Indoor-Outdoor meet in Santa Ana returns Sunday with 30m dash

Meet is thought to be at least 30 years old.

West Coast athletes interested in a tuneup for Landover indoor nationals are invited again to my friend Andy Hecker’s annual “Southern California Indoor Meet … Outdoors.” Andy writes: “I encourage same-day registration as I have for the last 30+ years … and keep demonstrating it can be done….Despite the $5 penalty for EARLY registration, I have had more pre-entries this year than ever before. Even from people who have run here before.” But no javelin or hammer, since the venue — Mater Dei High School — doesn’t allow it on the artificial turf. “Five people have inquired about the racewalk alone, maybe we’ll have a good race. Its the first event at 9:45 a.m. Two odder races have already been requested — 50m and 30m. If I have 2 competitors standing there when we are ready for the race, for any race, we’ll do it. If you want to fly in for a chance to run a 30, be there by 3 p.m. These will follow the 100 meters, which follows the relay events. … Weather reports predict a high of 70 and coastal winds (which might help the sprints or horizontal jumps).”

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February 16, 2018  8 Comments

Carol Lafayette-Boyd takes down Kathy Bergen’s W75 WR for 60

Carol also has her eye on a Kathy Bergen high jump world record. Photos by Ray Nixdorf

Carol Lafayette-Boyd has to be fast to set W75 indoor world records in the long jump and triple jump, as she did last month. Now we know how fast. At the Regina Indoor Games last weekend in Regina, Saskatchewan, Carol clipped SoCal Kathy Bergen’s listed world record for 60 meters — clocking 9.40 seconds. Kathy went 9.49 at ABQ nationals two years ago. The 9.40 is worth an open ladies time of 6.52 seconds! (The real WR is 6.92.) “She is on fire this winter!” Muriel Gieni of Saskatoon writes about Carol, sharing the WR news. Another WR is being reported by WMA’s Bridget Cushen:Jane Horder of Great Britain broke her own World Indoor W60 60mH record on 3 February whilst competing in the Loughborough Students Open Meet, running 9.80 sec over the 0.686 hurdles. She took the World title in Daegu last March in 9.90sec.” Congrats to both.

Carol kept girls young enough to be her daughters on their toes in 60.

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February 13, 2018  One Comment

Does USATF New York really want to discourage masters records?

Charles Allie of Pittsburgh at 2014 Winston-Salem nationals.

Heat sheets are posted for this Sunday’s USATF New York and New Jersey Championships — an indoor dual meet at the Ocean Breeze track in Staten Island. But according to one athlete not on the list, a potential record-setting masters relay is being rebuffed. Stephen Gould, an M60 sprinter, says meet organizers are barring athletes from outside those two states, including Hall of Famer and WMA Athlete of the Year Charles Allie, who was set to join three others for a WR attempt in the M70 4×4. Stephen writes: “NY’s isolationism has taken a stronger and stranger turn this year. Athletes in the Northeast were expecting to participate in the indoor championships at the excellent Ocean Breeze track in Staten Island. To their surprise, this meet has become a joint championship for USATF NJ and NY only. Many athletes outside USATF NY looked forward to competing in the USATF NY association championships. Indoors, it’s a chance to race at the legendary Armory track or at Ocean Breeze. Outdoors, they race at the fine Carl Icahn stadium that has hosted Diamond League meets. They accepted the oddity that the organizers refused to give any awards, not even ribbons, to outside competitors.”

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February 9, 2018  16 Comments

Regional reporting delays WMA Athletes of the Year announcement

Canada’s Christa Bortigon and American Charles Allie got to meet Boltman as 2013 WMA Athletes of the Year.

So who are the 2017 World Masters Athletes of the Year? A Feb. 5 announcement was promised, but WMA has been having trouble herding cats. WMA President Stan Perkins writes: “There have been delays in getting the nominations from regions – for a variety of reasons – and this has resulted in some nominations requiring additional information and waiting for others. As we deal with all volunteers in Masters, we have to remain flexible and things such as family bereavements and illnesses have impacts that we just have to accept. I do not have a firm date for the announcements but hope it will be very soon.” Consider this a shakeout cruise. Me hopes 2018 picks will go a lot smoother.

February 7, 2018  No Comments

Gary Snyder skipping Landover nats to campaign at Eurovets meet

Will the third time be a charm? After Al Sheahen and Rex Harvey lost races for WAVA/WMA president, Gary Snyder may finally clinch the top job for ‘Merica. The former national masters chair has a lot going for him — street cred in Europe for launching drug-testing at major U.S. masters meets and creativity in getting Nike to provide Yank uniforms at worlds. Plus using his own money to help fund stipends to American athletes competing at worlds and getting newbies to enter nationals. Now he’s starting his serious campaigning by traveling to the European masters indoor championships in Madrid. And he’ll impress the Eurovets by actually competing in the M70 javelin (held outdoors) and the 60-meter dash — the lone U.S. citizen entered so far. In seeking to become the sixth president in WMA history, Gary may be the first active-athlete prez. I wrote Gary about his journey, and he replied: “Campaign trip!! Why not compete as I’ll miss our meet in Landover?” So, Eurofriends, say hi to Gary and cheer him on the track and field.

At the moment, Gary is the lone American entered at Madrid, Spain, meet.

