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

Mt. SAC stadium lawsuits could spike 2020 Olympic Trials there

Mt. SAC coach Ron Kamaka, a former 7-3 high jumper, was paralyzed in a Hawaii accident in 1990s and now uses wheelchair.

Southern California trackos, including moi, rejoiced last June when USATF chose Mt. SAC to host the 2020 Olympic Trials. But I’m not persuaded by USATF and college officials that Hilmer Lodge Stadium construction (after demolition) will be done in time. That’s thanks to reporting done by some geezer-codger with MyNewsLA.com who thinks he can ask smarmy questions and get away with it. In any case, see my story on how two lawsuits have the potential to stop the grading and financing in their tracks. I attended the annual SoCal “track reunion” luncheon at Mt. SAC three weeks ago and took lots of pictures of Olympians and other T&F celebs. (See some here.) I’m hoping things get sorted out. It’ll save me a ton of coin if wife and I cover the Trials in Walnut.

Video envisioning new stadium was shown at Mt. SAC track reunion luncheon.

March 3, 2018  One Comment

Hall of Famer Wendell Palmer dies at 85; ‘Coach’ set many WRs

Wendell also won the Lad Pataki Award for lifetime achievement as a masters thrower.

A great man has left this earth. Sad word arrives that Masters Hall of Famer Wendell Palmer, known as “Coach,” who set more than 20 age-group WRs in his amazing throwing career, died Feb. 23 in his home of Pampa, Texas. The discus specialist was 85. “In 2002, Coach was inducted into the Texas Senior Games Hall of Fame, honored by the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame with a special achievement award, and in 2017 was honored with the USA Track and Field Lad Pataki Lifetime Merit Award,” said one obituary. Last August, he was subject of a great profile, which noted: “One of Wendell’s proudest accomplishments was teaching his mother, Margaret Palmer White, to throw shot put when she was 97. White received some notoriety of her own, and the two were flown to Burbank, Calif., where White was on ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.’ In 2007, doctors found a noncancerous spot on his lungs. Late last year, he had pneumonia for a month and a half, and he’s now accompanied by an oxygen tank for most of the day.” I met him at nationals, and he was greeted like a king among fellow throwers.

Read the rest of this post »

February 28, 2018  3 Comments

Nolan Shaheed loses M55 indoor mile WR to Guy Bracken in UK

Guy Bracken had energy left to smile and point.

Three weeks ago, the British Milers Club held an indoor meet at London’s Lee Valley track, contesting the mile and 3000. In Heat 3, a gent named Guy Bracken took second in 4:39.84. But it wasn’t until a week ago that news media revealed the import of that sub-4:40. It was an M55 world record, beating the listed mark of 4:42.89 by Pasadena’s Nolan Shaheed at 2006 Boston nationals. Yowza! Here’s how a local paper covered it: “Last year North Shields Poly athlete Guy Bracken returned from the Masters Athletics World Championships in Daegu, Korea with two gold medals. And this year Guy, who competes in the over 55 category, now has added a world record to his CV. He competed in the indoor championships at Lee Valley, and posted a time of 4:39:84 when he competed in the Ayo Falola Dream Mile event, part of the British Milers club meeting. Guy says of his record, ‘I was delighted to break the mile world record which belonged to masters’ legend Nolan Shaheed. My next target is the European Masters’ in Madrid in March.’” Gary Mitchell got lots of shots at the event.

Guy’s mile at least deserved some asterisk to denote a world indoor record.

February 26, 2018  One Comment

WRs for Charles Allie, Ida Keeling, M70 4×4; new Sonja sub-5

Rob Jerome photo of new M70 WR gents for 4×4.

WMA Prez Stan Perkins reports that voting has been completed on the 2017 World Masters Athletes of the Year, and says: “waiting for release statement.” Not a moment too soon. Athletes already are staking claims to 2018 AoY honors, topped by weekend world records by M70 Charles Allie, W100 Ida Keeling and an M70 4×400 team. And Sonja Friend-Uhl improved on her stunning W45 American indoor record in the mile, clocking 4:59.72 at the Boston University Last Chance Meet on Sunday. (She also clocked a nifty 2:17.35 in the 800 about an hour and half before the mile AR.)

Read the rest of this post »

February 26, 2018  3 Comments

M65 Joe Gough of Ireland adds another indoor world record at 800

Irish middle-distance star Joe Gough on Thursday set an M65 world record for the indoor 800, according to his club — West Waterford AC — in a Facebook post. Joe, who was second in the masters 800 exhibition at IAAF Portland worlds in 2016, clocked 2:16.65 to nip the listed WR of 2:16.80 by Canadian great Earl Fee in 1994. Joe’s 2:16 came at a meet in Abbotstown, which is set to host a major meet this weekend, so perhaps we’ll see more fireworks from Joltin’ Joe. I haven’t seen results link, but it may show up here. Joe also owns the M60 indoor WR of 2:14.06, set in 2014. Joe began his season only a couple weeks ago, starting with a 2.18.99 for 800. (The listed outdoor WR is 2:14.33 by Earl Fee in 1995.)

Facebook post showed Joe running. Not sure if image is from his WR 800.

February 22, 2018  4 Comments

Watch the scorching 200-meter masters races at Albuquerque

W40 social media star Stephanie Colby of Maryland made my day by uploading to YouTube her videos of the 200-meter masters exhibition races at Albuquerque over the weekend. First posted on Facebook, clips of races won by Kathy Bergen and Bob Lida weren’t viewable by all. Now we get a gander. I look forward to seeing Stephanie set records this season. Someone get videos of her!

Read the rest of this post »

February 20, 2018  2 Comments

Lida, Bergen smoke younger fields at ABQ masters exhibitions

Kudos to Christian Coleman for his WR 6.34 in 60-meter dash. See you in 2031, when you’re 35.

Ageless Bob Lida at 81 and Kathy Bergen at 78 dominated the masters exhibition races Sunday at ABQ indoor nationals, missing their own 200-meter world records by fractions. Kathy clocked 33.23 on the banked track at altitude – just off her listed WR of 33.06 in 2015. Bob broke the 30-second barrier again with his 29.95 — off his listed M80 WR of 29.15 set last year at Daegu worlds. Both beat the whippersnappers — Tom Bowden (75) and Frank Strouse (77) and Marcella Hale-Hall (67) and Kathy’s Striders teammate Brenda Matthews (68). Meanwhile, Jenn Suhr at age 36 missed making the IAAF indoor worlds team by taking third with a vault of 4.81 (15-9¼) — matching a mark from last year. But it’s past time to recognize her as W35 WR woman, since the listed WR is Stacy Dragila’s 4.61 (15-1½) from 2009. On Saturday, flying under my radar, a masters PV was held at indoor nationals, with William Nesbitt (56) and Brad McFarling (59) going 1-2 at 3.81 (12-6) and 3.50 (11-5¾) in an event denoted as being for M60-70. The first M60 was Bob Crites, who went 3.35 (10-11¾) at age 63. Exhibitions organizer Joy Upshaw filled the 200-meter lanes by relaxing some standards, so good for her.

Masters exhibitionists were corralled for this great team shot by Dave Albo.

February 18, 2018  3 Comments