USATF Masters Hall of Fame 2015: Q&A with ‘Decamouse’ Watry

Jeff is a Packers kind of guy.

Jeff Watry’s alter ego is Decamouse. But don’t think for a minute his efforts are tiny. Jeff roars as the longtime organizer of indoor masters multi-event (combined event) nationals. So it was great to learn he was honored recently by induction into the USATF Masters Hall of Fame. Like Rex Harvey before him, Jeff is a standout decathlete (whom I met as a high jumper at 1995 East Lansing nationals in the M40 group at midfield apron at Michigan State.) He’s already gearing up for 2016 indoor hep nationals in late January at Carthage College in his native Wisconsin. Jeff used to work as an engineer for Gill, and he gave me a great thrill by assigning me to take pictures of a javelin cannon testing spears at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. I got to eat in their world-class cafeteria. When and how did you learn of your induction into Class of 2015?

Jeff Watry: Bill Murray (call) and Noel Ruebel (note in guest book on my web site) and Jerry Bookin-Weiners comment on your post on your web site.

What was your reaction to the honor, and what does it mean to you?

A good feeling — enjoying the people and helping the sport that is a part of your life.

What aspects of your career helped you gain this honor?

Pitching in to help a sport I enjoy competing in.

Unlike other Hall of Fame, members of this one continue their athletic and admin careers. What are your own goals as a masters athlete or administrator? How long can you keep this up?

Forty straight years of finishing the indoor heptathlon – will do what I can to make it easier for others to do the same.

Also unlike other Halls of Fame, ours has no physical location. Should USATF Masters make an effort to find such a home?  If so, where should it be?

Would be nice – where was the birthplace of masters track?

What is the most prized moment of your masters career? 

Enjoying the beer and food with Stan Vegar, Kelly Meares and Russell Jacquet Acea after the 1995 WMA Deca — compete hard and enjoy the company of fine people
Anything else readers should know about you or your career?

Meeting Rex Harvey and then helping him with multis early in my 30s helped shape my perspective that it just not only about the competing.

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December 28, 2015

12 Responses

  1. Jeff Davison - December 28, 2015

    Congrads Jeff

  2. Robert Baker - December 28, 2015

    Congratulations. A well deserved honor.

  3. Bob Hewitt - December 28, 2015

    Congratulations and welcome aboard, Jeff. We multis are so grateful for your annual heptathlon at Carthage College.

  4. Christel Donley - December 28, 2015

    Congratulations! Admiration and a huge thank you for providing that great meet! As a decathlete you are the best while conducting the meet, competing , including the “brutal” 1000 m to top your
    2 days!
    Happy New Year ! And may the Packers
    have a better 2016!

  5. Bill Murray - December 29, 2015

    Jeff is a bit modest. He has been responsible for the indoor & outdoor combined events national championships for the last 20 years. This year will be the 20th anniversary for the indoor heptathlon. He developed throwing implements, carbon poles, self adjusting weights for hurdles and many other advancements for track & field. A well deserved honor Jeff and Thank You for all you do for the Masters.

  6. Jameson Wells - December 29, 2015

    Couldn’t go to a more deserving guy. Without Jeff the Masters multi-event world would have suffered greatly. He is a great meet organizer and competitor.

  7. Warren Hamill - December 29, 2015

    Congratulations, Jeff!

  8. Jim Russ - December 30, 2015

    Congratulations – Jeff!

    This is well deserved honor for our Multi-Master!

  9. Roger Vergin - December 30, 2015

    Congratulations, Jeff.

    Jeff runs the indoor heptathlon at Carthage College year after year. He has everything well organized, has descriptive and appropriate medals and provides a program with past meet history that is superior to anything I have seen at other USATF masters’ meets.

    Want to know the ten best heptathlon performances of all time, event by event, for all age groups? Jeff provides it.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have such a history provided at the other national championships?

    Jeff, thanks for all you do for the multi event athletes.

  10. Brian Coushay - December 30, 2015

    Congratulations Jeff! It is an honor to have met you and competed with you. Keep up the terrific work.

  11. Ken Stone - December 31, 2015

    I asked Jeff another question: What is origin of Decamouse? He replied:

    Jeannie called me mouse before we were married 35 plus years ago – when we stayed with her dad had three Jeffs in house easier to call me mouse – her brothers started calling me that so it stuck – setting up web site most deca names taken thus decamouse

  12. Dolf Berle - January 3, 2016

    Jeff is a remarkable man. To be an elite athlete for so many years is something special in and of itself. To be such a leader in our multi-event world is a fantastic contribution to the sport and to so many people’s lives. When Jeff organizes a meet it always goes well and is a great experience for the athletes. To watch him compete at the same time as he organizes is truly inspiring. We are so fortunate to have him in our sport and in our community. I have now made it a goal to witness Jeff’s fortieth heptathlon whenever that may be!

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