed over the past few years by a torn Achilles heel but recovery has gone well and hopes to make a run at the throws records in his new age group!
Roger Assink â€“ Age 70 â€“ from Albuquerque, NM â€“ entered in 60M and 200M Dashes in 2016 National Indoor meet â€“ never ran track in high school or college â€“ started running in local Corporate Cup events in his mid 30â€™s â€“ underwent open heart surgery in 2009 â€“ recovered enough to place 3rd in 60M Dash and 2nd in 200M Dash in 2011 Masters Indoor Championships, the last time the meet was held in Albuquerque â€“ looking forward to competing in 2016 Outdoor Nationals in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is minutes from his hometown.
David Salazar â€“ Age 65 â€“ lives in Cedar Crest, NM â€“ entered in 400M Dash and 800M Run in 2016 National Indoor meet â€“ has participated in many USATF Masters Indoor & Outdoor Championships, starting in 1990 â€“ winner of nine National titles, in 800M Run, 1500M Run and Pentathlon in various age groups â€“ member of SoCal Track Club 4x800M Relay that set a 50-59 world record.
Lisa Valle â€“ Age 49 â€“ from Albuquerque, NM â€“ entered in 800M, 1500M and 3000M Runs in 2016 National Indoor meet â€“ triple gold medalist (800M, 1500M & 2000M Steeplechase) in 2009 WMA World Championships in Lahti, Finland â€“ double gold medalist (800M, 2000M Steeplechase) and silver medalist (1500M) in 2011 WMA World Championships in Sacramento, setting a W45 World Record in the 2000M Steeplechase (6:58.98) â€“ four time gold medalist indoors and seven time gold medalist in outdoor USATF Masters National Championships since 2008.â€¨
Paul Fragua â€“ Age 59 â€“ lives in Jemez Pueblo and Albuquerque, NM â€“ entered in 400M Dash and 800M Run in 2016 National Indoor meet â€“ has competed in many Masters National Championships, both indoor and outdoor, dating back to 1992 â€“ winner of multiple national titles over this span, including golds in M55 800M & 1500M Runs in 2014 Masters Outdoor Championships â€“ a tribal member of the Pueblo of Jemez New Mexico, a tribe known for its honored running tradition.
Dick Croghan â€“ Age 80 â€“ from Albuquerque, NM â€“ oldest New Mexico athlete competing in this yearâ€™s meet â€“ entered in 400M Dash, 800M and 1500M Runs in 2016 National Indoor meet â€“ started running in grade school & has never stopped â€“ coached track & field in high school and college in the Philippines for thirteen years â€“ has achieved All American status many times over the years in road racing, in events ranging from the 5K to the marathon.
*** MTF Albuquerque 2016 Stars ***â€¨By Peter Taylor, Meet Announcer
Antwon Dussett: Peoria, Illinois, age 40. Antwon ran a blazing 47.34 seconds in the 400 to win the M35 gold at the 2011 outdoor worlds in Sacramento, California.Â Also in that meet, he won the 200 with a college-like time of 21.57.Â Two years later, at age 38, he won the 400 in the worlds in Brazil with an absurdly fast time of 47.37, just 1.37 seconds slower than the provisional qualifying time for the 2012 US Olympic Trials.
In Albuquerque, Dussett will compete in the 200 and 400. In 2011 at nationals he set the still-standing American indoor record for the 200 dash in the M35 age group: 21.67 seconds.Â Enough said.
Lee Bridges: Homewood, Illinois, age 48.Â Lee, who starred for the University of Illinois, is by no means a household name in masters track, but he has made people wake up in a hurry.Â For example, at 2015 Lyonworlds he uncorked a 50.79 at age 48 in the 400 to prevail over a strong field, and he also fashioned a 22.89 in the 200 to take a bronze.Â His winning performance in the 400 (52.57) at last yearâ€™s indoor nationals on a flat track was extremely impressive, almost a work of art.Â At Albuquerque, Lee will compete in the 200 and 400.
