Like father like daughter: Leigh Petranoff sticks to the Rio plan

Tom Petranoff, whose monster javelin throws helped force a change in the specs, became a great masters thrower for a time. Now he’s pointing his daughter, Leigh, toward the Games. I interviewed Leigh for Times of San Diego. I also called in my chips — assembling some masters friends to form a panel commenting on Leigh’s technique and chances at Rio. Loved their insights and positivity. Leigh is relatively short — 5-7 and 140 pounds — but she has a giant appetite to join her dad as an Olympian. (She also could use some financial help.) Hope she makes it.

Leigh has posted dozens of photos of herself to social media.

Leigh has posted dozens of photos to social media — especially Instagram.

November 17, 2015  2 Comments

Willie Banks looks back on open career and sees missed 60-footer

Willie's TJ article is cover story of November issue.

Willie’s TJ article is cover story of November issue.

Lemme tell you. If I had run a couple more years of college — instead of being cut after my sophomore year — I would have run sub-54 in the 440 hurdles. But I’m not alone in woulda-coulda-shoulda. Some months back, I helped my masters friend Willie Banks prepare an article for Techniques magazine. (It’s the journal of the U.S. Track & Field and XC Coaches Association.) The article came out last week. In it, Willie says he could have been the first 60-foot triple jumper had he done a better hop-step phase. (Jon Edwards went 60 a decade after Willie’s WR of 58-11 1/2.) I gotta salute Willie for his honesty. He admits being lazy on technique. (He also says the WR could be 62-4 today if elites took his advice.) So what’s your story?

November 16, 2015  4 Comments adds worldwide self-serve calendar function

Here's what meet directors see as of Nov. 15, 2015.

What meet directors see as of Nov. 15, 2015.

The two biggest questions in masters track are: 1) How do I rank? And 2) Where are the meets? John Seto and his are beginning to answer Query 2 as well as 1. On Sunday, he wrote: “You all know that we are making this site your resource so you can excel and exceed your goals as a Masters Athlete. Some of our improvements are based on the feedback we receive from you so please keep sending us ideas (click here to take survey). The latest added feature, Upcoming Competitions, seems a natural match to the performance lists because you can see where you stand in the world, your continent and nation plus plan where you are going to compete. Please forward this email to all the meet organizers you know so they can have their meet listed (click here to add upcoming meets). This may also facilitate more complete meet results getting inserted into the World Masters Rankings!” Back in the day, this site had an extensive world calendar. But it was dropped in favor of the far-better USATF meet calendar. If meet directors get the memo, John’s tool would be better still. But John, don’t forget to indicate if meet is USATF-sanctioned (and record-eligible).

November 15, 2015  One Comment

W65 Wilma Perkins strides out of hubby’s shadow in Aussie profile

Wilma Perkins may be the highest-performing official in masters track.

Wilma Perkins, prez down under, may be the highest-performing official in masters track.

Can you think of any couple more powerful in masters track than Stan and Wilma Perkins? Hubby Stan has been president of World Masters Athletics since 2009. Wilma, formerly the president of Oceania Masters, is now Australian Masters Athletics president. Wilma was profiled Thursday on an Aussie site. In 2016, with the world coming to their home country, they’ll be the busiest couple in masters track as well. We learn: “A 66-year-old Brisbane runner believes age is no barrier in her bid to retain her World Masters title next year in the strenuous event of heptathlon. Wilma Perkins took up athletics in primary school and started competing seriously in the sport in her 30s.”

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November 14, 2015  4 Comments

Russian masters closer to being banned from Eurovets, Perth

ancona2016Friday afternoon, when the IAAF made the stunning announcement that it was provisionally suspending the Russian track federation for all sorts of naughty stuff, I wrote to WMA prez Stan Perkins. Would a ban on Russian masters follow suit? Would he post word? Stan replied: “Yes, a statement will be made when ALL the facts and decisions are known, reviewed and their application to masters is properly advised. It would be improper to act without proper consultation with the IAAF and, as this decision has just been made, we have not had time to complete the proper deliberations within the [WMA] Council. Please note WMA is well aware of the implications of any suspension as it could materially affect the EMA Indoors Championships to be held in Ancona, Italy, at the end of March 2016, other competitions and possibly the WMA Stadia Championships to be held in Perth, Australia, in late 2016.” That’s big. Lyon results had a bunch of Russian medalists.

