Oh so close! Barton, Shaheed miss major barriers by whisker

Brad nears bell lap of solo 1500 at nationals.

Brad nears bell lap of solo 1500 at nationals.

Brad Barton almost went sub-4 in the 1500 and Nolan Shaheed missed setting a world record on his 65th birthday by only 1.5 seconds. So it went Friday on another lucky weather day at North Carolina nationals. At 48, Brad won the M45 15 by 11 seconds (beating middle-distance star Nick Berra) and clocked 4:00.32 in a solo effort. He was shooting for John Hinton’s American record of 3:56.39, set at age 45 in Durham, North Carolina. For more details on his race (and a video) see my Times of San Diego report. Nolan crushed the listed M65 steeple record, however, going 7:19.62. The previous AR was Ross Bolding’s 8:03.15 at Sacramento worlds. The listed WR is 7:18.10 by New Zealand’s Ron Robertson. Nolan was serenaded at the starting line with “Happy birthday” by other entrants. And Jim Wass sang the same tune from the announcer’s booth in the first 200 of the race. Other record-setters included M90 Roy Englert in the 5K, W60 Kathy Martin in the 2K steeple, W80 Irene Obera in the 400 (but not the 80 hurdles, where she has a better time this season) and W65 Sabra Harvey in the 5K. See the USATF report here. My Day 2 photo gallery is here.

Nolan crosses finish line in 2K steeple just off WR for M65.

On his 65th birthday, Nolan crosses finish line in 2K steeple just off WR.

July 18, 2014  7 Comments

Flo Meiler’s monster challenge (14 events) opens with pent WR

Flo-Go's hammer throw went for a W80 AR.

Flo-Go’s hammer throw went for a W80 AR.

Flo Meiler, aka the 80-year-old Energizer Bunny, was hesitant to promise me she’d vault today at nationals. She was still in the midst of the pentathlon when I quizzed her. But you know, Flo. The Vermonter can’t resist a challenge. She’s entered in 14 events at Wake Forest, and she won at least three on Day 1 — the pent, hammer and vault. Her point total in the 5-eventer was 4319, setting a first-ever world record for that age group. Her hammer was 22.30 meters (73-2) for an American record. (Old AR: 21.33 or 69-11 by Gloria Krug in 2011. And Flo vaulted 1.65 (5-5). She went 6-0 earlier this year. Photographer Rob Jerome (both shots here) is documenting her meet. He’s given her a nickname: Flo-Go. So go, Flo!

After finishing a WR pentathlon, Flo won the vault, beating listed WR (but not her recent PR).

After WR pentathlon, Flo won vault, beating listed WR (but not her recent best).

July 17, 2014  2 Comments

Sabra Harvey (800), Quenton Torbert (SP) set American records

Lesley was thrilled with 800 gold (after 10K bronze).

Day 1 of masters nationals saw at least two American records. At Wake Forest University, W65 Sabra Harvey gutted out an 800 in 2:42.14 to lower the listed AR of 2:44.43 by Jeanne Daprano in 2002. Jeanne, in the same race, won W75 in 3:32.23. Sabra was running just her second 800 of the season and was hoping for a WR, but the 2:41.81 by Canada’s Diane Palmason is safe for now. In the M60 shot, Quenton Torbert waited till his sixth and last throw to go 16.69 meters (54-9 1/4) to raise his own AR of 16.67 (54-8¼) from last year. But the happiest winner today may have been Lesley Chaplin, who took the W55 800 in 2:39.97 only hours after taking bronze in the 10K (in 44:06.54). Another ironwoman was SoCal’s Debbie Lee, who was second in the 10K and fourth in the same 800 as Lesley (2:54.56). Results are being posted here. More Day 1 photos are here.

Sabra ran basically solo in her 800 final at Winston-Salem nationals.

July 17, 2014  2 Comments

Looking for dinner partners Thursday night at N.C. nationals

I’m booked Friday and Saturday nights, but I’d be thrilled to tag along with a group going out to dinner tonight in Winston-Salem. I prefer local color, not some chain restaurant. I promise to behave. I also have room for one or two people in my tiny Toyota Yaris if you need a ride to the Charlotte airport immediately after Sunday’s final event. Contact me at TrackCEO@aol.com if you’re interested in dinner or Sunday trip. Meanwhile, keep watching this space for Twitter updates on the meet.

July 17, 2014  One Comment

Germany’s Guido Müller goes sub-50 in 300 hurdles at age 75!

Wolfgang bounds toward his M55 WR in TJ.

German masters nationals were held in Erfurt, and two world records are reported. One by old reliable Guido Müller takes my breath away. At age 75, he ran the 300-meter hurdles in 49.65. That crushed the listed WR of 52.91 by Canada’s Earl Fee in 2005. On the Age-Graded Tables, Guido’s time is worth 44.34 for 400-meter hurdles. Insane.) Guido now owns EVERY possible 300 hurdles WR — M60, M65, M70 and M75. When he turns 80, he’s forced to run the 200 hurdles, where he’ll probably run sub-30. (Earl has the WR at 36.95.) Can we pass a new masters exception that forces him to run 400 hurdles, where he belongs? Also setting a WR was Wolfang Knabe, who triple-jumped 13.87 meters (45-6 1/4) to nip the listed M55 world record of 13.85 (45-5 1/4) by Finland’s Stig Bäcklund at 1995 Buffalo worlds. Guido also won the 100 in 13.63, the 200 in 27.98 and the 400 in 70.00. Also the 80-meter hurdles in 14.50 (well off American Jim Stookey’s WR of 13.62, thank goodness.) Complete results are here. Now let’s kick butt in North Carolina!

Guido claims his latest world record in the 300-meter hurdles. As if I care.