Brian Hankerson: Hollywood, Florida, age 56.Â Brian owns the American indoor record for men 55-59 at a stunning 6.12 meters (20 feet, 1 inch).Â At last yearâ€™s masters indoors in North Carolina he won the 60 dash, took gold in the 200 by dint of being first American in that event (he was second overall), and won the pentathlon. At the 2013 worlds in Brazil, he prevailed in a field of 17 long jumpers in the 50-54 group as one of the â€śold menâ€ť at 54.Â In Albuquerque, Brian will compete in the 60 dash, long jump, high jump, and triple jump.
Gary Hunter: Fort Wayne, Indiana, age 60.Â The holder of the world M50 outdoor record in the pole vault at a stupefying 4.75 meters (15 feet, 7 inches), Gary set an M55 American indoor mark in 2013 at 4.31 meters (14 feet, 1 Âľ inches). He also has the American outdoor record for M55, at 4.36 meters (14-3 Â˝). Back in 2011, Gary took the gold at the outdoor worlds in Sacramento, and he is a member of the USATF Masters Hall of Fame.Â Gary will confine his athletic activities to the pole vault in Albuquerque.
Charles Allie: Pittsburgh, PA, age 68.Â Charles won a very special honor in 2013, as World Masters Athletics named him the top masters track and field performer in the world.Â Outdoors, Allie has the M65 world records in both the 200 (24.65) and the 400 (56.09).Â Indoors, Charles holds the listed world record for M65 in the 200 at 25.41 (since bettered by Bill Collins) and is a co-holder of the M55 400 record at 53.20.Â A member of the USATF Masters Hall of Fame and a proud graduate of Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), Charles will compete in the 60, 200, and 400 in Albuquerque.
Bill Collins: Houston, Texas, age 65.Â Arguably the greatest male sprinter in the history of the American masters T&F program, Collins has been dogged in the last 5 years by Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome.Â Although he will probably never return to full strength, in January he stunned the masters track community by running the 200 meters in 25.25 seconds for a world indoor record in M65.Â At Albuquerque, Bill is entered in all three sprints (60, 200, 400).Â Given the strength of this age group, a sweep seems out of the question, but the former All-American at Texas Christian University has surprised people many times before.
Nolan Shaheed: Pasadena, California, age 66.Â Nolan is a noted jazz trumpeter who has had some physical problems recently and hopes to use Albuquerque as a springboard to better things.Â Shaheed is an extremely versatile track performer with numerous American or world records and a membership in the USATF Masters Hall of Fame.Â For example, Nolan has the American indoor records in the 3000 for three consecutive age groups â€” 50-54 (8:54.73), 55-59 (9:10.27), and 60-64 (9:48.84) â€” but that in no way is his greatest achievement.Â
Even more impressive is that he is the listed indoor world record holder in the mile for three consecutive age groups (50-54, 55-59, and 60-64), albeit two of the three marks have been bettered recently but not yet accepted.
Another of Nolanâ€™s most stunning track achievements would be his 2:08.56 in the 800 outdoors at age 61 (a world record). In Albuquerque, Shaheed will run the 800, 1500, and 3000.
Ty Brown: Washington, DC, age 71.Â In 2013, at the age of 68, Ty roared through the 100-meter hurdles outdoors in 15.20 seconds to set an M65 world mark that still stands.Â Indoors, he remains the world record holder in the 60 hurdles for this age group (9.17 seconds) and last year became the world record holder in M70 as well by completing the 60 hurdles in just 9.44 seconds.Â A youthful-looking competitor out of theUniversity of Maryland who has impeccable form, Brown may have even more record performances to come.Â At Albuquerque, Ty will compete in the 60, 60 hurdles, and 200.
Kenton Brown: Austin, Texas, age 71.Â Dr. Brown, a psychiatrist by profession, has given free rein to his athletic self recently, and he has been most impressive.Â At the 2015 outdoor worlds in Lyon, he dashed to a silver in the 100 in 13.20 and a bronze in the 200 at 27.57.Â Last year at indoor nationals, he set a world record in the 60 dash for the M70 group at 8.18 seconds.Â In Albuquerque, Dr. Brown will take a shot at the 60 and 200 in very competitive fields.
Ed Burke: Los Gatos, California, age 76.Â Ed, a three-time Olympian, currently holds the American indoor M70 records in the weight throw at 20.93 meters (68 feet, 8 inches), which is also a world record, and in the superweight (35 pounds) at a titanic 11.67 meters (38-3).Â At Albuquerque, Ed will compete in the shot put, weight throw, and superweight (see separate entry for Olympic athletes).
