Hazardous hurdles at Hayward Masters Classic: put in wrong spots

Photos and videos from last weekend’s Hayward Masters Classic in Eugene are now posted. Happy! Also shared are images and clips of the last flight of 80-meter and 300-meter hurdles at the wrong spots. Sad! (We’re still waiting on results as well.) Not sure how this can happen at such a prestigious meet, but several races were contested with the last hurdle of the 80s set more than the specified 7 meters apart. And the last of the 300H barriers was at the high school spot. Ladies and gents dealt with it, videos show. But 300H winner Russ Acea switched lanes to avoid the eighth hurdle. (Seven are used in masters.) In masters, the last 300 hurdle is supposed to be 40 meters from the finish. This one was about 10 meters away. Get your act together, folks! I’m told flubs happened last year as well.

What’s wrong with this picture? If Trials pulled this stunt, there’d be hell to pay.

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May 3, 2017

22 Responses

  1. Brian Nelson - May 3, 2017

    Ken, just a suggestion, but how about highlighting the positive aspects of the Hayward Classic? There were four world records, one American record and one Canadian record set at this meet. Included in the world records was Colleen Milliman’s W90 mile. In fact, she is the first woman EVER to complete a mile track race. That’s probably worth mentioning. I would personally like to thank all the fine volunteers from the Oregon Track Club. Masters track and field is lucky they have been hosting this meet for so many years.

  2. Jeff Davison - May 3, 2017

    Ugh. Yes it is that complicated. Hope no injuries.

  3. Ken Stone - May 3, 2017

    Thanks for heads up, Brian! I’ll detail WRs when I see the results. Haven’t heard about W90 mile until now.

  4. Christa Bortignon - May 4, 2017

    My question would be if you have a record when the hurdles are placed in the wrong positions, is it a legal one?

  5. Mike Travers - May 4, 2017


  6. Tom Tinsman - May 4, 2017

    I always check on the distances myself before running any hurdle event. I’ve had problems at lots of meets. Suggest all hurdlers do the same. I even checked them it at National meets.

  7. Rick Easley - May 4, 2017

    I pulled out of this same 300M hurdle race 30 min. prior to the start due to back stiffness. If I had not, would there have been an empty lane for Russell to run around the hurdle and finish. In a rhythm race, such as this, an unexpected hurdle can often be a disaster ending with a runner down on the surface. I have a surgically repaired arm right now from going down in Sacramento. Tom is correct, always check before the race starts because mistakes are made quite frequently in hurdle placement. I ran a 400 hurdle race at Hayward years ago when the hurdle near the 300 mark was missing. You would think that it is an advantage to only run 9 hurdles but in reality my rhythm and stride pattern was completely off for the last 300m of the race. Don’t get me wrong, the officials at Eugene are some of the best in the country, but masters competition is a beast with all of the different age groups and hurdle specification. You have to be the expert in your own event and check out the situation before the start. In Russell’s case however he is competing in so many events that he probably did not have much time to check things out and got surprised.

  8. Jeff Davison - May 4, 2017

    Hi Christa. No record.

  9. Rick Easley - May 4, 2017

    By the way, congratulations to Quentin Torbert for his amazing world record in the 65-69 shot put with a throw of 16.66m. They had to take his shot from him at least, I think, 4 times as he preceded that throw with at least two improvements on the American Record before he broke the World Record, I think twice. The official were extremely efficient here because he always got the shot weighed and back to him before the next throw. It was something to watch as I was competing in the 60-64 group at the same time, with much more modest efforts.

  10. Rick Easley - May 4, 2017

    If this had been at a World Championship or Nationals and you did run that extra hurdle, and ran under world record time, would you still lose the record even though you were placed at a disadvantage rather than an advantage? I think the answer is yes, although common sense would say otherwise.

  11. David E. Ortman (M64), Seattle, WA - May 4, 2017

    While one may wish otherwise, it is ALWAYS best to personally inspect the hurdle height and placement before any hurdle race,whether all-comers or world championships. This is also a good time to remove all branches and rocks that are on the track (not sure why this isn’t a local organizer responsibility).

