Vin Lananna hints masters events at 2021 IAAF worlds (if asked)

Vin Lananna brought his “listening tour” to San Diego on Sunday, and I joined a dozen local USATF brass at a shoe store where we sat in a semi semicircle on wooden folding chairs and peppered the prez with comments and questions. Since I was covering for Times of San Diego (see my story), I mostly kept quiet. But I got in some “journalistic” Qs in a one-on-one afterward (see my video) — after the group got kicked out of the store to make way for a yoga class. My masters question was: Can you guarantee that 2021 IAAF worlds in Eugene will host masters exhibition events? He said yes without saying yes, noting how masters are embedded in lots of UofO meets. But he said the LOC has to be asked. So listen up, WMA. Start thinking about events at Hayward Field. (And listen to audio of the meeting, starting after 4 minutes.)

Vin Lananna, in Nike shirt, was personable in San Diego, and actually did listen.

October 8, 2017  No Comments

Joy Upshaw named USATF Athlete of the Week for W55 100 AR

Coach Joy Upshaw, whose USATF roles are too numerous to mention, finds time to compete somehow. And when she does, it’s serious. After making the 360-mile trip south last weekend from the SF Bay Area to run the Sri Chinmoy meet in Glendale, she scorched the 100 in 13.27 seconds to claim the W55 American record (beating the fabled 13.30 by Phil Raschker in 2002). Even though she’s gone faster (at 2016 Mt. SAC Relays), USATF on Thursday named her USATF Athlete of the Week. If you count M35 Justin Gatlin, Joy is the seventh masters-age athlete to gain the honor this year — after Kathy Martin, Allen Woodard, Bob Lida, Julia Hawkins and Kevin Castille. When news of her AR was shared on her track club website, the notice said: “With her good running form — that she coaches in Jackrabbits — she was able to focus and race to a win and a W55-59 age group 100m American record! She made sure to thank the officials, meet directors and her competitors, because as we know in Jackrabbits class, having good sportsmanship — no matter what place you finish — is important.” Nice. Even records are teachable moments.

Joy in her element — coaching the Jack Rabbits youth club near Stanford.

October 6, 2017  7 Comments

Carol Finsrud blows past W60 throws WRs, but meet only for fun

M40 Hondo Salgado handles 98-pounder at Florida beach meet. Carol Dixon photo

Results of the inaugural Ultra Weight Pentathlon World Championships in Florida and a throws meet in Texas show great marks. On Oct. 1 in Lockhart, Texas, W60 Carol Finsrud went crazy at her hometown Atlas Field Series. “Word out of Texas has it that Carol Finsrud has just torched the W60 American record in the Throws Pentathlon currently held by Myrle Mensey,Bob Cedrone posted on the masters throwers page on Facebook. “The existing record of 4451 points, which Carol just missed at the 2017 USATF Masters Throws Championships with her 4417 total, now moves to an other worldly 5060 points (!) pending approval by the Masters Records Committee. I think that this may also be a World Record as well, but I need some back up on that claim. WOW!” Carol also recorded a 40.81 (133-10) discus fling, which crushed the listed WR of 39.24 (128-9) by Germany’s Karen Illgen in 2002. Turns out the meet fell short of record specs. Carol posted: “Thank you for all of the kudos! I can’t believe how on I was last Sunday at Atlas Field! We did not have weights and measures, three certified officials etc. so no records will be submitted. It was fun and it brought a big smile to my face!” But thank goodness results are posted at mastersrankings.com for historians of the event.

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October 5, 2017  4 Comments

M65 sprinter Damien Leake: Why I’ve sat for anthem since 1968

Damien leads Striders teammate Robert Richardson in a 200-meter dash.

