W85 national record for 200 highlights South African regional meet

Tanya Pubalakan competed in W30 weight throw at Central Gauteng Masters Athletics Championships.

Tanya Pubalakan in W30 weight throw at Central Gauteng Masters Athletics Championships.

South Africa has a long and proud masters track tradition, and some incredible records as well. I’m reminded of that when I learned that W85 Christi du Plooy of the Central Gauteng Athletics team set a national record of 49.80 in the 200 recently. The listed American record is 51.43 by Pat Peterson at 2011 Sacramento worlds. (The listed WR is 45.65 by Japan’s Mitsu Morita.) As a local paper noted: “The Germiston Stadium was a buzz of activity last Saturday when master athletes took to the field for the Central Gauteng Masters Athletics Championships. … Du Plooy also competed in the women’s 85 years 100m dash, winning in 21.80 seconds.” Central Gauteng is the region around Johannesburg, BTW.

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April 19, 2016  One Comment

British tongues wagging over UK team manager’s suspension

Maurice Doogan

Maurice Doogan

Many were mystified by this announcement on the British masters site: “For the time being Maurice Doogan will not be acting as Track and Field Secretary or Team Manager at international championships. He has been suspended by World Masters Athletics and has lodged an appeal. The next fixtures that Maurice intended to organise will be covered by other officers, the Road Relays in May by Mel James and the Pentathlon in June by Bruce Charles. We will keep you informed of future developments.” Whoa! What’s up? I wrote 76-year-old Maurice (raising a rumor), and he graciously replied: “It is certainly not about financial wrongdoings. It is only about the British Team in the W35 4x100m Relay at the World Championships in Lyon, and I have appealed against all the charges that I have been found guilty of.” You may recall that an illegal substitution was made on that relay, which led to a DQ and the Americans getting a bronze medal. So Maurice is being blamed for that debacle. We’ll see how this gets sorted out.

April 18, 2016  2 Comments

Crombie leads results at Australian masters nationals outdoors

Peter (left) battles Stan Whitley at 2011 Sacto worlds.

Peter (left) battles Stan Whitley at 2011 Sacramento worlds.

It’s the end of fall Down Under, and the Aussies started their masters nationals Saturday in the south. The meet ends Tuesday, and the first day’s results have been posted. Track results are separate from field results. The legendary Peter Crombie, now in M70, won the 100 with a 13.89 into a 3 mps wind. So he’s in the running for several annual awards at AMA nationals: “AMA provides a number of awards annually for outstanding performances at the Australian National Championships. These include the Royce Foley award for the highest score in the men’s and women’s Throws Pentathlon competitions; the men’s and women’s Sprint Champion of Champion; the Throws Champion of Champion event and the Brian Foley award. Best Age Graded Performances achieved during the meet are also acknowledged.” Something the Yanks might want to emulate?

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April 17, 2016  No Comments

Joy Upshaw claims W55 AR in 100, wins Mt. SAC for encore

Derek in orange leads former Mt SAC masters 100 recordholder John Speed in blue.

Derek Pye in orange leads former Mt SAC masters 100 recordholder John Speed in blue.

Joy Upshaw, Derek Pye, Michael Smith and Tania Fischer put on a marvelous masters show at the Mt. SAC Relays on Saturday, winning their races at Cerritos College in Norwalk because Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut is being remodeled. But Joy’s victory in the 100 was but dessert for a weekend that included an American record in the 1. On Friday, competing at the Bryan Clay Invitational at Azusa Pacific, Joy clocked 13.22 with a legal wind to pip Phil Raschker’s W55 AR of 13.30 set in 2002. (The listed WR is 12.80 by France’s Nicole Alexis in 2015.) See Joy’s results here. My wife, Chris, and I took tons of pictures (plus slo-mo video) and will post a gallery soon. M45 hurdles recordman Derek, who was a Long Beach prep and college star nearby, won the men’s 100 in a masters meet record 11.39. In the men’s 800, Michael at age 46 went out in 56 seconds and finished in 2:01.09, ahead of M55 Ray Knerr, whose 2:05.51 may end up as best in the world this year (if he doesn’t go faster). Tania won a two-woman race as Chris Gentile was a DNS.
Joy leads Colleen Barney (in bright yellow top) and Kathy Bergen (far right). Photos by Chris Stone

Joy leads Colleen Barney (in bright green top), Elly Mann (left) and Kathy Bergen (far right). Photos by Chris Stone

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April 16, 2016  4 Comments

Italians thanked for German’s medical care after Ancona meet

Felix Hoppe and partner at Ancona meet.

Felix Hoppe and partner at Ancona meet.