Bob Lida: Wichita, Kansas, age 79.Â Lida, who ran for the University of Kansas as a collegian, still runs like a thoroughbred.Â Outdoors, Bob has the world marks in the 75-79 category for both the 100 (13.49) and 200 (27.73).Â Indoors, he has the world records in the same age group for the 60 (8.44) and 200 (27.64) and the American record for the 400 at 1:03.90.Â Amazing.Â For the year 2012, Bob was selected as the outstanding male masters T&F athlete in the world.
In Albuquerque, this Hall of Famer is entered in the 60, 200, and 400.
Brandi Bernert: Denver, Colorado, age 38: This ex-Colorado State University hotshot can still motor with the best of them; even collegians should watch out.Â In the 2013 outdoor worlds in Brazil, Brandi threw down a 12.33 in the 100 and a 25.35 in the 200, both good for a gold medal. Two years later, at Lyon worlds, she finished third in the 100 at 12.66, but against a significant wind (-2.2 mps).Â Currently, she is the American indoor record holder in the 60 dash for the 35-39 category at a marvelous 7.75 seconds, which she achieved in winning gold at the 2014 world indoor masters. Brandi will compete in the 60 and 200 at Albuquerque.
Sonja Friend-Uhl: Brentwood, Tennessee, age 44. A former standout at the College of William and Mary and a participant in the 2000 Olympic Trials, Sonja has turned out to be an outstanding masters performer. In 2011 she won both the 800 and 1500 at the outdoor world championships in Sacramento, and she is currently the world indoor record holder in the mile for women aged 40-44 at 4:44.81 while also being the listed American outdoor record holder for that age group in the 1500 with a fabulous 4:16.99.Â At Albuquerque, Sonja will compete in the 400 and 800 but will skip the 1500.
Rachel Guest: Surprise, Arizona, age 40.Â Rachel has quickly emerged as one of the most formidable U.S.Â masters in the all-around events; she currently holds the W35 indoor mark for the pentathlon and the W40 outdoor mark for the heptathlon, which she set in finishing second last year at the worlds in Lyon.Â Also at the Lyon World Masters, Rachel won the 80 hurdles in brilliant fashion (11.67 seconds).Â At Albuquerque, Rachel will compete in the 60 hurdles and the pentathlon, the latter with an eye on a possible American or even world mark.
Emmanuelle McGowan: Hanover Park, Illinois, age 47.Â A rapidly rising star in U.S.Â masters track and field, Emma, who was born in France but is now a U.S.Â citizen, recently ran 59.30 in the 400 for a pending American indoor record in the 45-49 division.Â At Lyon, France, last year, she won the world title in the 100 (12.85, but the wind was -1.9 mps) and finished second in the 200 (25.91) and 400 (59.02).Â At Albuquerque, Emma will try for gold in the 60, 200, and 400.
Renee Shepherd: Merchantville, NJ, age 51.Â No doubt one of the four best female sprinters in American masters history, Renee, who ran for the University of Pittsburgh, co-owns (with Phil Raschker) the American record outdoors in the 100 for W40 at 12.31 and has the W45 American mark with a preposterous 12.10.Â In the 200, her American outdoor mark for W45 is 25.28.Â Indoors, she holds the American marks in three consecutive age groups in the 60 dash: W40, 7.78; W45, 7.86; and W50, 8.03.Â In the 200, her American indoor marks are 25.34 for W40 and 25.47 for W45.Â Yes, Renee doesnâ€™t slow down much as she moves up through the age classifications.Â At Albuquerque she will compete in her signature events, the 60 and the 200, as well as the 400.
Carol Finsrud: Lockhart, Texas, age 59.Â Carol last competed in the US Olympic Trials in 2000, but she remains a formidable thrower.Â Her performances in the discus have been remarkable, and she owns, almost unbelievably, the official outdoor American marks in that event for five consecutive age groups: W35, W40, W45, W50, and W55, albeit the W35 mark has been exceeded.Â But in this meet they will throw indoors, and Carol will acquit herself very well in that environment as well.Â A member of the Masters Hall of Fame, she will be competing in the shot put, weight throw, and superweight.
