Ken’s moment of Zen: How the Dalai Lama played with my head

In journalism, you tell stories. Sometimes you become one. Friday at UC San Diego, wife Chris and I were covering His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the M80 Tibetan Buddhist monk and Nobel Peace Prize winner. He arrived for a press conference and started shaking hands with reporters in the front row. Since Chris and I had gotten up at 4:45 a.m. to have a shot at good seats, I was ready for a hearty grasp. Instead he asked my permission to touch my bald spot — similar to his own. The rest is Minor Media History. I posted photos, video and this first-person report at Times of San Diego. Bon appetit.

The Dalai Lama moves to trace a circle in my scalp — for sake of fun and frolic. Photo by Chris Stone

June 16, 2017  4 Comments

Record gals Sabra Harvey, Jeanne Daprano plan more 2017 races

Jeanne was pictured in Atlanta TC magazine.

W65 Sabra Harvey and W80 Jeanne Daprano, recent record-setters at 3000 and mile, respectively, sent responses to my shameless interrogations. First Sabra: “Yes, WR was the ultimate goal, sub-12 being the expectation for at least the U.S. record. Conditions were wet, raining a bit, but temps were near perfect actually. Running with the younger ladies helped, especially in the beginning. The adrenaline rush with all those fast ladies surrounding me pulled me much faster than I’d anticipated, so I had extra in the bank for sub-12 from the beginning. However, that fast pace took its toll a bit by lap 6, so had lots of work to do on the bell lap for WR. I’d hoped to be at 10:11 at that point, but was somewhere around 10:20, still under the sub-12:00 pace but off WR pace. I knew I could lay down a 1:27 or better from recent training, so just went for it with encouragement of Susan Hay (running as rabbit). Portland Track Festival is a great meet. Joanna Harper does a good job of recruiting ladies for the 3000 and was very helpful in making the opportunity to try for the record possible.”

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June 15, 2017  5 Comments

Carol Lafayette-Boyd eyes more records: Toronto 2017 and 2020

Ray Nixdorf’s recent shot of Carol raises Q: She’s older than 30?

If you’re a W75 sprinter or horizontal jumper set for WMA regionals in Toronto, better get cracking’ on your training. Carol Lafayette-Boyd is coming. The new claimant to five world records says she’s planning to compete at that August meet, telling me: “I will be there. I am taking my granddaughter home to Ontario at that time, and I have family in Toronto.” So the resident of Regina, Saskatchewan, is indeed in play for WMA Female Athlete of the Year. I wrote her after her stunning outing last weekend, and she graciously replied. The biggest revelation was how considerate of others she was in not taking her full complement of jumps — because of the time officials needed to measure her records. (Don’t be so unselfish at Toronto, Carol. Take all your jumps.) I asked her: Any events in which you think you could have done better? “I plan to do better in all three jumps in Toronto,” she replied. Well, that answers that.

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June 14, 2017  No Comments

W75 Carol Lafayette-Boyd claims 5 world records in Saskatchewan

World champion Carol Lafayette-Boyd turned 75 in May. Over the weekend, she stamped herself as a favorite for IAAF/WMA Masters Athlete of the Year. At the 2017 Scotiabank Saskatchewan Provincial Championships in Regina Canada Games Park, Carol smashed five world age-group records over two days — in the 100, 200, high jump, long jump and triple jump. (She also ran the 50-meter dash.) In the 100, her 15.15 beat the listed WR of 15.31 by Kathy Bergen at the 2015 Mt. SAC Relays. In the 200, Carol clocked 32.83 to beat Kathy’s listed WR of 33.79 at Lyon worlds. Carol high-jumped 1.23 (4-0 1/2) to beat Kathy and Rietje Dijkman’s 1.22s. She long-jumped 3.81 and 3.85 (12-7 1/2) (into a wind) to twice beat Paula Schneiderhan’s listed WR of 3.77 (12-4 1/2). And she triple-jumped 8.19 (26-10 1/2) to beat Christa Bortignon’s listed WR of 8.11 (26-7 1/4). Whew! Whew! Whew! Yowza! Yowza! (See results here.) Her story is well-told here and in a Facebook post by her alma mater.

Carol needs to compete in WMA regional meet in Toronto in August to be eligible for WMA year-end honors.

June 12, 2017  11 Comments

Sabra Harvey pips W65 world record in 3K at Portland Track Fest

Sabra set W65 WR in 800 at Perth. Rob Jerome photo.

Perth world champion Sabra Harvey of Texas added another world record to her growing collection Saturday, running 3,000 meters in 11:47.30 at the Portland Track Festival. That beat the listed W65 WR of 11:48.2 by Britain’s Angela Copson in 2012. Sabra was fourth in a race won by W45 Sonja Friend-Uhl in 10:05.19. (Sonja ran 9:53.04 indoors.) (See results here.) It’s not her first visit to Oregon for this elite meet. In 2010, Sabra clocked 11:11.49 for a W60 American record at 3K. So she’s lost but 5.1 seconds a year. Sabra holds WRs at 800, 1500 and 4X8. The men’s masters mile is Sunday. Also filtering in is a WR in the W60 throws pentathlon — 4597 points by Holland’s Tiny Hellendoorn at the Werpvijfkamp voor Masters meet in Edan. Results are here. That beat the listed WR of 4519 by Denmark’s Ann Kirstine Jensen at 2015 Lyon worlds.