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November 13, 2015  6 Comments

Rejoice! Experts say we should avoid ice after meets or workouts

R_I_C_ESeveral stories are linking to this BeCalm treatise saying ice as in RICE therapy is a bad thing. In other words, no more ice baths after workouts or between events. I neved liked them anyway. In fact, the guy who invented the Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation mnemonic now swears against it. “In this document, we will introduce you to the latest research and explain why it points us in a different direction, away from the ice bag,” says the BeCalm folks. “We will explain how ice interferes with the healing process and present a new strategy for dealing with injury, one that is supported by the research.” My advice? Chill out.

November 12, 2015  9 Comments

George Haywood calls his shot: try for M60 WR in the 400?

“We baby boomers are very concerned with physical and mental decline,” says M60 world champion hurdler George Haywood in a great Washington Post story on masters athletes. “What many of us do not realize is how much of that decline is avoidable if one does the right things.” Lots of neat revelations in Tuesday’s story by Mike Plunkett: “Haywood, a private investor in his day job, says he is faster now than he was as a student in 1969.” And “Haywood said he feels his best days are ahead of him. He plans to compete in a 400-meter dash in Florida next month. He’s always looking for ways to improve. ‘It’s fascinating to lower your times. There’s always another goal out there,’ Haywood said. ‘I don’t have any individual world records. I don’t know if I could, but I would like to try.’” Ralph Romain holds M60 WR of 53.88 from 1995 Buffalo worlds.

Great shot of George Haywood by  Katherine Frey of The Washington Post.

Dramatic shot of a buff George by Katherine Frey of The Washington Post.

November 11, 2015  12 Comments

Steve Filipski dies at 66; national-class thrower was friend to many

Steve on LinkedIn.

Steve on LinkedIn.

Masters weight folks are again mourning another loss. Steve Filipski, an M65 Texas thrower nationally ranked since at least 2000, died of a heart attack over the weekend, Seth Brower reports. “This is a huge shock to the throwing community and the Texas Throwers Club as we all just competed together last month at the Texas vs. The World meet,” said Tim Muller. “Steve was a good friend, great advocate and champion of masters throwing, and was the first to welcome me to Texas when I came here three years ago on a work assignment. He was a genuine person, great friend, and difficult to not like!” Steve is the first thrower shown in this discus video from 2014 nationals:

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November 10, 2015  One Comment

Should any sanctions against Russia penalize their masters as well?

IAAF and IOC are thinking about banning Russia from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The monster WADA report on Russia’s doping system, summarized here, doesn’t mention “masters” or “veterans.” But WMA generally follows the lead of IAAF. In the 1970s, when the World Association of Veteran Athletes was formed, a titanic battle over South African participation in worlds was resolved in favor of the Safricans. We also defied IAAF bans on “professionals.” WAVA let anyone compete, even if they weren’t “amateurs.” According to Clause 5.1 of WMA’s Constitution, “Where the affiliation of a National Governing Body to IAAF is terminated (for whatever reason) in accordance with the IAAF constitution then WMA Membership of the Member from the corresponding Country or Territory is
simultaneously terminated.” So collateral damage may happen. Meanwhile, Brazil is being shamed for canceling the WMA South American masters championships, which were supposed to be held this week in Porto Alegre.

The Russian masters website — a whole lot of nothing. But Eurovets list officers.

The Russian masters site is a whole lotta nothing. But Eurovets list contacts.

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November 9, 2015  4 Comments

WMA mulling out-of-competition (at-home) drug testing in 2016

If masters see this at home, many will see red.

If masters see this at home, many will see red.

According to the minutes of the Lyon General Assembly, masters in 2016 may join elites in being drug-tested at their homes. So-called “out of competition” testing is a nuisance for the kiddies, but it would be a holy hassle for masters athletes. All I know is this: “After talking with the IAAF, we will look at out-of-competition testing in the coming year.” That’s what a report said that noted the work of Britain’s Steve Peters — the WMA drug czar (and M60 sprint star). I found the minutes on the Argentine masters track site — not WMA’s. But WMA has minutes from 2013 Porto Alegre, and they’re very interesting, too. (That’s where the General Assembly changed the W60-74 javelin from 400g to 500g.)

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November 8, 2015  29 Comments