Records czar Jeff Brower begins big reforms, posts status of marks

Jeff Brower suddenly replaced Sandy Pashkin in December as USATF Masters T&F Records Committee chairman, ending what some considered a reign of error. Late that month, I sent Jeff some questions, and he replied a week later. I overlooked his email, but found it today. The upshot? He’s making big changes, and says he will put into effect all reforms sought in an ad hoc committee’s report nearly two years ago. Toward that end, he’s created a web page that lays out the records process, including guidelines and even a “status of applications” page. “It’s difficult to get a record form filled out properly, and I’m already making changes to simplify it as much as possible,” Jeff writes. “I’m looking into additional ways to go ‘paperless,’ and have already made changes on the website that will benefit many. I’ll be working with other record chairs from other USATF divisions to improve this entire process.” This is huge, folks.

Status page reveals that a recent Renee Shephard mark for 60 meters has been rejected.

A first: Status page reveals that a recent Renee Shepherd mark for 60 meters has been rejected and Flo Meiler has three pending W80 records under review.

Here’s my quickie Q&A with Jeff, along with a recent addendum on Penn Relays records: How did you get the job? Did [national chairman] Gary Snyder ask you, or did you volunteer at some point?

Jeff Brower: I volunteered.

When were you informed you’d be masters records chair?

Fall 2014.

How has Sandy Pashkin helped in the transition?

One-on-one training at the annual meeting, email support.

What role will Sandy have in masters records going forward?

I believe she handles WMA records. She will continue in all her current roles EXCEPT USATF Masters TF.

Have you begun processing USATF masters records?


The six-member special committee Gary named in January 2013 issued a report that called for changes. Some might require rules changes, Others might be done under your authority.

Which of these do you plan to carry out?

  • Revising the records application form.
  • Creating a list of approved competition sites (eligible for USATF records).
  • Clarifying meet director responsibilities for processing records.
  • Accepting email record applications with scanned backup documentation.
  • Creating an “status of application” site.
  • Creating a timeline and appeals system for rejected records.

I plan on putting all these requests in place.

Do you plan to seek help? If so, how can people join your committee?

I’ll evaluate the workload and seek help as needed. At this point, it seems manageable. If I need people in the future, they’ll need to know the rules very well, so I’ll probably look first at experienced certified officials.

Masters track records form was revised Jan. 21, 2015. Field form is still to come.

Masters track records form was revised Jan. 21, 2015. Field form is still to come.

Where should athletes send records applications? Email or home address?

Email preferred, I’ll post explicit instructions soon on [Now done at]

Will you revisit any rejected records from 2014? If so, which ones?

I’ll revisit all of them.

What did Gary Snyder tell you about how to approach the job?


Will you consider potential record marks set by elite M35 and W35 athletes (or older) who don’t apply for age-group records?


What else should American masters athletes know about your role and the new records process?

Nothing. Focus on breaking records, and I’ll work to simplify the application process while educating officials where needed.

Recently, I received queries about Penn Relays records. I shared the issue with Jeff. Here’s the original text and his reply:

Masters will be competing at the historic Penn Relays on April 24-25, not a long time away.  A review of the new records form for masters track events indicates that no records will be accepted from the Relays.  Why?  The simple answer is that no one will be able to submit a complete application.  I have listed some of the requirements below, accompanied by brief notes:
1.  Copy of the complete meet results.  The hard copy will easily exceed 600 pages.  For athletes not technically proficient enough to submit the complete Relays results electronically, this will be a dead end.

2.  Meet program.  The program will cost between $12 and $15, I suspect.  I’m guessing it will be about 150 pages, but I do not know.  For those athletes unable to get a program, ratification will apparently be a lost cause.

3.  Photo finish.  A copy of the photo finish does not appear to be required under the USATF Rules of Competition if the applicant has broken an American mark, but it is required for a world mark (at least, I could not find the photo requirement for an American mark).  Regardless, asking the FAT crew  at the world’s busiest and quickest track meet to stop what they are doing to give the masters a photo is a requirement that is not easily met.  

4.  Surveyor’s signature.  Getting the signature of the surveyor for a facility that has been in use for more than 100 years will be essentially impossible.

5.  Results of the FAT zero control test.  Imagine asking an official at the Penn Relays:  “Where can I get a copy of the FAT zero control test?”  Getting any sort of answer is doubtful, obtaining the actual results of the test essentially impossible.
In conclusion, it appears that masters athletes should give up any hope of setting a record at the 2015 Penn Relays that will actually be ratified.  Perhaps that should be noted on the masters application for this year’s meet.

And here are Jeff’s responses:

Regarding your “Penn Relays” questions (though my responses apply to all venues):

1) A link to the online results is preferred, but an electronic copy is sufficient. If the athlete will contact me, I’ll round this up for them.

