Another set of records to be ignored

Another great year for masters records. Another year where said records will be overlooked, ignored and otherwise unrecognized by USATF and World Masters Athletics — if past seasons are any indication. While working to update my records page, I came across some amazing new masters bests. Most will fall through the cracks at record-ratification time because of “lack of paperwork.”

— At the Italian national open championships on July 11, 40-year-old Angelo Carosi became the first masters runner under the 8:40 barrier in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with his 8:38.40. The old record was the venerable 8:41.5 by Belgium’s Gaston Roelants way back in 1977. It was the oldest M40 record on my books. Carosi’s mark is no surprise, however. According to a Swedish record site, he already has the best M35 age-group steeple on record — 8.22.98 set back in 1999.
— Two women this summer shattered Ingrid Kristiansen’s W35 record at 10,000 meters (31:20.28 set in 1991). First came Russia’s Alla Zhilyayeva, 35, who ran 31:07.58 on June 25. Then at the Athens Olympics, 38-year-old Helena Javornik of Slovenia took 10th in the women’s final with an incredible 31:06.63. That’s just a tick over 5-minute-mile pace, folks.
— In the W35 steeple, Russia’s Mariya Vilisova clocked 9:50.14. The IAAF does not list Mariya’s age, but says she was born in 1969. So there’s a 50-50 chance that she beat my listed W35 3K steeple mark of 9:50.29 by Russia’s Natalya Cherepanova.
— In the W35 hammer throw, Britain’s Lorraine Shaw at age 36 spun the ball-and-chain 68.11 (223-5) to top the previous record of 67.40 (221-1) by Russia’s Alla Davydova in 2002.
— On the men’s side, Igor Astapkovich of Belarus improved his own M40 record in the hammer to 82.23 (269-9). The old record was 81.35 (266-10). If Igor were Americanski, he’d be just a foot short of Lance Deal’s all-time U.S. best.
(Meanwhile, WMA lists the M40 hammer record as 75.66 by Russia’s Yurly Syedikh in 1995.)
While perusing the IAAF season rankings (called “top lists’), I also noted these potential American masters records.
Sandra Glover, 35, blasted a 53.40 in the 400-meter hurdles on July 31. That would appear to better the listed USATF W35 record of 64.12 first run by Joy Margerum in 1996 and tied by Alethea Morris in 2003.
— In Athens, Jearl Miles Clark at age 37 ran the 800 in 1:57.27 — smashing the listed American W35 record of 2:02.83 by Ruth Wysocki in 1992. It was Jearl’s fastest time in at least three years.
— Atlanta Olympic high jump champ Charles Austin didn’t make the Athens team, but by clearing 2.24 (7-4 1/4) at age 36 he may have set an American M35 record to go with his American open record (2.4m/7-10 1/2). The listed American M35 record is 2.15 (7-0 3/4) by Montreal Olympian Jim Barrineau in 1992.
Finally, a bit of a mystery.
Remember this summer when I went ape-shit over Roger Kingdom clocking an otherworldly 13.79 in the 110 hurdles (42-inch variety) at age 41? He had improved on a time of 13.98 from the previous week — itself a milestone mark, having crushed the 14.16 by Spain’s Carlos Sala.
But both the 13.79 and 13.98 have vanished from the USATF season list. Very strange.
No doubt he received a time of 13.79 on June 23 at Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. It was reported up the yin-yang in his hometown Pittsburgh newspaper. Something rendered it invalid.
I’m checking it out.

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October 10, 2004