Joe Ruggless wasn’t the only masters trackster debating President Trump’s denunciation of NFL “SOBs” for not standing during the national anthem. Also posting on Facebook was his clubmate and relay teammate Damien Leake, a fellow Strider and national sprint champion. When I saw Damien’s post, which indicated he has been sitting for the anthem since April 4, 1968, I asked for details — assuming his protest was related to Harry Edwards and his Olympic Project for Human Rights (which led to Tommie Smith and John Carlos and their gloved fist salute at Mexico City). But Damien was 15, attending the New York High School of Performing Arts. Not Olympic-class. His motivations were grief and disgust. April 4 was the MLK slaying. I tell his story on MyNewsLA.com. See it here. Below is Damien’s raw response to my questions via Facebook. Consider this the first post fulfilling my new mission statement: “Masterstrack.com aims to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted while showcasing and watchdogging the sport of adult age-group track and field.”

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October 4, 2017  14 Comments

Search this site (and mastershistory.org at same time) via new tool

Google also lets you search pictures of a subject, like “Bob Lida.” Just click on “Image” tab.

I’ve re-installed a search function to this site, at upper right, using the free Google Custom Search WordPress plug-in. Try it out. The previous search tool led to a crash of the site, but I futzed around on what to replace it with. Finally I decided to go with the flow and the Evil Empire. I watched a YouTube video to make sure I installed it correctly. Besides displaying results from masterstrack.com, the custom search displays links to mastershistory.org, the USATF-supported archive site. But even without this tool, you can do a custom search of ANY site on the Web on your own. In Google, type: site:TheSiteYouWantToSearch.com keyword keyword. Then hit RETURN/ENTER or click GOOGLE SEARCH. Voila! Now I’ve saved myself time by being able to search my own site. (Helpful, since I’ve forgotten 80 percent of what I’ve written over the years.) Another great resource is archive.org. To look for my pre-1999 posts (when Dave Clingan and I registered masterstrack.com), type in members.aol.com/trackceo/index.html — the page that started this whole mess. (It was AOL’s Member Home Page of the Month for November 1996. So there.) Lemme know if you have any problems with the new Google search. I can tweak settings.

October 3, 2017  2 Comments

Joy Upshaw finally nails W55 American record for 100 in 13.27

Facebook photo of Joy running at Sri Chinmoy.

Since turning 55 in February 2016, Joy Upshaw has run the 100-meter dash at least 20 times, according to mastersrankings.com. On Sunday, she finally achieved her goal — beating Phil Raschker’s listed American record of 13.30 set at 2002 Orono nationals — a world record at the time. (It’s now held by France’s Nicole Alexis at 12.80.) Joy clocked 13.27 at the USATF-sanctioned Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence Masters Track and Field meet at Glendale High School near Los Angeles. (See results here.) Joy also ran a wind-hampered 50 in 7.28 and 200 in 27.69. She clocked 13.61 (again into a wind) in the 80-meter hurdles and also won the long jump at 4.51 (14-9 3/4). Joy lost her dad, Monte, in July. I’m sure he was cheering from Heaven’s Bleachers along with fellow prep record-setter Jesse Owens.

Joy with meet officials, including starter Andy Hecker (in red), record form.

October 2, 2017  6 Comments

W75 Louise Guardino’s Baton Rouge blog may be best of the year

Louise holds up Carolina Godiva TC coffee mug.

W75 sprinter and thrower Louise Guardino keeps a lively track blog. She recently jotted down her memories (along with dozens of photos) of Baton Rouge nationals — nearly 7,000 words’ worth. (And she did this TWICE, after the computer ate her first post.) She drops a lot of names — many of them her heroines. At one point, she wrote: “While I was taking off my shoes, I was talking to Jeanne Daprano. She asked me to take off her back bib. She then threw it away. The front with her name was already trashed. Whoa, says I. May I have it? She graciously gave it to me. (This is like having a Bolt bib.)” On Facebook a couple weeks ago, she wrote about another outing: “Following in the tracks (😂 ) of my track cohorts — NC Senior Games State Finals were held at Durham County Stadium today. I ran 4 events in this order: 100m (18.94), 400m, (barf, barf, barf), (1:43.16) 200m (42.38) and 50m,(10.31) then did shot put 20′ 3.5″) and discus (47.1′). 1st in all except the shot, in which I was 2nd. My Achilles said HELLO during the 200m. Ice was welcome when I got home. Unlike Barbara Knight Warren, I did not do and would never do, 11 events. Six and done!” I salute Louise for writing down her memories. This is important for family history as well as the archives of our sport.

