Bernard Lagat hanging up spikes? He’s too young to quit WR chase

Letsrun.com and IAAF have posted tributes to Bernard “Kip” Lagat, saying his 3000 runner-up showing a few Saturdays ago in Berlin was the last track race of his career. “I have no regrets,” Kip told SPIKES, which said: “The 41-year-old is reflecting on two decades of international running during which he has won a whopping 13 global medals. Maybe his most impressive feat is he still looks the same as when he started out – some might say even better. ‘In my university pictures, I look way older than I look now, it’s awesome!’” Given his penchant for targeting masters records, I can easily see him coming back at 45 or 50 to take down WRs at several distances. The money isn’t there, but his legend is always worth padding. For the record, WMA (whose site is still down, sigh) lists him as holding eight outdoor and five indoor age-group records. The best may be his M40 indoor mile of 3:54.91. Don’t count him out.

September 12, 2016  2 Comments

What a birthday celebration! German sets M50 pentathlon WR

Thomas wears German colors.

Thomas wears German colors.

Germany’s Thomas Stewens turned 50 on Saturday and claimed the WR in the outdoor pent. Thomas scored 3886 points to beat the listed M50 WR of 3834 by Austria’s Georg Werthner in 2006. Here’s how our friend Alfred Hermes broke the news: “Thomas Stewen (M50, TV Bad Vilbel) reached at the German Senior Pentathlon Championships (Petathlon) on his 50th birthday 3886 Points: M50 pentathlon world record.” Results are here. The marks are amazing: 5.88 (19-3 1/2) in long jump, 46.11 (151-3 1/4) in javelin, 25.44 in 200, 40.61 (133-2 3/4) in discus and 4:55.14 in 1500. (Original post corrected after mistakes noted by commenters. Thanks to all!)

September 11, 2016  5 Comments

W70 thrower Cindy Wyatt joins Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame

W70 thrower Cindy Wyatt, who won shot and discus at Michigan nationals, has a new title to celebrate. In October, she’s being inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. “All join a rich heritage of native Western New Yorkers, or those who starred in and around the Buffalo Niagara region during their playing days,” organizer said. Cindy’s fame came in the late 1950s and early 1960s. She was fourth in the 1960 Olympic Trials shot put (12.90/42-4) and won a silver medal in the shot at the 1963 Pan-American Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil, says a great profile in the Buffalo News. Congrats to Cindy!

Cindy, also known for power lifting, poses with other Buffalo HoF inductees.

Cindy, also known for power lifting, poses with other Buffalo HoF inductees.

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September 10, 2016  No Comments

Art Parry claims another indoor pole vault WR at Fort Collins

Art Parry around 2011.

Art Parry around 2011.

A couple weekends back, I got word that Arthur “Art” Parry vaulted 3.35 meters (10-11 3/4) for an M70 indoor world record at the Rocky Mountain Masters Games. Apparently, it’s a tradition at Colorado State to hold the event indoors. In fact, Art set the M65 WR there in 2011. Friday, I got the results (see below), which confirm the most recent great mark — which tops the listed WR of 3.25 (10-8) by Don Isett at 2013 Albuquerque nationals. So check back again in 2021, when Art claims the M75 WR. Friday was a good day for American vaulters as Sandi Morris went 5.00 (almost 16-5) at Brussels, joining Yelena Isinbayeva (5.06 outdoors) and Jenn Suhr (5.03 indoors) in the women’s 5-Meter Club. Check back in 11 years, when Sandi turns 35. Maybe she’ll join Art at Fort Collins for a two-fer WR.

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September 9, 2016  No Comments

Johnny Appleseed of vaulting looks to plant a new Florida home

Joe Johnston, our favorite East Coast vault maniac, is the subject of a new profile by the Orlando Sentinel. (Here’s one from 2011.) This week’s story reviews the history of his backyard “Joe Dome” vault center. But it’s in disrepair and “critters” are using it to crash. So now he’s looking to build an indoor vault facility. But county authorities are balking. (They say his 5,000-square-foot needs are too big.) The Sentinel says: “Despite his recent setbacks, Johnston has no doubt that his dream will someday become a reality” and quotes Joe, 72: “Like most things in my life, it doesn’t happen quite as quick as I want it to but it’ll happen.” We know it will, Joe. Hang tough. Here’s the video.

Joe Johnston shows off Joe Dome in latest video.

Joe Johnston shows off Joe Dome to a young reporter in latest video.