Marie Kay: Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, age 56.Â One of the two best female all-around athletes in the history of masters T&F, Marie was named world masters track and field athlete of the year in 2010.Â She holds the world outdoor heptathlon records for both W45 and W55, and her long jump of 5.41 meters (17 feet, 9 inches) made outdoors in 2010 still stands as the world mark for women 50-54.Â Indoors, she has the world record in the pentathlon for the same age group. Marie, who has won countless world titles during her long and glorious career, will be competing in the 60 hurdles, 200 dash, long jump, and pentathlon in Albuquerque.
Kathy Martin: Northport, Long Island, New York, age 64.Â Kathy is known for her tremendous range, as the record books attest. Indoors, Kathy has the American indoor mark for the W55 and W60 categories in the 800, but she also holds marks indoors in the 1500, mile, and 3000. She has the world indoor record in the mile for 55-59 at 5 minutes, 19.87 seconds, and Kathy was the first 60+ woman in the history of the world to break 6 minutes in the mile indoors, with 5:50.46.Â Later, she ran 5:47.25, and that remains the world standard for W60.Â In addition, she has the world indoor mark for W55 in the 3000 at 10:35.76, a stunning 5:41.1 per mile.
Outdoors, Kathyâ€™s records go as long as the 50,000 meters (31.07 miles), where she holds the W60 American road record of 3 hrs, 58 minutes, 30 seconds, a bit under 7:41 per mile.Â A member of the Masters Hall of Fame, Kathy will compete in the 800, mile, and 3000.
Myrle Mensey: St.Â Louis, Missouri, age 67.Â Myrle was the USATF masters track and field athlete of the year for 2013 and is a tour de force in the throws.Â She will put the shot and throw the weight and superweight inAlbuquerque, and the only question is how many records she will set.Â For the W65 division she has all three U.S.Â indoor marks: 9.26 meters (30 feet, 4 Âľ inches) in the shot, 16.91 meters (55-5) in the weight throw, and a staggering 10.89 meters (35-8) in the super weight (20 pounds in this age group).
Kathy Bergen: La Canada, California, age 76.Â At Albuquerque, Kathy will compete in the 60 and 200 dashes as well as the high jump.Â Fair enough; after all, she holds the world indoor marks in the 70-74 and 75-79 categories for both sprints: 9.21 and 9.55, respectively, in the 60 and an amazing 31.86 (W70) and mind-boggling 33.06 (W75) in the 200.Â Yes, she has the world indoor mark in the high jump (1.22 meters) for W75 as well.Â Kathy emerged about two decades ago and quickly established herself as a standout performer; eventually she moved to all-world status, where she has remained for quite a few years.Â She is without question one of the four best women in the history of masters sprinting in the U.S.
Irene Obera: Fremont, California, age 82.Â A member of the original class of seven in the USATF Masters Hall of Fame, Irene is entered in seven events at Albuquerque, the 60, 60 hurdles, 200, 400, 800, long jump, and pentathlon.Â Obera, who competed in the 1960 and 1968 US Olympic Trials, â€śruns youngâ€ť and has countless admirers.Â The broad spectrum of events she is trying at Albuquerque may indicate that she needs new challenges.Â After all, she holds the world marks outdoors in the 80-84 group for the 100 at an amazing 16.81 and the 200 in a fabulous 36.80.Â Indoors, she has the world marks for W80 in the 60 at 10.37, the 200 at 36.53, and the 60 hurdles at 13.76, even though the hurdles is by no means one of her best events.Â Irene is the other member of the â€śfab fourâ€ť (the four best women in masters sprint history in the U.S.).
FAQ Where are The â€śFab Four?â€ť
Without question, Phil Raschker, Irene Obera, Kathy Bergen, and Renee Shepherd (formerly Renee Henderson) are the Fab Four of American sprinting among the women in the history of the program.Â Of the 51 American indoor age-group records for the 60 and 200 and the American outdoor marks for the 100 and 200, those four currently hold 32, or 63%.Â Itâ€™s almost unbelievable that four women could be so dominant. Three of the four â€” Obera, Bergen, and Shepherd â€” will compete in Albuquerque.