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October 1, 2017  3 Comments

A mission statement for masterstrack.com? Besides muckraking?

My oldie homepage, circa 2004. Archive.org has has mirrored this site nearly 500 times since 2000.

Veteran readers know what to expect from this site: the unexpected. Also recurring rants on records, quickie Q&As, self-deprecating humor and links to obscure foreign sites. But Janet Johnston, whose comment was No. 32,773 here since January 2003, makes a good suggestion: Why not a mission statement? “Your mission statement would help your readers know what we can expect in your blog,” she writes in the wake of my notorious Ruggless posts. So OK. Let’s do this. I’ve changed my top-of-the-site descriptor to say: “Ken Stone’s hobby blog for showcasing and watchdogging adult age-group track and field.” (The previous: “Older, slower, lower: Ken Stone’s world and USA home page for adult age-group track and field.” And before that: “Older, slower, lower: Independent world and USA home page for adult age-group track and field.”) But what is my mission beyond being a cheerleader and muckraker? Well, I aim to be honest, fair and transparent (See SPJ’s Code of Ethics). And fearless while boasting a thick skin (at the risk of hurting my 100-meter time).

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September 29, 2017  7 Comments

American Samoa’s John Wasko missed chance to compete in China

Oh drat. M70 sprinter John Wasko had a chance to be the only American to compete at the Asian Masters Athletics Championships in northeast China. But alas, he tells me via FB, he got his invite less than 30 days before the meet, which ended this week. “Not much time for travel plans, ticketing, visa and accommodations,” John said. “Plus there was a requirement for a country sponsorship letter. Not much time for all of that. So maybe next event. More cordial was the African Masters in Ivory Coast. Cost was prohibitive this year. However, the Oceania Masters takes place in Dunedin, New Zealand, in January. I’m planning to attend. New Zealand and Australia have excellent masters programs.” Had he gone, however, he said: “There was also a provision that my results would be recorded but not in the official results. American Samoa is not a member of the Asian track federation. I really didn’t about that so much. So their invitation was cordial and welcoming.” I asked about where he lived, and he said: “American Samoa. We are a US territory. Our ‘track’ is cement!!!” According to his LinkedIn profile, John was M65 champion at the 2013 Hawaiian Senior Olympics in the 100 (16.56), 200 (35.02) and 400 (79.16).

John Wasko now looks forward to Oceania Masters WMA meet in January.

September 28, 2017  One Comment

W100 Man Kaur a no-show at Asian Masters meet; so are results

Good for China, but where can we see results?

Responding to my incessant queries, WMA President Stan Perkins graciously shares what he knows about the Asian Masters Athletics Championships, now completed, in Rugao, China. He says the 100s are over, and India’s W100 celebrity sprinter Man Kaur was a no-show. Stan writes: “I have spoken with the Indian Team management and they have not heard any further from her family and assume she did not come. Today is the last day of competition and this is mainly relays plus some throwing events. I have been trying desperately to get the results so that I could get them onto the WMA website. No luck. Everything is processed in Chinese and then translated into English, but I cannot find anyone to provide me with the results so that I can email them on. I was warned that this area of China had little English, but it has been worse than I anticipated. Certainly they have tried hard to supply interpreters and I have always had one nearby, but when it comes to getting the officialdom co-operation, well that has been another story. There does not seem to be an awareness that the rest of the world would like to know what is happening within this region.  Something to work on in the future.” But at least we see China led the medal standings. (And the USA is listed with zero medals. Which Yank(s) competed?)

September 27, 2017  5 Comments