2) A link to the meet website is preferred. Again, if the athlete will contact me, I’ll round this up for them.

3) The photo finish image is required, but can be provided electronically, and any good FAT crew will retain these images for a VERY long time and be able to produce the necessary image.

4) Facility surveys are required periodically, but this is only needed for particular events where an excessive slope could unfairly benefit an athlete. This would not be needed for the running events at the Penn Relays.

5) Any good FAT crew can produce the image required to satisfy the Zero Control Test. According to the rules, this test is supposed to be done for EVERY finish line that is to be used on EVERY day of the meet. So for example, if our National Meet last 4 days, the FAT crew will perform this test AT THE BEGINNING of each day and produce this image at EVERY finish line that will be used that day. It just has to be done once a day.

It’s difficult to get a record form filled out properly, and I’m already making changes to simplify it as much as possible. I’m looking into additional ways to go ‘paperless,’ and have already made changes on the website that will benefit many. I’ll be working with other Record Chairs from other USATF divisions to improve this entire process.

In summary, there are probably over a thousand rules to follow, and we’re relying on the officials present to do their job by the book. We’re certainly not going to ask for proof that all of the rules have indeed been followed (can you imagine that nightmare scenario??!!), but a relatively small percentage of tasks must be done to ratify a record. Explicit rules do not cover the entire Record Application process, i.e., there’s probably not a rule regarding the signatures or many other things on the forms.

I’m open to suggestions, but my goal is to help get “record performances” ratified, while respecting the accomplishments of past record-holders.

Print Friendly

January 29, 2015

19 Responses

  1. Mark Cleary - January 29, 2015

    The other problem with Penn Relays as it applies to records set on relays- they do not have you enter through the USATF site. This means that there is no way to assure that all 4 athletes are on the same team. I have seen several times where a team is entered and one athlete is a no show, so they grab someone who’s fast but not affiliated with that team and run fast and the club gets credit for the time with the 4 guys who were entered ( but one was a fill in and not on there club0 I highly suggest that we do not accept any club relay records until they agree to enforce by entry and check in that all people running are actually members of the same team. This really applies to Millrose also.

  2. EM - January 29, 2015

    M52 Lonnie Hooker posted a 6.92 60m – which would smash the WR if accepted. Not clear if it was FAT.

  3. Ken Stone - January 29, 2015

    OMG on 6.92! But I don’t see a USATF sanction for this meet:

  4. chuckxc - January 30, 2015


    C’mon. Not registering through USATF eliminates the best relay meet in the world for record attempts ? The USATF website can tell who is affiliated and WHEN they affiliated. A club could easily submit that info along with all of the above. Takes 30 seconds.

  5. Mark Cleary - January 30, 2015

    Well chuck they are not doing now and their needs to be some checks and balances if records are on the line.

  6. Mark Cleary - January 30, 2015

    You also need to verify if the 4 athletes who were listed on the entry were actually the 4 that ran-it’s run pretty loose at Penn-they don’t check

  7. Ken Stone - January 30, 2015

    Proof that Jeff is serious about doing his gig right:

    Here’s how to contact him:

    Here’s a path for an appeal of records rejection:

  8. Jeff Davison - January 30, 2015

    Thank you Mr Brower.

  9. Lindy Raney - January 30, 2015

    Jeff has made many contributions to track and field as an athlete, coach, meet director, etc. I think he will do an outstanding job as records chair. Thanks for all you do for t&f Jeff.

  10. tony plaster - January 31, 2015

    Yea all those unknowns on the Sprint Force and Huston Elite teams that set Penn Millrose recordsprobably had college guys in grey wigs…..

  11. Mary Harada - January 31, 2015

    glad to see the changes to the records process. A little voice in the back of my head pops up and says – hum wonder it there is any chance for my AR for outdoor 3k -for W 75-79 – from several years ago – and maybe I should submit the paper work for another go at that record the following year.
    A louder voice shouts at me – give it up – never going to happen – get over it and focus on trying to get in shape for entering a new age group.
    But…seriously – glad to see the changes -gives me bit of hope that “if” I manage to break an age group record I might get that record ratified. That is what all of us want -clarity in how the process works. Thanks Jeff.

  12. Peter L. Taylor - January 31, 2015

    Thanks for that, Mary. I welcome Jeff to this challenging position, and I believe he will do very well. The meets that are most important to me relative to records are our indoor nationals, outdoor nationals, and the Penn Relays.

    Regarding the indoor and outdoor nationals, I believe that Jeff can help us get beyond the disconcerting practice of discarding records set at these national meets.

    To focus on just one event, the high jump, and just one age group, 40-44, while looking only at women, we can see that three American records were initially tossed out in the 2010-2013 period alone.

    At 2010 Boston, a woman who had traveled all the way from Alaska broke the American mark in the high jump. That record never even made “pending”, much less gain ratification.