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September 8, 2016  One Comment

Heads up for meet directors: USATF meet sanction fees rising

USATFUSATF gadfly Becca Gillespy Peter of polevaultpower.com notes on Facebook that Indy is boosting the price of meet sanctions. The official announcement says: “USATF has not modified its sanction fees for at least thirteen years, yet inflation costs have risen in excess of 25% during that time. In addition, USATF’s ability to continue offering this program is threatened by increased risks and costs incurred due to a rising number of, and increased severity in the, claims received. Given the changing climate, USATF reviewed the fee structure in the current sanction program and has decided to make some adjustments in order to ensure the viability of this program.” Of course, sanction costs are relatively minor compared with venue rental and even stipends paid USATF officials. But will the sanction-cost hike lead some meet organizers to take a hike?

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September 7, 2016  3 Comments

Italy’s Fabrizio Donato destroys 23-year-old WR in M40 triple jump

Fabrizio won triple-jump bronze at London Games.

Fabrizio won triple-jump bronze at London Games.

At 1989 Eugene worlds, the great former UCLA Bruin Milan Tiff, 40, triple-jumped a world record 15.70 meters (51-6). That crushed the listed M40 WR of 15.06 (49-5) by Germany’s Michael Sauer in 1982. Four years after Milan’s massive hop-step-and-jump, another American — Ray Kimble — improved the WR to 16.58 (54-4¾). And there it stood, 23 years, until Tuesday. Buried in an IAAF report on the Palio della Quercia meeting in Rovereto was this astonishing news: “Italian triple jump veteran Fabrizio Donato returned to his best form when he leapt to 16.93m (55-6 1/2) on his third attempt, breaking the world masters M40 record. The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist was beaten by France’s Harold Correa, who jumped 16.98m in the fifth round.” Fabrizio said: “This performance motivates me to continue next year. I still enjoy competing and I feel that I could jump further this evening.” He’s been on our radar before, such as the London Games, where he won bronze at 35. What a wonderful record! Hope he gets credit.

September 6, 2016  3 Comments

WMA scrambles to revive website after someone pulled the plug

Nicolas Russi

Nicolas Russi

The World Masters Athletics website has been offline since late August, and now we know why: “It looks like the current host provider (NICOLAS RUSSI of Switzerland, mediasprint gmbh) turned everything off without giving anyone a heads up,” says Jeff Brower, current WMA webmaster. “So we’re working feverishly to get the new website up. Hopefully have everything running within a week.” I interviewed Nicolas in 2002 and hope to reach him for comment. One of my questions: Is mediasprint gmbh still in business? (The company website is down, fersure.) According to a Swiss business site, mediasprint is “in liquidation.” ICANN says Nick registered the WMA site in November 2001 and expiration of the domain name is 2016-11-12. So Jeff has time to re-up. Otherwise, it’s fair game for a squatter. Best of luck to WMA on sorting out this mess. In the meantime, if you want to check records and stuff, you can see the latest copy of the WMA site (as of Aug. 4, 2016) via archive.org.

September 6, 2016  3 Comments

W55 world record in long jump sets up 3-way Perth showdown

Ramona won the W50 title at Lyon.

Ramona, now 55, won the W50 LJ title at Lyon.

Germany’s Ramona Pfeiffer, the W50 Lyon world champion, claimed the world record in the W55 long jump over the weekend, reaching 5.06 meters (16-7 1/4) at her nation’s club meet. She beat the listed WR of 5.01 by countrywoman Christiane Schmalbruch way back in 1993. But Ramona could lose that record to any of several at Perth worlds. Entry list shows Aussie superstar Marie Kay and longtime rival Joy Upshaw jumping in her age group. Joy (big sis of Olympic long jumper Grace Upshaw) has been setting sprint and hurdle records of late, and has the tools to take down Ramona’s mark. Marie, the defending W55 world champ, holds the W50 world record at 5.41 meters (17-9). Thanks, Luigi Fasolato, for alerting us to Ramona’s WR.

September 5, 2016  One Comment

Germans hold club championships by 10-year age groups

View of German team meet stadium in Essen.

View of German team meet stadium in Essen.

USATF stages an open club championship and awards a team title at masters nationals. But nothing we do compares with the German masters club meet. Saturday in Essen, North Rhine and LVN-Kreis hosted a major event where club titles were awarded for men and women separately in 10-year age groups. Not sure how long they’ve been doing this. But points are given to every mark (age-graded?) and teams are ranked. Here are results for entrants 30 and over. Alfred Hermes reports “the weather was fine” and listed the winning clubs: Pulheimer SC (M70), StG Dusseldorf / Aachen (W60), LAC Quelle Fürth (M60), StG SF Neukieritzsch (W50), StG Rhein-Sieg seniors (M50), TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen (W40), LG Kindelsberg Kreuztal (M40), StG OWL (W30) and LBV Phönix Lübeck (M30). Here are results by team. More details on meet are here.

September 4, 2016  8 Comments