July 16, 2014  3 Comments

Not ticketed for N.C. nationals? Watch meet live on USATF TV

I shouldn’t tell you this, lest you see me struggle through the 300-meter hurdles like a wounded duck. But what the firetruck. Many events at North Carolina nationals will be live-streamed via USATF TV. They might even be archived. The channel for masters nationals is here. Don’t count on cameras capturing all events, however. When an outfit webcast Orono nationals in 2007, you saw only races. (You also can record live-streamed video onto your computer. More advice is here.) Also keep watching my Twitter feed here. I’ll update when I can. Remember to use the #wsnats hashtag so your tweets show up below. See many of you soon!

July 15, 2014  One Comment

News flash! My 11-month vacation is over; I landed full-time job

At 10:24 Monday morning, I accepted a full-time job at Francis Parker School in San Diego, one of the most prestigious private prep schools in the state. I’m thrilled and honored to join former U-T colleague Grace Sevilla and web/graphics whiz Lori Foote in their Office of Communications. I’ll be a writer and help with photo and video chores. I have had incredible support from my wife, Chris, and Times of San Diego boss Chris Jennewein during my 11 months of unemployment (but with great freelance and other assignments). I can’t wait to start work at Parker! Parker has a track team but not a track. (They train at Clairemont High School). But I hope to find a way to help with the hurdlers. This was my longest time without a job since 1976. I hope to be at Parker a long time — starting the week I return from North Carolina nationals.

Francis Parker recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. It's an amazing place.

Parker recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. It’s an amazing place.

July 14, 2014  30 Comments

Irene Obera’s hurdle debut: 2 WRs for W80 at Pride Meet

No time like 80 to start running hurdles! Go Irene!

No time like 80 to start running hurdles! Go Irene!

Irene Obera ran hurdles in competition for the first time Saturday. Crash and burn? How about two world records? As a W80, she runs 80- and 200-meter hurdles. Proper, 27-inch sticks were used at the Pride Meet at Chabot (pronounced Shah-BOW) College in Hayward (south of Oakland and north of San Jose). Her friend Alan Kolling reports that the marks are her sixth and seventh WRs this year. “The meet is USATF sanctioned and Irene Herman was the meet referee (and did a really great job too),” Alan says. “Irene first ran 19.62 in the 80m hurdles into a 1.5 mps wind. This is a 4.72-second improvement on Johnnye Valien’s 24.34 record from the 2005 worlds. Irene then followed this with a 48.27 in the 200 hurdles, with a 1.1 wind reading, hacking off 14.43 seconds off the previous record set in 2011 by Japan’s Michiko Yamane. In between the two hurdles races, Irene logged a 17.26 hundred meter dash, no wind reading available. The time is surpassed on the all-time list only by her runs of 16.91 and 17.07 this year.”

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July 14, 2014  3 Comments

Half-milers go crazy over weekend: WR for M40 Whiteman

Canadian crew averaged 2:09s.

Maybe the supermoon had something to do with it. Anthony Whiteman beat kids half his age in winning a British Milers Club 800-meter run in 1:48.05 — lowering his own listed M40 world record of 1:48.22 in 2012. “I am quite shocked with that as when I did 1:48.2 in Indianapolis. The conditions were absolutely perfect and it is a superfast track,” Whiteman told the BMC. “I would have been happy running 1:49 tonight.” The BMC tweeted “Amazing run by @Whitemansub4_40, the first ever master to win a BMC GP ‘A’ race!” At the 40th annual Canadian Masters Outdoor Championships in Toronto, the M50 quartet of Serge Faucher, Andrew Tuovinen, Mike Sherar and Paul Osland claimed a 4×800 WR of 8:36.39, beating the listed mark of 8:39.01 by an Aussie crew in 2011. (See results.) And at the California State Games north of San Diego, M50 sprinter Kettrell Berry’s son Amaree won the age 9-10 800 in a stunning 2:13.41, crushing the listed record by Obea Moore by 6 seconds. Masters champ in year 2040!

Results for Anthony:

2014 Cal State Games – 7/12/2014 to 7/13/2014
Orange Glen High School

Event 134 800 Meter Run 9-10 Division Boys
Name Year Team Finals Points
1 Berry, Amaree Flo-Jo Inter 2:13.41
2 Armijo, Ryan Los Angeles 2:23.45
3 Hibbert, Isaiah Usa Rockets 2:43.48
4 Rice, Gabriel Storm Track Club 2:48.08
5 Medina, Alejandro Unattached 2:48.96
6 Gonzalez, Isaiah Flo-Jo Inter 2:55.44
7 anthony, luke Unattached 3:02.38
8 Pettit, Devin Revolution E 3:05.45
9 Vilchis-Blaney, Ahcuxtal Los Angeles 3:09.59
10 Ludwig, Steven Arcadia Dragons 3:17.46
11 Ugochukwu, Dilinna High Desert 3:22.75

July 13, 2014  2 Comments

Nationals return to North Carolina, with many stars in the blocks

My favorite shot from 2006 Charlotte nationals. Yes, hot.

Bob Weiner and his marketing team have produced another detailed preview of nationals, beginning: “More than 40 reigning world masters track and field champions who won gold at the last World Masters indoor or outdoor championships and at least six Olympians will be among over 1100 athletes 30-95+ years old, including the world’s and nation’s best, competing at the USA National Masters Track & Field Championships in Winston-Salem, NC, Thursday through Sunday, July 17-20. The meet will be at WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY’S Kentner Stadium, 1834 Wake Forest Road.” (But it errs in calling this the first national masters track championship in the region. Charlotte held the meet in 2006, as evidenced by this photo gallery.) At least six Olympians are set for Winston-Salem, including old reliables Ed Burke (throws) and Jim Barrineau (high jump).

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July 13, 2014  2 Comments