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Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:07 pm

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Junior Masters Athlete
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:50 pm
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Location: S.F. Bay Area

Just sent a similar e-mail to Rex Harvey about the High Hurdle age-graded factors:

Many 30+ athletes, most notably Kip Janvrin in his WR-obliterating 40+ decathlon performance, elect to keep the 42" height in our high-hurdle races instead of the 39". Kip's WR would no doubt be higher if a factor was used for 42" hurdle height instead of 39". (Another example, 40+ athlete Rod Jett still uses 42" in many meets (I've witnessed more than 10) and he and others may deserve an asterisk-ed performance for 42” height (I don’t know if there are faster 40+ times at 42”).

Do these factors exist? Should they? Can they? Should there be factors and record recognition for 30+ athletes running 42" hurdle heights in the high hurdles?

Thoughts?

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Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:08 pm

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Junior Masters Athlete
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 8:08 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Austin, TX, USA

Interesting points. “Do these factors exist?” Factors to multiply a 42" HH performance by an age group factor to use in an equation to give a point total in the multis? I don't know, but would seriously doubt it.

Isn't the basis for assigning points to multis built on giving 1000 points to a world record tying performance? If that's true, then the record for the particular event (whether it's performed in a multi-event or not) is the standard, so all must use the same specs. Wouldn't we have chaos if people used different specs? Leaning toward record recognition of various specs seems akin to desiring record recognition for the 500 Meters or the 1300 Meter Steeplechase.

This task becomes even more difficult based on how the Age-graded factors are derived. They are based on actual performances, evaluating the performance level change as athletes age. No data, no accurate factors.

It's a superhuman feat to run 42" no matter what age you are. (Sidenote - I don't have near as much respect for the women running 33" as their maximum height.)

But, that’s the event. The heights, distances and specs of this race are very arbitrary, and have been altered substantially for older folks, with what goal?

Is the goal to allow people to run the same time as they used to? That seems to be the goal with the throws, where the implements become lighter as you age. So, if you ran a 15.0 HH in High School, what specs should you be running to run the same time twenty, forty or sixty years later? But this is VERY subjective. What’s good for one person is bad for another.

Is the goal to see what the elites can do? There are throwers who have said they’d rather throw the same implements as the open level athletes. Shall Masters T&F be focused on the elite handful in the sport?

I believe the goal should be participation, but it’s a balance. Shall we change the shot put to a 1-pound ball so that we get a few hundred entries at the National meet? Hopefully not. Would you rather see 2 or 4 runners compete at a National meet over 42”, or would you rather see more athletes at the starting line attempting to do 39”? What is best for the sport?

It’s human nature to push the envelope, to see what one can do. But that’s not the right approach for the governing body of Masters T&F. No, it’s already too much work to keep track of records and factors with one set of specs!

Jeff Brower, M45 Multi

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