February 5, 2018  3 Comments

Sonja Friend-Uhl named USATF Athlete of the Week for sub-5 mile

Sonja doesn’t make a big deal about her beating men. (But I do.)

Sonja Friend-Uhl picked a good time to set a W45 American record in the indoor mile — a week that saw elite kiddies saving themselves for Millrose or indoor nationals. Thus her 4:59.99 easily stood out to Indy HQ as Friday she was named USATF Athlete of the Week. USATF noted that Sonja, of Boca Raton, Florida — was a 2000 Olympic Trials qualifier in the 1500. (She was sixth in the fastest heat, clocking 4:15.44 behind eventual winner Regina Jacobs’ 4:06.16). Sonja’s sub-5 would have ranked 10th nationally on the M45 indoor list last year among all Americans. (And ninth outdoors!) Yowza! In becoming the first masters athlete so honored in 2018, USATF also noted Rodney Atherton’s M60 AR in the heptathlon. Also a reminder: “To nominate an athlete for USATF Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about his/her performance to” (If I can do it, anyone can.)

February 4, 2018  2 Comments

Amber’s 77-foot weight throw is a tad better than Julie’s 50-10 AR

Amber Campbell spins well after age 35.

USATF statistician Glen McMicken sent me a note in the wake of my nominating Julie Williams-Tinkham for USATF Athlete of the Week (along with others). Julie beat the listed American indoor record in the 20-pound weight throw with her 15.51 (50-10 3/4). But Glen noted that Amber Campbell was 35 last year when she threw 23.48 (77-0 1/2) at ABQ open indoor nationals. That far exceeds Julie’s mark, and the listed record. This appears to be another case of an elite thrower not seeking recognition for an age-group mark — or meet organizers not realizing what they had. Who knows how many other elites have thrown better than 15.51? In any case, Amber’s mark deserves age-group record consideration. The meet where she made it is good to go. (The listed WR in the W35 WT remains 18.02/59-1 1/4 by Australia’s Byrony Glass in 2013.)

February 1, 2018  One Comment

ARs: M60 Rodney Atherton (hep), W35 Julie Williams-Tinkham (WT)

Julie was honored last summer, too.

Besides the Sonja Friend-Uhl sub-5 mile AR, two other American records were set last weekend — in the M60 hep at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and W35 weight throw at Providence Career and Technical Academy in Rhode Island. At the master hep nationals, Rodney Atherton of Florida scored 5519 points to beat the listed AR of 5393 by Doug Osland three years ago. His marks were 8.78 in the 60, 5.11 (16-9 1/4) in the long jump, 11.53 (37-10) in the shot, 1.57 (5-1 3/4) in the high jump, 10.02 in the 60 hurdles, 3.40 (11-1 3/4) in the vault and 4:00.65 (1000 meters). At the New England USATF Masters indoor meet, Julie Williams-Tinkham threw 15.51 (50-10 3/4) to beat the listed weight throw AR of 15.35 (50-4) by Marilyn Coleman in 2014 at Budapest worlds. “She also competed in the shot put and super weight throw. In 2017, Williams-Tinkham was named the August Athlete of the Month after breaking the American Record in the 35-39 age division for the super weight throw,” said New England USATF. Here are the men’s hep results and women’s hep results. Here are the New England results. Rob Jerome took his usual incredible photos at Kenosha.

January 30, 2018  20 Comments

Sonja Friend-Uhl, at almost 47, cracks 5 in mile for American record

Nineteen months ago, W45 Sonja Friend-Uhl withdrew from a masters exhibition at the 2016 Olympic Trials. Now the middle-distance superstar is recovered from a strained hamstring and plantar fasciitis in her right foot. How recovered? How about becoming the oldest American woman to run a sub-5 mile indoors? On Facebook, Sonja posted news of her 4:59.99 Sunday at the KMC Invite in Birmingham, Alabama. That beats the listed AR of 5:04.02 set by Alisa Harvey in 2011. (The outdoor AR is 4:56.28 by Kris Paaso in 2016.) Sonja turns 47 in March, so this is an amazing mark. At the same meet, Sonja also ran the 400 in 62.39. Sh wrote: “Man, those girls are fast! I really need to learn how to use starting blocks! I felt a bit rusty and I have much work to do regarding my speed and power, but it was a solid opener to the season and I’m grateful for it!” Sonja’ all-time indoor mile best is 4:39.72 — when she was 28. So she’s lost an average of 1.12 seconds a year for 18 years. Incredible.

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January 29, 2018  6 Comments

USATF President Lananna mentions masters in his report to board

Vin Lananna visited San Diego on listening tour.

USATF President Vin Lananna made a report to the board at the Ohio annual meeting, and he even used the M-word six times! But don’t look for revelations or a vision. He’s basically checking boxes. Here’s what he said: “Masters Athletics continues to expand in both participation and in level of performance. As USA Track & Field celebrated the 50th anniversary of the USA Masters Championships this past summer in Baton Rouge, it was easy to see why Team USA performs so well at the international level. We all value the hard work and dedication our masters athletes display as they represent our sport. Equipping our masters teams in official USATF team gear and having staff support the team was a huge step forward. I see this type of service as an attractive way to generate new members for USATF and I hope Rex Harvey, Master’s Track & Field Committee Chair, and his team can continue to find ways to better support masters in the future.” Fortunately, Rex is plowing through his to-do list, including shaking up committees, naming new chairs.

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January 25, 2018  2 Comments