Wolfgang Ritte adds to pole vault legend with M65 WR in Madrid

Here’s how you conserve energy, folks.

Germany’s Wolfgang “Masters Bubka” Ritte set his latest pole vault record this week in Madrid at the Eurovets indoor championships (see results here), having no misses through an M65 WR 3.96 (12-11 3/4) before missing three tries at 4.00 (13-1 1/2). He beat the listed WR of 3.86 (12-8) by American John Altendorf at the Reno summit in 2013. With 4,000 entrants, the meet ending Saturday has 4 million stories, I’m sure. Other world records reported include W70 800 and 3000 by Britain’s Angela Copson. (3:00.67 and 12:49.26), although she has faster clockings this season of 2:58.03 and 12:37.45). “She unwound the four laps with an aesthetic run and admirable lightness,” the Eurovets site reports. We’ve learned of M60 high jump WR. Lemme know of any others.

March 23, 2018  4 Comments

Lesley Hinz adds mile WR to Landover 800 WR with pacing help

In 1954, Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher helped pace Roger Bannister to the first sub-4 mile. On Tuesday night, M40 distance runner Craig Longhurst did his part for another mile record. Two days after setting a W60 world indoor record in the 800 at Landover nationals, Lesley Hinz clocked 5:43.75 at JDL Fast Track in North Carolina to smash the listed mile WR of 5:47.25 by Kathy Martin in 2014. (See results.) I queried Lesley (formerly Lesley Chaplin), and she graciously replied: “I have to thank Craig Longhurst, facility director of JDL Fast Track and his staff and officials for supporting this meet. Also a huge thank you to Cheryl Treworgy for coming to take pictures. We’ve been working really hard the past six months towards this past weekend, and I am so grateful that all our goals were accomplished. My husband, Tom, is my coach; I can’t thank him enough for all the time and effort he puts in to my training.”

Lesley Hinz gets suitable treatment for her mile WR at Winston-Salem, N.C.

Read the rest of this post »

March 21, 2018  5 Comments

Landover coverage one for the ages — and proof we’ve matured

My job is done. No, I’m not retiring my blog. I’m acknowledging it isn’t the paper-of-record anymore. While I reserve the right to muck-rake and rant, I’m no longer worried about the future of masters track being showcased and spotlighted by major and social media. This was driven home by the marvelous and all-pervasive coverage of Landover nationals. The weekend’s meet was the most widely covered U.S. masters event in history, taking digital media into account. Photos by Dave Albo, Rob Jerome and Marleen Van Den Neste were beyond sensational. They moved us. Facebook shared hundreds of stories. Sandy Triolo’s USATFMastersTrack Twitter feed was incredible. In other words, my late-1990s cries in the darkness — when I begged USATF Masters national chair Barbara Kousky to tap the power of the Net — have been heard.

Read the rest of this post »

March 19, 2018  13 Comments

Orville Rogers begins record rampage with M100 WR at 400

I’m not at Landover nationals, which began Friday, but I’m there vicariously via photos posted by Rob Jerome and Dave Albo on Facebook. The expected first M100 WR came when Texan Orville Rogers became the first centenarian to run a 400-meter dash indoors. His time of 4:16.90 is now something other super seniors can shoot for. (Look for more WRs later.) American records were set by several folks, but the USATF news release apparently overlooked Charlie Allie’s M70 AR in the 400: 60.52. That beats Bob Lida’s listed AR of 61.35 in 2007. (The listed WR is 59.48 by Germany’s Guido Müeller.) Lots of great pentathlon marks (results are here), including American records, at the best-attended indoor nationals in history (1,219 entrants).

March 16, 2018  4 Comments

M50 British thrower gets 4-year ban for refusing drug test at home

Read the report of Anti-Doping Tribunal (PDF)

David Burrell is no Roger Bannister. But in getting a four-year doping suspension from UK Athletics, he became a pioneer just the same. The 53-year-old thrower (specializing in javelin and discus) may be the first masters athlete sanctioned for refusing to take a surprise-visit urine test at his home. On Aug. 23, 2017, after getting up at 7:09 a.m., emptying his bladder and brushing his teeth, he heard the doorbell ring and a loud banging on the door, he told a three-person tribunal. The Doping Control Officer’s story differs from David’s, but the masters athlete indicated “that he had laughed at the DCO and told him that ‘this is not a random test, and I know why you are here.’” Turns out that David coached national champ javelinist Joanna Blair, who would be provisionally suspended in October 2017 after failing a doping test. The hearing panel explored every nook and cranny of the dueling accounts — including David’s contention that he had to get to work on time or risk losing his job, since he had an appraisal scheduled that day. The only thing they didn’t ask: Why in the name of God is a mediocre thrower subject to out-of-competition drug testing in the first place? This is chilling. (According to a USATF masters official, the nearest case to this was at Ohio masters nationals in 2011, “when an athlete walked away, essentially refusing a test and was later suspended.”) If the British practice of banging on your door for a drug test spreads to other countries, the nuisance will only lead to needless suspensions and drain masters budgets of valuable funds. David can return to competition in October 2021. Will WMA affiliates return to their senses?

March 11, 2018  22 Comments

Kim Collins, in final elite race, beats listed WR for M40 60 meters

Kim at 2016 Manchester meet.

