Big weekend for masters exhibitions — and exhibitionists in red

Yes, I can raise my knees on the turn of the 2.

Yes, I can raise my knees on the turn of the 2.

A comebacking Alisa Harvey, who turns 50 in September, won the Drake Relays masters 800 Saturday, and masters hurdlers debuted at Penn, where tens of thousands cheered our quartets and sprinters. OK, enough of that (for now). The real history was made at the UC San Diego Triton Invitational, where my sprint marks led to creation of a new timing system. First I finished the 100 in 14 days, 55 hours. Then I came back in the deuce to bring up the rear in 31 months, 59 days (but into a 1.7 mps wind). Joy Upshaw, bless her chutzpah, caught me rocking my new red Striders uniform. (Or stoning it.) But enough of me. Consider these great experiences: I chatted with former jav WR man Tom Petranoff, now living in the area and coaching his buff daughter. (Leigh’s season javelin best is maybe 10 feet away from IAAF Beijing qualifier.)

Before my 200 (run on a rain-slicked track), I approached Cal State San Marcos coach Steve Scott (who used to run a darn good mile), and gave him my usual line: “Hey, coach, I still have two years eligibility left.”

And then I asked the serious question: How’s your prostate? He said his cancer (see details here) is pretty much conquered, reduced by more than 95 percent via proton therapy. He looked great!

Chip Crowl — who cleaned my clock in the 100 (and trailed Jim Chinn in our 200 heat, which Jim almost won against a collegian) — described his decathlon training regimen and challenges. Chip turns 60 in May.

Finally, I reconnected with former masters sprinter Eric Dixon (Kathy Bergen’s sprint coach). Eric introduced me to a young lady with CP — cerebral palsy.

She took last in the final women’s 200 heat, but I was stunned by her ability to hold her form despite the disorder (which I earlier mistook as a running injury when she walked past me).

After my 200 (and the embarrassment of seeing my time flashed on scoreboard), my spirits were raised by the Cal State Fullerton kids giving me congratulations on my race. The crowd cheered me on the straight. It was a good day at the office.

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April 25, 2015

4 Responses

  1. Curt Morgan - April 26, 2015

    Ken, thanks for your comprehensive (!!!) coverage of the masters’ contingent at this year’s Penn Relays. I did notice you gave a passing nod to the UC San Diego Triton Invitational; well done.

    Everyone has a Penn story, and here’s mine. At last year’s relay (and I’m not making this up!) a competing – and much younger – anchor in the 4×400 actually begged me “please don’t pass me up and make me look bad in front of my family and friends!” That was 2014. Two days ago, I’m runming anchor again. I look over to the next lane and see Ty Brown (all-world, all-universe, fastest M70 sprinter alive, ev-ah). I go up to Ty and ask him, “please don’t pass me up, etc etc etc.”

    Fortunately for Ty, his team-mates gave him a 5 or 10 yard lead, so at least I didn’t get lapped (in the 4×100).

    To add insult to injury, I actually ran into Ty on the train back home to D.C. “Hey, everybody! This is Ty Brown! World Champion!” I said, on the way back to my car in the rear. Being in the first car, Ty beat me back to Washington, too. Made him 2-for-2 on the day, over me.

    Curt Morgan < – tongue firmly in cheek

  2. Cheryl - April 26, 2015

    I saw the shuttle hurdles. It was great and because it was early enough in the day the crowd was still there and enjoyed. But the meet was running late and the master’s 4X400s ran very late at night with no fans but ourselves and the corporate relay folks. But I am very grateful we get to run.

  3. Terry Ballou - April 26, 2015

    Ken, I think you listed the results from 2014 for the women’s masters 800 at Drake. This year, Alisa Harvey won and Chris Gentile was second.

  4. Ken Stone - April 26, 2015

    Thanks, Terry! Good catch on booboo. I’ve fixed the reference to Drake women’s winner.

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