June 11, 2017  One Comment

Jeanne Daprano destroys W80 American record in mile: rare sub-9

Masters Hall of Famer Jeanne Daprano of Georgia turned 80 last September, and she’s making good use of her new age group. Last Saturday, she added the American W80 mile record to her W70 and W75 collection, clocking 8:35.04 at the USATF-sanctioned South Carolina Open and Masters Track Classic at Furman University. (See results here.) That shatters the listed AR of 9:00.52 by the late Gerry Davidson back in 2001. (I covered it.) She just missed the listed WR of 8:33.76 by Canada’s Helly Visser in 2014. Jeanne also is staying busy at the National Senior Games in Alabama, winning the 400 and 800 and also making the finals in the 50, 100 and 200. Whew!

Michelle Allen took this pic of Jeanne (third from the inside in red) at the start of her AR mile. The track had a rail, thank goodness (for record vetting)!

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June 10, 2017  One Comment

Charles Allie goes sub-60 at 69 in 400 at National Senior Games

Results are being posted expeditiously from the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama, but watch out for the errant “W” — signifying world record. For example, Charles Allie ran the M70 400 Thursday, but won’t actually hit the big Seven-Oh until mid-August. But his winning time of 58.48 — though spectacular — is not an M70 world record. (The Senior Games circuit sticks you in the age group you’ll be as of Dec. 31 of the year of competition.) But still — wow! Charles may be be the oldest American to go sub-60 with his mark. (The listed M70 WR is 59.34 by German sprint god Guido Müeller.) The listed M70 AR is Bob Lida’s 61.00 at 2007 Riccione worlds. Lemme know if you spot any records at NSG that really are records.

Charles was a blur at 2013 Olathe nationals, where he ran by himself in M65.

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June 8, 2017  20 Comments

Discus throwers targeting M50, M60 American records Saturday

Ralph’s form in 2007, when he won world gold.

Two discus throwers are aiming for American records Saturday at the Wine Country Games in Santa Rosa, California, according to a Petaluma paper. Cameron Bolles is going for the M50 AR of 62.74 (205-10) by a gent named Al Oerter in 1989, and Ralph Fruguglietti is shooting for the M60 AR of 59.52 (195-3) by Joe Keshmiri in 1998. The WRs are 68.40 (224-5) by M50 Klaus Weiffenbach and 66.36 (217-8) by M60 Klaus Liedtke. Ten years ago, Ralph won at Riccione worlds and came back with a golden yarn that I first reported as a “ghost story.”

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June 6, 2017  2 Comments

High jumpers highlight Pasadena Senior Games results at Caltech

Me didn’t jump this year at Caltech (saving myself for my all-out 100-meter jog), but I got some nice 400mm shots Saturday of some superstars, including John Dobroth, Jim Goodreau, Otis Burrell, Charlie Rader, Annelies Steekelenburg, Kathy Bergen and comebacking Jason Meisler (a former 7-2 guy at UCLA, now a lawyer). Charlie, a one-time M45 record-holder, turns 70 next year. He straddled 1.45 (4-9). At 72, Jim flopped 1.40 (4-7). And at 76, retired Judge John straddled 1.30 (4-3 1/4). The oldest jumper was Pasadena’s own Don Leis, who cleared 0.95 (3-1 1/4). Also making an appearance was a bearded Nolan Shaheed, also of Pasadena, who at 68 ran the 800 in 2:31.54 and the 1500 in 5:14.19. Meet results are here. Avert your eyes from the M60 50 and 100. Selected photos — raw, uncropped images — can be found here. No charge, but please credit Ken Stone /

Former world-class jumper Otis Burrell, now 73, showed great form at Caltech.

June 5, 2017  7 Comments

M40 distance ace Clint Santoro tells dramatic story of WMG steeple

Clint in 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Americas Masters Games in Vancouver, British Columbia. Photo by Rob Jerome

The Hartford Courant has a crackerjack story on M40 distancer Clint Santoro, who won the 5K (in 17:40.91) and steeple at the Auckland World Masters Games. He also competed at the Americas Masters Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, in September. “The steeplechase was special,” the Arizona resident said. “That was the hardest fought victory I ever had. … It’s the one event you can run and feel like after seven laps, you ran a marathon.” Going into the fourth lap, he was 10 seconds back, in fourth place. “The first three laps, there was traffic — it felt like there were 20 guys in the race, arms are flying all around, and the other guys pulled away. I finally broke free of the crowd.” The story says he made up time. He passed the second and third place runners over a hurdle and was within striking distance of the leader by the last lap. “He stepped on the hurdle and dropped off the back. He stepped on it, and I flew over it and I never looked back. I ran like there was a hive of white-faced hornets chasing me.” Clint won in 11:09.09. Loved the story.

June 1, 2017  4 Comments