    At 2011 Albuquerque, this woman again broke the W40 indoor mark, and again the mark was rejected. At 2013 Olathe, a different woman came out of retirement to break the outdoor W40 mark, and that one also was rejected.

    What was the ultimate outcome? The non-ratification of the 2010 record became a moot point because the 2011 mark was superior. The 2011 mark was eventually accepted after the athlete contacted the records chair to see what she had to do to get acceptance (she had been advised by someone outside of USATF to do that).

    The 2013 mark was ratified a year-and-a-half later,
    as, after being notified by someone outside of USATF, the athlete contacted the records chair.

    The important lesson is the disconnect between the belief that if you set a record at nationals you need do nothing about ratification and the apparent reality (through Dec 31, 2014) that if you had no existing records your record would be thrown out unless you mailed birth certificate or passport to the home of the records chair. I believe that Jeff has a very good handle on this situation.

    As far as the Penn Relays, here the problem revolves around masters being a very small part of the biggest track meet in the United States, with high security, little time between races, etc. I remember the chief of FAT expressing his astonishment that masters records set at the Relays would not be accepted automatically.

    In truth, officials at Penn other than those with “gold hats” are not even supposed to enter the infield, and athletes are supposed to run their races, get off the track, and then sit in a designated area in the stands. Thus, while the record requirements can technically be met, actually meeting them is a challenge at Penn.

    Who wants to get stopped by security for the “crime” of trying to get a record application completed?

  13. Cheryl - February 1, 2015

    Great! As soon as I mentioned it to Jeff our relay record got reviewed and is on the approved list! Seeing it was at the National meet it should have been a no brainer. I like the website idea. Now you know what happened to your application and where it stands.

  14. Anselm LeBourne - February 2, 2015

    This stuff is really crazy and asinine. I established three indoor world records, two at NCAA meets and one at a USATF sanctioned meet and I have to jump through all these hoops to get my world records sanctioned. I work harder at getting all those dam signatures than I do setting the world records. Really and truly it does not matter to me whether MASTERS management approve these world records or not, they can’t take away the fact that they were all done at a sanctioned meet and their stone age mentality are denying its rightful place in the record books. How come when other people set records at these same meet they don’t have to complete all this paper work, then why does Masters athletes have to do it? There was a world record in the distance medley at the Armory Invitation over the weekend, does the team members have to fill out paper work to get this world record approved? I am sure Jeff Brower can answer these questions.

  15. Ken Stone - February 2, 2015

    Anselm, et al:

    USATF’s Rules of Competition stipulate that sanctioned meets should have a “recorder of records,” whose duties are defined thusly:

    “For all meets there shall be included in the list of officials a Recorder of Records. He/she shall see that records are properly applied for. He/she shall have at the site of the competition an adequate supply of record forms. He/she should have no other duties.”

    The scandal of masters track is that many USATF meets ignore this provision. Every meet should have a records recorder who helps gather signatures and process paperwork.

    If you think a record is in the offing, contact the meet director and learn who the “recorder of records” is. Then chain that official to your hip.

    Search for “recorder of records” here:

  16. Anselm LeBourne - February 2, 2015


    Does the same apply if a world or American record is established at the USATF open indoor or outdoor championships? We cannot have one rule for Masters and one for open athletes, the both must be the same. So what is it? Does open athletes have to complete paper world for an American or World record?

  17. Ken Stone - February 5, 2015

    Thank goodness, masters record-setters don’t have to be drug-tested. See what happens to the kiddies:

  18. Anselm LeBourne - February 9, 2015

    Ok people, I understand the process better now. So having to do all that paper work seems acceptable for now. An online process will be better.

  19. JamesOglesby - May 21, 2015

    Ken, I appreciate your site, and insight into the sport. Your heart is in the right place and you certainly do provide a service that is sorely needed. Thanks for all your time and effort over the years. As to your comment on Feb.15 in this column, I was extremely glad to see that you advise contacting the “recorder of records” if one anticipates breaking a record in a given meet. Since I see that many meets do not provide such a person, I suggest that if one thinks he or she will likely break a record, go to the Chief Field Judge at the venue and tell him what you’re thinking. On two occasions, I have done just that—-in both instances he informed the other field judges and took especial care in measuring, recording and helping with forms to submit for record. Get blank forms from the USATF website before the meet and carry them with you!! Inform the Officials what the current record is, age group, gender, etc. Do not count on the officials to do all the work for you and send in all the necessary paperwork, even though that would be the ideal. I think our new and very capable Records Chair, Jeff Brower, is going to simplify the process and be a”champion” for the athlete. I think he will lay out a very clear, simple stepwise plan for athletes to follow on applying for record. Please give him your support. He will be your friend for sure. Thanks Ken, Jim Oglesby

Leave a Reply