Southwest Sprinters eye own M50 WR at New Mexico nationals

How loaded is Southwest Sprinters TC? After breaking the 3:40 barrier in the 4-by-400 relay at Millrose over the weekend, they think they can go even faster in the M50 age group — with a different makeup. Leadoff man Tony Echeandia writes: “Yes, I believe the team will look to break the record again at this year’s indoor nationals, but with other runners; myself and Clinton [Aurelien] won’t be at indoor nationals.” According to the Status of Entries, other SWTC legs might be James Lawson and Francois Boda — both in the 55-flat range. Tony graciously responded to other queries as well.

Averaging under 55 a quarter, here are th new world record holders in M50, with Tony at left.

Averaging under 55 a quarter, Southwest sprint studs, from left, are Tony, Clinton, Marcus (rear) and David — new world record holders in M50. Was the WR your goal going in?

Tony Echeandia: Not at all, which made it all the more fun! David [Jones] was feeling ill and asked us if we could run harder so that he didn’t have to push himself that hard, and we did, Marcus [Shute] ran huge, Clinton ran great and David always runs hard no matter what he tells you. I handed off in first (confused as always with how they staggered us at the start) and the guys ran great!

Any of your runners fighting injuries or other issues?

Like I wrote, David was feeling ill, Marcus is finally back from injury, Clinton was fine and I have some tendonitis in my left Achilles but I’m running.

What are your ages?

David 50, Clinton 50, Marcus 52 and me 51.

What does it mean to beat a 13-year-old record by some masters greats?

World records are always a great accomplishment and great memories; I’m not sure who previously had the record, but I will be looking them up. To all of us, it means being part of a growing masters track and field history, and that’s timeless.

How did you celebrate the WR?

Some of us went dancing, and afterwards, once we were relaxed, we went to Ihop for an early breakfast and picked on everybody we could on the lower eastside of Manhattan, but not me.

Anything else about how you performed or prepared for the race?

I personally didn’t do anything different. Millrose has become my first race of the year and like it that way, I gear my training for outdoors. As I ran, I just thought about getting us into a comfortable position and monitor my body to feel at what point I got heavy or fatigued.

I know Clinton ran some races to get ready for the 400, and I feel he could be a very good quarter-miler, David and Marcus I know didn’t do anything special either other than just train and stay healthy.

The world record just came because we all ran well and within our limits for this time of the year, but SWS is stacked with excellent sprinters and the record can be broken easily and mostly likely will when we get all our people focused on it.

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February 23, 2016

11 Responses

  1. Don Drummond - February 24, 2016

    Congratulations m50 squad. Now time for the other age groups to set the bar.

  2. George Patterson - February 24, 2016

    Congrats is right. Good luck at indoors Re: age group is this 50-54 only?

  3. Tony Echeandia - February 24, 2016

    Thank you very much for the article!! Great Reporting!!!

  4. Emma McGowan - February 24, 2016

    Congratulations M50 Southwest sprinters. Great way to represent your team! Very impressive 4×4!

  5. David Jones, SWS Team President - February 24, 2016

    Tony and Ken – great article! THX Tony for being the voice for us M50 guys.

    Ken, we appreciate the accuracy and balance of the post. Keep up the good work.

  6. Mitch Maxwell - February 25, 2016

    Congrats to my teammates on a great race and look forward to seeing you guys next week in NM.

  7. Roger Pierce - February 25, 2016

    Hi Tony Echeandia…I am Roger Pierce, Congratulations. Your team ran well..I was there in your race running for the 60+ Mass Velocity Team ( I am 71 old now)and we finished 2nd in our 60 yr.age group..
    Since you didn’t know who held the old Record, but mentioned you would look it up… Here it is.
    It was set in March 2003 on the the same track you folks broke it last week. We were competing in a MAC Meet at the time, running for Sprint Force America.
    Our team consisted of: Frank Schiro (51 yrs) Roger Pierce (57 yrs)
    Dr Carroll Blake (53 yrs)and Ed Gonera (50 yrs)We won easily in 3:40.22 (Ave Leg 55.05)
    You broke our Record by .34 Wish you had been there with us back in 2003…Would have been a much more interesting race for both teams, and the people watching.
    Great sprinting Guys, and good luck in New Mexico.. Hope to speak to you personally out there.
    Be well and Fast,
    Roger Pierce

  8. Tony Echeandia - March 1, 2016

    Roger, thank you for enlightening me, believe or not Frank was at the meet and I spoke with him but he never said it was Sprint Force America who had the record. I won’t be at Indoor nationals but I will be at outdoor Nationals and I’d love to sit with you and chat. Please let me know if you’ll be at outdoors and again thank you!

  9. saladin allah - March 7, 2016


    Congrats to you and your Southwest Sprinters team. Your team really exemplify team effort on the track. Was something I really enjoyed on my team.
    Stay healthy, and continue to get faster….
    Attempting to compete this summer @ 800m…One step at a time 🙂

  10. Rob Jackson - March 8, 2016

    Tony you probably don’t remember me. We ran together for the old Pioneer TC Coach Joe Yancy and Ed Levy God rest their souls. You were a beast in the 400 Hurdles back in the days. The last time I saw you was at the outdoor Nationals in Winston Salem. I’m living in N.C. now. I plan to be in Michigan in the Men’s 65-69 800m. It’s scheduled to run on Saturday.Hope I get a chance to see you so we can talk of old days. Take care and stay healthy.

  11. Rob Jackson - March 8, 2016

    That’s the New York Pioneer T.C.for all you track afficinados who can remember the days of John Carlos Tommie Smith,Lee Evans, Vinny Matthews,and Bob Beamon just to name a few.The old armory with the old wooden flat surface.If you fell in there while racing a fast 200 out the hole it was splinter city. My have times have changed. Look at the Armory now.I use to train at the old Randall’s Island stadium with it’s brick bleachers.Now look at it. I guess that’s what you call “EVOLUTION”

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