Four Olympians in the Championships
ChauntĂ© Lowe: Loganville, Florida, age 32.Â ChauntĂ©, a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), competed in the 2004 (Athens), 2008 (Beijing), and 2012 (London) Olympic Games.Â ChauntĂ© is the United States record holder in the indoor high jump at 2.02 meters (6 feet, 7Â˝ inches), setting up a most unusual circumstance at Albuquerque: The current open record holder will be competing in a masters meet.Â She will confine herself to the high jump in the championships.
Ed Burke: Los Gatos, California, age 76.Â Burke, a three-time Olympian for the United States, is perhaps best known for carrying the U.S. flag into the Los Angeles Coliseum at the start of the 1984 Olympics.Â He competed in the 1964 (Tokyo) and 1968 (Mexico City) Olympics as well as the Los Angeles Olympics.
Unlike most U.S.Â Olympians, who after their open careers either shunned masters T&F altogether or took a brief dip in the pool and then abandoned the sport, Ed Burke has had a wonderful, record-setting career in masters (see separate entry under men 75-79).
Jim Barrineau: Burke, Virginia, age 60.Â Jim competed for the U.S. in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.Â A quick review of the American records shows him with an indoor mark of 7 feet, ÂĽ inch in M35 and an outdoor record of 6-11 in M40.Â Jim, a former standout at the University of Georgia and now retired after a career as an officer in the U.S.Â army, hopes to win gold in his signature event at Albuquerque.
Howard Lindsay: New York, NY, age 52.Â Howard, who was born in Jamaica, competed for Antigua and Barbuda in the 1984 Olympics (Los Angeles), the 1988 Olympics (Seoul), and the 1996 Olympics (Atlanta).Â Lindsay ran in the 200 dash and the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays in 1988, and in the 4 x 400 in both 1984 and 1996. At Albuquerque, Howard will compete in the long jump and 60 hurdles.
Stars in the Entertainment World
Nolan Shaheed, as indicated in the summary above (men 65-69), has been a star in the world of entertainment for decades. Shaheed has worked with Diana Ross, Phil Collins, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder, among other notables, and he was lead trumpet with Count Basie.Â Nolan resides inPasadena, California.
Damien Leake, Van Nuys, California, age 63, has been a TV and movie actor for many years, having appeared in Serpico, Apocalypse Now, and numerous other films as well as on television.Â In the last couple of years, Mr.Â Leake has emerged as an outstanding sprinter as well.Â In fact, in the 2014 national indoors inBoston he upset a recent inductee to the Masters Hall of Fame, the vaunted Oscar Peyton, in the 60 dash, scorching a 7.60 to Oscarâ€™s 7.63 (American record is 7.52).Â The next year, at Winston-Salem indoor nationals, Leake ran a 7.71 to defeat Peyton again.Â Clearly, Leake is more than just a pretty face.Â At Albuquerque he will compete in the event in which he has made his mark, the 60 dash.
A Long Life Counts for a Great Deal (Two Oldest Men, Two Oldest Women)
Rev. Champion Goldy, Haddonfield, NJ.Â Age 99.Â The â€śgood reverendâ€ť will take the prize at Albuquerque for being the man with the most life experience.Â â€śThe Champâ€ť turned 99 earlier in January and will belatedly celebrate that event by sprinting the 60, putting the shot, and hurling the weight and the superweight at indoor nationals.
Orville Rogers, Dallas, Texas.Â Age 98.Â Orville is in need of a challenging workout, and thus he will run the 60, 200, 400, 800, and 1500 in Albuquerque, after which he will take a good rest.Â Orville holds a variety of world indoor records, including the M95 standard for the 400 (2:24.51), 800 (6:52.84), and mile (14:39.91). His world indoor record in the mile for M90 is truly spectacular at 9:56.58.
Sumi Onodera-Leonard.Â Huntington Beach, California.Â Sumi, an 87-year-old sprinter, will â€śhitch it upâ€ť in the 60, 200, and 400 at Albuquerque. Sumi is a member of the US Masters Hall of Fame.
Irene Obera.Â Fremont, California. Irene is 82, but she runs about 40 or so (if youâ€™re in super shape at age 40, that is).Â Also a Masters Hall of Famer, she is the second-oldest woman in the meet.