    By the way, there has been talk among masters 100m hurdlers to allow each hurdler to set up their own lane of 10 hurdles to allow for a comfortable “3-step” hurdle technique. As master hurdlers get older, it is increasingly more difficult to maintain the “3-step” technique, which is one reason there are so few M45-49, M55-59, and M65-69 hurdlers. We are forced to either try a “lopping” 3-step, attempt an unfamiliar 4-step, or go with a rapid but short 5-step, or not run. In fact, at the 1998 USATF National Outdoor Championships in Orono, Maine, the M45-49 110m 39″ hurdle finals featured three hurdlers: a 3-stepper, a 4-stepper, and a 5-stepper. Highly amusing.

    Also, there has been speculation as to whether someone such as Usain Bolt with his stride could “2-step” (alternative lead leg) the 110 hurdles. I’d pay to see that.

  12. Brian McKinley - May 4, 2017

    Hey, Rick, I remember that 400 hurdle race with the missing hurdle. I agree that it is not helpful – the hurdler must struggle to get back to the correct step count between hurdles. As others have pointed out, hurdle volunteers have a big job at Masters competitions to get the correct heights, placement, and even race lengths, all of which vary across gender and many age groups. However, running Hayward for a few years in the late ’90s and early 2000s, the officiating and management of the meet was always top-notch. Are you multi-eventing, Rick? Russ, great work!

  13. tb - May 4, 2017

    Not just masters, during a state championship college meet someone put a men’s hurdle in a girl’s 400H race.

    Nobody does this stuff five days a week, so mistakes do happen when you’re rushing.

  14. Keith McQuitter - May 4, 2017

    Should allways check your hurdles each race

  15. Dexter McCloud - May 5, 2017

    Dave, it’s against competition rules to conduct a hurdle race with the hurdles at any other mark besides the one’s specified for the competition.

    The reason people have trouble 3-stepping is simple – lack of speed. Hurdling is a sprint. And, if you can not run 16 seconds or faster in the 100 meters then you will not be able to successfully 3-step. In addition, your ability to 3-step is affected by your technique over the hurdle.

  16. Rick easley - May 5, 2017

    Yes Brian, and I also remember you kicking my butt in that race. Haven’t seen you lately. Did you retire.

  17. Rick easley - May 5, 2017


  18. Mr.X - May 6, 2017

    I would also like to thank all the people associated with running this meet. Easy to get to Hayward off of I-5. Parking was easy and close. Officials were professional and smiling. Sun came out after noon. Eugene was beautiful. U of O coeds were representing themselves well. Implement shack old timers sharing Bill Bowerman stories. Definitely coming back to this meet.

  19. Brian McKinley - May 6, 2017

    Rick, the ruptured Achilles tendon a few years ago left me with a very small hope that I might hurdle again. However a bicycle crash a year ago fractured my right hip, leading to a total hip replacement. The surgeon was optimistic about my return to high activity levels, but not running/hurdling. I’m retired from the working world and road biking between 20 and 60 miles most days now, but my attempts to perform a running stride are downright comical. I loaned my practice spikes to a high school kid, but kept my race spikes. However, don’t expect to see me on the track again. I had a great time participating with you and a fine group of hurdlers in our age group. Still enjoy following the action on this web site. Keep up the good work!

  20. David E. Ortman (M64), Seattle, WA - May 6, 2017

    Brian (#19). Greetings. We miss you. If you can, see if you can contact Michael Janusey (M59). He has had a hip replacement in each leg, as I recall and continues to do amazing things on the track and field (sprinting, jumps, including an occasional hurdle event).


  21. B Beller - May 8, 2017

    Hurdles snafu aside, Hayward was AWESOME this year!

  22. MacCanDo - May 8, 2017

    I, too, always make sure that all 10 hurdles are placed correctly for my race. One time, the 10th hurdle was placed at the wrong place. Luckily, I did get hurt but I would have had to give up the world games. Safety is the No.1 issue.

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