Kim Collins ran 60 meters in 6.77 in the IAAF world indoor meet heats, then was a DNS in a semifinal won by kiddie WR man Christian Coleman. Now it seems Kim, at 41, is a DNS for life. He told reporters in Birmingham that he’s hanging up his spikes. “This is it. My last competition. I just can’t do it any more,” he said. He also joked about his interactions with rivals: “I keep telling them I could be their father so they need to give me some respect! Some of them don’t like it that their mum is my biggest fan — but it’s all fun and games.” He’s been a staple of these pages for years, for setting world age-group records: 9.93 for 100 as M40 and 6.47 for 60 indoor as M35. (His 6.77 at worlds also beats the listed WMA WR of 6.78 by Holland’s Troy Douglas in 2003. But Kim, of St. Kitts & Nevis, ran 6.60 a month earlier in Karlsruhe, Germany. Compare that with the Daegu WMA indoor winning times of 7.04 for M40 and 7.18 for M35.) I’ve learned never to say never, and I hope Kim gets the itch at 50 or beyond. He still has wheels. (But will someone make sure he gets credit for an M40 WR at 60?)

March 8, 2018  2 Comments

M100, W100 records should fall at Landover indoor nationals

Maybe Rob Jerome can use a fast shutter speed on Orville again as M100 newbie.

MTF Communications’ latest preview of masters nationals notes: “Julia Hawkins, a 102-year-old champ hailing from Baton Rouge, will be the oldest competitor in history at any USATF national championship she will run the 60m. Retired pilot from Hubbard, Texas, Orville Rogers, 100, will be the oldest man to compete at the meet this year and is expected to set a number of centenarian age group records. The oldest local competitor is Dixon Hemphill, a young 93, of Fairfax, VA, whom Rogers, ran with (albeit in different age groups) and narrowly beat in an exciting 60m dash in 2017 which was seen widely in a viral video.” But the biggest challenge involving the 60s is finishing before midnight. Close to 350 sprinters are entered. (The March 16-18 meet already is being touted as the biggest masters indoor nationals in U.S. history, with 1,200-plus entries.)

March 7, 2018  6 Comments

My apologies to Anselm for overlooking his M55 indoor mile WRs

Anselm twice set M55 mile WRs indoors in 2015.

This is my semiannual apology for not going the extra mile. Although I always cite “listed record” in my WR reports, I should have checked an authoritative site on who really owns the M55 indoor mile best. My old friend Alan Sigmon reminds me that Guy Bracken isn’t the fastest M55 indoor miler, and Chris Chisholm isn’t the speediest M55 American. That’s because some guy named Ken Stone told of Anselm LeBourne running 4:34.79 and 4:37.05 in 2015. (Marks also covered by Runner’s World and RunnerSpace.) So how did Anselm’s 4:34 fall out of the deck? Was it not ratified? In fact, Jeff Brower (our masters records czar) submitted the AL miles for approval at the 2015 USATF annual meeting. The problem? The mark wasn’t added to the USATF and WMA records pages. That should be rectified quickly. Or else I’ll be forced to memorize my 5,734 blog posts. Or put Alan Sigmon on retainer.

March 6, 2018  2 Comments

Yanks Bob Lida, Kathy Martin named WMA Athletes of the Year

M80 sprinter Bob Lida and W65 middle-distance star Kathy Martin on Monday were revealed as WMA Best Masters of 2017 — the first time two Americans have been honored as world athletes of the year at the same time. It’s the first time since 2010 (when Aussies Peter Crombie and Marie Kay were the winners) that a single country had the top M and W. (See the history.) It was Bob’s second time as AOY (after winning in 2012). The news emerged via leaks on Facebook and finally was posted on WMA’s homepage — in the form of a PDF chart. Pretty half-ass. A story with quotes, photos and stats would have done them justice. This year’s honors also include event-group winners, with two other Americans winning — M70 thrower William Harvey and M40 combined-venter Jeferson Souza. W60 combined-venter Rita Hanscom of San Diego was named a runner-up. Also new: AOY runner-ups were named — M65 Mexican race walker José Luis López Camarena and W70 British distance runner Angela Copson. Congrats to all, and razzies to WMA for taking so long to role out the news.

WMA’s chart of who won what was news to some of the winners. (PDF)

March 5, 2018  8 Comments

Germany’s Eva Trost zaps Alisa Harvey WR in W50 indoor 800

Like mother, like daughter.

Eurovets report that Germany’s Eva Trost set a W50 world indoor record Feb. 10 in the 800 at Munich, clocking 2:16.73. But that’s not the most amazing thing. Eva ran in the same race as her daughter, Katharina, who timed 2:04.61. Eva’s time beats the listed WR of Alisa Harvey, who did 2:18.14 in 2016. Another middle-distance shocker has emerged from a Feb. 9-10 Boston University meet. Chris Chisholm ran 4:42.14 to nip Nolan Shaheed’s listed M55 mile indoor WR and American record of 4:42.89. Only, Guy Bracken of Britain had lowered that to 4:39.84. But Chris still deserves American record recognition. He’s getting help and advice on filing paperwork. And a moment of silence for Sir Roger Bannister, the reason many of us are here. A life of service and inspiration.

Mastersrankings.com shows how tough the M55 indoor mile is this season.

March 4, 2018  One Comment