A rough Google translation of Alfred Hermes’ German masters site tells the story of an M85 Eurovets entrant suffering a medical emergency. Here’s all I know: “A week after the end of the European Indoor Championships in Ancona / Ita. Felix Hoppe (M85, VSV borderland Wegberg) is taken from his family in airport hall in reception. Airport staff had picked him up in a wheelchair from the aircraft. What happened? On the last day of the European Championships should Felix Hoppe run in the German 4x200m relay. A high goals, the squadron had set world record. For Felix, the crowning of the championships after he had already won silver over 60m and bronze in the 200m. When entering two hours before the season start it was Felix Hoppe evil. Summoned paramedics called a doctor who let him deliver due to its condition immediately to the hospital in Ancona. A week study, one week hospitalization, not the Italian language powerful home missed! The only companion, his partner Ingrid Young. What to do? The horror scene developed ultimately for the better, thanks to the initiative of Ingrid, thanks to the competence of doctors, thanks to the hospitality and cordial helpfulness of the hospital staff.”

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April 15, 2016  3 Comments

3 months out, USATF posts entry info for Grand Rapids nationals

1cface1b-5a56-4591-a1f6-13cbe961102fMasters nationals begin three months from today (Thursday). At last, I’m informed, USATF has posted entry information for Grand Rapids. (See it here.) Now the clock is ticking toward June 16 deadline for standard online or paper entry. But I’m still mystified that a solid birth-record database is not in place. We’re told: “USATF also recommends athletes bring a copy of their proof-of-age document to packet pick-up as a back-up measure — a proof-of-age document is required prior to receiving competitor packets.” Newbies, maybe. But why should entrants (like me) who have been to nationals for decades have to carry proof of age? In any case, we can now expect to see the Status of Entries page fill out. As of Thursday, only two athletes are shown as entered.

April 14, 2016  27 Comments

Eurovets results add to legend of John Seto’s mastersrankings.com

Maryvonne Icarre wins 400 in WR.

Maryvonne Icarre wins 400 in WR.

John Seto’s work on mastersrankings.com keeps getting more amazing, especially now that he has some help. He’s posted Eurovets indoor championships results and writes: “Even though this meet and several other national and regional championships (Germany, Canada, Belgium, UK, US, Portugal, Baltic and others) have been inserted, we are still compiling 2015 – 2016 World and WMA regional Indoor rankings. A huge thank you to everyone who sent us meet results. Rankings lists will be complete quicker in years to come. Please help us complete these quicker by sending us results and putting potential sponsors in touch with us so we can hire more staff to keep up with the workload.”

Close race in M60 60. Photo by Tom Phillips

Close race in M60 60, won by Harri Huotari of Finland. Photos by Tom Phillips

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April 13, 2016  13 Comments

How Julie Donnelly made Woodard’s WR comeback possible

Julie put Allen back on track, literally.

Julie Donnelly put Allen back on track, literally.

After several email exchanges with M45 WR man Allen Woodard, I was still curious about the injury that forced him to quit track despite such great potential. His latest response is gut-wrenching but hopeful. Allen writes: “When I was young, my goal was to be an Olympian. I had the goods, but unfortunately a strange sciatic injury cut my dreams short. I woke up one morning with a pain that started in my groin area. I had groin issues before. No big deal, right? Wrong! This was no ordinary groin pull. I did the usual stuff when I pulled groins in the past. But nothing seemed to help. The pain just kept getting worst. The more I tried to run, the more the pain intensified. Then the pain started to move into my hips and glutes. … I went to several different specialists. I was told I had arthritis, possibly needed back surgery and all kinds of things.”

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April 12, 2016  One Comment

Making up for lost time, Allen Woodard sees WR improvement

Allen has the M45 world 400 record to himself.

Allen has the M45 world 400 record to himself.

Like many in our sport, Allen Woodward regrets never tapping his youthful potential. At Ranger College about 1990, he ran a 200 in 20.5 and 400 in 45.8 before being injured. He left the sport, he tells me. “That was at age 20-21. Needless to say, I left a lot on the table. That’s what brings me back to the sport. Trying to fill the void.” He’s done so big time over the past year, lowering or equaling the M45 WR in the 400 three times. And he’s far from done. In a quickie Q&A, Allen graciously shares details of his 49.12 at age 47 over the weekend.

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April 11, 2016  7 Comments

Allen Woodard takes huge chunk out of own M45 WR for 400

A year ago, when Allen Woodard became the oldest man to run sub-50 in the 400 with his 49.69 at age 46, he talked about going sub-49. Over the weekend, he nearly did. At the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Allen (now 47) clocked 49.12 against the kiddies. (See results here.) A couple weeks ago, he tied his M45 WR with a 49.69 at a Rice meet in his hometown of Houston. Stay tuned for more details.

Allen kneels beside results sign of 49.12 M45 sprinters bow to him.

Allen kneels beside results sign of his 49.12 WR. M45 sprinters bow to him.

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April 10, 2016  12 Comments