Hazardous hurdles at Hayward Masters Classic: put in wrong spots

Photos and videos from last weekend’s Hayward Masters Classic in Eugene are now posted. Happy! Also shared are images and clips of the last flight of 80-meter and 300-meter hurdles at the wrong spots. Sad! (We’re still waiting on results as well.) Not sure how this can happen at such a prestigious meet, but several races were contested with the last hurdle of the 80s set more than the specified 7 meters apart. And the last of the 300H barriers was at the high school spot. Ladies and gents dealt with it, videos show. But 300H winner Russ Acea switched lanes to avoid the eighth hurdle. (Seven are used in masters.) In masters, the last 300 hurdle is supposed to be 40 meters from the finish. This one was about 10 meters away. Get your act together, folks! I’m told flubs happened last year as well.

What’s wrong with this picture? If Trials pulled this stunt, there’d be hell to pay.

May 3, 2017  22 Comments

WMA president: Any IAAF changes on records won’t affect masters

Heard about a plan that IAAF wipe out all elite records set before 2005? Yup, that’s a thing. The idea is to allow WRs set after drug samples all started being stored. Some masters have written me, asking: Oh man, what about WMA age-group records? My response: “Fuhgeddaboudit! Ain’t gonna happen to masters records, and probably not IAAF records.” But just in case I thought wrong, I wrote Stan Perkins, president of World Masters Athletics. He graciously — and definitively — replied Tuesday: “The proposal within the IAAF concerning the recognition of world record performances achieved before 2005 has no bearing on WMA. Unlike the IAAF, we do not have the ability nor capacity to drug-test every athlete at every world meet. The drug testing programme in WMA is self-funded and even though we do undertake testing at every stadia and indoor championships, it is still very expensive to complete the testing.”

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May 2, 2017  One Comment

Video of Charles Allie pushing Bill Collins to M65 world record 100

Thanks to a raw file uploaded to usatfmasters.org, we have a clip from Saturday’s Penn Relays NBC coverage looking back at Friday’s M65 WR by Hall of Famer Bill Collins, a 12.33 with a recorded 0.0 mps wind. The announcer erringly says Bill attended “Houston,” when in fact he’s a proud Horned Frog of Texas Christian University. But he did indeed help set an IAAF world record in the 4×100 (38.03) at the 1977 IAAF World Cup in Germany. So 40 years later, he’s still booking it. If he was a 10-flat runner in his heyday, he’s lost 2.33 seconds over four decades. Or only a half-second every 10 years. He took 51 or 52 steps, compared with Usain Bolt’s 41. Age-graded, his 12.33 is worth an open time of 9.95. (Methinks it should be 9.55.) And Houston Elite teammate Charles Allie’s runner-up 12.73 is stunning as well. Hall of Famer Charles is 69, and the listed M70 WR is Bobby Whilden’s 12.77. Watch out for Charlie in 2018!

May 2, 2017  2 Comments

Allen Woodard says sub-48 leg on sub-3:20 4×4 team is possible

Allen Woodard anchored the USA Masters 4×4 team to an M45 world record at Penn. And it was their goal from the get-go, he tells me. “Most definitely! We knew going in if everyone ran to their potential there would be a new world record. Yes, a sub-3:20 is very doable. There is definitely more performance in this relay. It’s just a matter of when or if we can get everyone in one place this year again,” he wrote in response to queries. Of his own leg at age 48, Allen says: “Well, I split 48.27 real relaxed. I know for a fact I’m in 48-second open 400 shape right now. I’ve been dealing with some lower back and glutes issue for the past 3-4 weeks, but thank God I held up just fine.”

The M45 WR team on the medal stand at Penn Relays show their colors.

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May 1, 2017  3 Comments

At Penn, Bill Collins claims M65 WR in 100; M45 4×4 WR also falls

Bill Collins, 66, set another world record at Penn over the weekend — an amazing 12.33 for 100, breaking the listed M65 WR of 12.37 by fellow Yank Steve Robbins and Slovakia’s Vladmir Vybostok. (Steve says: “I was following the results online. No surprise — other than it took Bill a year to get it. I expect he’ll take the record down another couple of tenths later in the season. Congratulations, Bill!”) But in researching the feat I came across another amazing stat. This was the 35th time Bill has raced at Penn. That derives from a Walt Murphy report back in 2011, when he’d hit the 31 mark. (See posting below. Bill missed 2014 and 2015.) Also jaw-dropping was the M45 world record by the 4×4 team of Karnell Vickers (54.10), Mark Gomes (48.88), Lee Bridges (51.56) and Allen Woodard (48.27!), whose 3:22.79 shattered the listed WR of 3:24.84 set by a U.S. team at 2011 Sacramento worlds. With Gavin Thorne replacing Mark, the same foursome broke the listed American M45 nonclub record in the 4×100 Friday, clocking 43.79. The previous record was 44.73. Also hot at Penn were M40 Jeff Mack in 10.89, M70 Ty Brown in 13.34 and M80 Bobby Whilden in 14.65. At 48, Donna Lawrence won the single women’s 100 in 12.85. Complete Penn masters results are here. I’ve heard of AR in at least one women’s 4×4. I could use details.

The new WR team in M45 4×4 includes two 50-year-olds — Lee Bridges and Karnell Vickers.

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April 30, 2017  5 Comments

Spanish hammer thrower draws 4-year doping ban for steroids

Top finishers in 2017 Drake masters 800.

