Sloping field may nullify three world records set at Olathe

At least three world records, and one American record, may be nullified as a result of a sloping field at Olathe masters nationals, I learned today. Hearing that rumors were circulating about “lack of certified field event areas,” I wrote to several masters enchiladas. Gary Snyder, the top man, replied: “I do not have the details of the measurements, but the javelin runway and landing area are both illegal. The runway was slanted from high to low toward the front and the landing area had numerous high and low areas. Both were measured with the laser. I believe some javelin records were also lost. I’ll find out more later.” This news will be painful for M85 thrower and pentathlete William Platts, M45 pentathlete Kip Janvrin and W60 javelin ace Linda Cohn — all of whom were credited with records at Olathe. Bill and Kip set WRs and Linda an AR (if an earlier mark this season isn’t accepted).

Google Maps view of Olathe javelin runway, field and shot put area at Olathe District Activity Center.

Google Maps view of javelin and shot areas at Olathe District Activity Center.

Earlier I reported that surveyor info didn’t arrive until a month before the meet. That led to starting lines being changed — with white tape marking new starts and red tape obscuring the erroneous ones.

The Olathe District Activity Center, where many high school meets are held, might lose a bunch of other records. We’ll see how this shakes out.

This isn’t a scandal on the par of Tyson Gay being busted for doping. But when our own national championships can’t promise kosher fields, it’s a sad day for the sport. God forbid all the fields were sloping.

Kip Janvrin looks to lose his M45 world record in the pentathlon thanks to sloping field.

Kip looks to lose his M45 world record in pentathlon thanks to sloping field.

Meanwhile, I also learned that a USATF press release erred on the number of shuttle hurdle relay records set.

Event guru Jeff Davison writes:

The athletes, alternates and the helpers for Shuttle Hurdle Relay
in Olathe were fantastic.

There was one new AR for the Shuttle Hurdle Relay at Olathe. The W40-49 team was amazing.

The M50-59 team barely missed the pending mark set earlier in the year in St Charles, Missouri.

The M60-69 AR mark is still the mark from last year, and not the mark from this year.

Due to injuries, we had to scratch several shuttle hurdle relay teams, and several of the athletes from the scratched teams came down to the track and volunteered to assist with setting-up the hurdles and take pictures of others. Very cool!

Next year we are tentatively planning one in Austin, Texas, and then later in the year of course at the Nationals Outdoor Championships in North Carolina.

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July 16, 2013

5 Responses

  1. Dale Campbell - July 19, 2013

    When I first read this, I thought this is a great example of why so many athletes don’t bother going to the National Championship meet. Throwers competing in a venue that is not certified, sprinters running into serious headwinds (that didn’t happen in Iowa last month at the senior championships), distance runners competing in the heat of the day instead of early morning or evening hours, and the list goes on. This is just not acceptable and reflects poorly upon our association.

  2. Matthew - July 19, 2013

    How can we expect former Olympians to compete in our Masters meets when we can’t even have a legal field for records?

    What a huge bummer for Kip.

    These field athletes should get a refund from the Kansas committee.

  3. Ken Effler - July 19, 2013

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a corporation (or corporations)with a great interest in track and field would get behind the building of a national track and field facility/stadium. Hopefully it could be built in an area with a temperate climate (southern California?), host all national events from youth to masters, serve as a training site for Olympic caliber athletes, and become the Mecca of track and field in this country. Guess I can only dream.

  4. Anonymous - July 19, 2013

    Lets see, first Andover in 2009 Albuquerque in 2011 and now Olathe in 2013 so that is three national championship meets in 5 years that have serious facility or operating issues. And you wonder why are our national championship numbers declining?

  5. Mellow Johnny - August 12, 2013

    Unfortunate to hear this news. After 3 years of competing in the steeple at Outdoor Nats, I longer do so mainly because the race is always held in the heat of the day in the middle of summer. Somehow ran well in 98 degree weather in Sacto and figured my luck has now run out after that. It’s the way it is and I’ve accepted that but just have made choices accordingly about spending a substantial amount of money to compete.

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