Malaga worlds (the 2018 WMA meet) just lost its home-nation favorite in the M35 hammer. According to the IAAF and local reports, “Veteran hammer thrower Cristóbal Almudí Cid has been sanctioned with four years of disqualification after a positive analysis by the anabolic steroid Estanozolol [probably Winstrol or Stanozolol] in a competition control.” Cristóbal’s name shows up in the latest doping DQ list. “The athlete of Ourense can not compete again until July 2020 after being surprised after the dispute of the Championship of Veterans of 2016. Almudí, 38, has been a finalist in numerous Spanish Championships Absolute and has a best personal mark of 66.09 meters, achieved precisely in Madrid in April 2016, shortly before his positive.” His ban lifts July 12, 2020, a week before Toronto worlds. On a happier note, Drake and Penn have started, with Eric Potter winning the Des Moines masters 800 in 2:03.41 (after a 64.5 first lap). He ran at 2002 open indoor nationals, clocking 1:50.4, and his all-time PR appears to be a 1:48.66 indoors in 2000. He turned 40 in mid-December. Penn sprints and relays will be summarized over the weekend. But here are masters results.

April 28, 2017  3 Comments

Germany joins critics — won’t recognize results from Kiwi WMG

Germany is not amused. News that Russians are competing at the World Masters Games in Auckland (against IAAF rules) has stirred a soup Nazi reaction: “No records for you!” According to a Google translation of Alfred Hermes’ blog, we learn: “DLV does not recognize the achievements of the WMG 2017. The WMG organization does not implement all the rules of IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations). For example, she will be able to participate in Russian athletes who are locked by IAAF. For this reason, the German Athletics Association does not recognize the results achieved in Auckland. The results are therefore not included in the best lists, according to the DLV statement.” I haven’t heard of any records relevant to Germany, but the latest results are here.

April 27, 2017  11 Comments

British masters official aghast that Auckland WMG allows Russians

Bridget Cushen, former WMA Council member, is British masters secretary

I’m warming to these World Masters Games. They let anyone come and play — the spirit of the founders of WAVA in the mid-1970s. Back in the day, the likes of David Pain and Bob Fine rebelled at restrictions on who could run and jump at worlds. They went to bat for “professional athletes” and South Africans during the Apartheid era. Now comes longtime British masters official Bridget Cushen, challenging the Auckland WMG for — horrors! — allowing Russians into the track meet. Bridget sent this note recently: “If you have been following the World Masters Games … you may not be totally surprised to see several Russian competitors competing and winning medals in the T&F section. [International Masters Games Association], the World Masters Games Board always claim to run the T&F under IAAF rules. They claim their quadrennial World Games are based on the Olympic model. WMA are not allowed to accept Russian entries at the moment and EMA tried to allow them but were warned by WMA.” She added: “If you check on the governors of IMGA, the IAAF vice president, Sergey Bubka, is listed and so is Sir Philip Craven (Paralympics). And Lord [Sebastian] Coe is listed as an ambassador. Not room for a masters [exhibition] race in London [at 2017 IAAF worlds] but a blind eye to the Russians competing in an international Games that they promote! I’m surprised the press have not spotted this.”

Russia’s Vitali Romanovich, a past WMA world champion, used the dive straddle to win the WMG M50 high jump at 1.76 (5-9 1/4). Photo by Rob Jerome

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April 26, 2017  12 Comments

Can Indian sprinter Man Kaur document her being 101 years old?

Flame away. But I’m just a tad skeptical about Man Kaur, the “101-year-old” star of the World Masters Games in Auckland. The other day she ran the 100 in 74.56 seconds, and New Zealand media dubbed her the “miracle from Chandigarh.” But Indian athletes have a history of inflating their ages. The most notorious is Dharam Pal Singh, whose claims of being 119 were busted by Jere Longman of The New York Times. Why am I doubtful? Because she doesn’t run in official masters meets, such as WMA. She appears to confine her efforts to masters games, where DOB verification may be lax. (Let’s see if her mark is submitted to WMA.) She’s also entered in the 200 and shot Wednesday., I’m writing the LOC and International Masters Games Association for age proof. Meantime, be aware that Ms. Kaur is far from the fastest W100 on record. WMA doesn’t list a W100 record for 100 meters. Neither does USATF. But we have W100 Ida Keeling running 100 at Penn (in 77.33) and W100 Ella Mae Colbert running 100 in 46.79 at a local track meet. So who is truly the oldest lady sprinter? Stay tuned.

April 25, 2017  16 Comments

Throwers young and old gathering for Big Guys party in Sacramento

Gary England writes to invite all American Big Guys (and Gals) to the annual Traveling Big Guys Party on the Saturday night of the USATF open championships in Sacramento. The party “has been a rite of passage for throwers since 1990,” Gary says. “I have decided to combine it with the West Coast Throwers Reunion to bring the past and present together.” Party site will be on the website at americanbigguys.com and social media, he says. “Throwing Fellowship, drinks and raffle is $15 for meet participants and coaches, $30 for everybody else.” I love the story behind the party’s name. “Starting in 1990 at the National Championships in Cerritos, California, the Traveling Big Guys Party got its name from having to travel from hotel to hotel after (sometimes not so politely) being asked to leave,” the website says. “Our first venue was a single hotel room where we stacked the furniture and beds up in order to make enough space to accommodate our guests. Even by rearranging the room’s furnishings, the forty-plus throwers in attendance crowded the room and spilled into the parking lot, creating what is now considered a right of passage into the elite throwing circle.”

Gary England awards a Mac Wilkins discus as a raffle prize at a recent Traveling Big Guys Party. Gary was a longtime masters thrower himself.

April 24, 2017  One Comment