Wyoming’s Charlie Powell on WR relay is mystery man no more
Hereâ€™s the story, in case the link goes buh-bye.
Behind the Casper City Council dais Charlie Powell is a steady presence.
The councilman and former mayor is more likely to persuade his colleagues with empathetic explanations, drawing on his nearly seven years in office, than vigorous polemics. He typically wears a sports coat and tie to meetings and doesnâ€™t project a particularly fierce aura.
But on the track â€” apparently â€” itâ€™s a different story.
Powell, 65, set a world record in his age group as part of a menâ€™s relay team at the World Masters Indoor Track and Field Championship in South Korea on Saturday.
â€śThe track is very primitive and brutal and hard,â€ť Powell said.
The Masters competitions allow athletes 30 or older to face off in age groups against peers from around the world.
Powell ran high school track and has participated in the Cowboy State Games but said he didnâ€™t get involved in national competitions until he turned 40.
After a strong showing at a national championship this February in New Mexico, Powell was well-positioned to make the trek to South Korea.
â€śLike anything else, if you have some success you try and go a little further,â€ť he said.
But once there, and based on some of his earlier showings at the competition, Team USA selected Powell to participate in the 4Ă—200 relay race.
â€śTwo of the members of this team are hall of fame track and field athletes,â€ť Powell said. â€śI was basically the third-fastest of the four.â€ť
The teamâ€™s time of 1:48.58 broke the previous world record by over one second.
Powell also competed in the finals for the 60-meter and 200-meter individual races in his age group and placed sixth in both.
He trains at the Kelly Walsh High School track with other runners and said he has even occasionally practiced with the Trojan team.
His Casper-based coach Bret Mundell praised Powellâ€™s accomplishment in an email.
â€śHeâ€™s worked very hard in preparation as a local 65-year-old athlete,â€ť Mundell said. â€śVery few Wyoming athletes compete for Team USA or are ever a part of a world-record setting team.â€ť
A psychologist by trade, Powell seems to have no intention of slowing down. In addition to track, he competes in a senior softball league, including participating in a traveling team based out of Denver.
Powell said that while competing on the track may be different than working with patients or crafting policy on Council, he saw his philosophy toward running carrying over to the rest of his life.
Sprinting, he said, forces the runner to push through physical barriers â€” a sort of mind over matter with resonance elsewhere.
â€śI do think a lot of the limits we face are of our own making, and to me the track is one way that you can kind of push through those limits,â€ť Powell said.
As for the trip itself, Powell said staying in the host city of Daegu was a wonderful experience.
Before departing, Powell had joked at a Council meeting about trying fried or grilled intestines, a popular South Korean street food.
â€śI didnâ€™t have the fried entrails,â€ť Powell said. â€śBut I did eat some bugs. They were chewy; they were good.â€ť
Can Casper residents expect Councilman Powell â€” newly crowned as a world champion â€” to try and throw his weight around more on policy debates? Seems unlikely.
â€śIâ€™d rather win than lose,â€ť Powell said. â€śBut I donâ€™t take things that seriously.â€ť
Here are his ABQ nationals results:
Event 548 M65 400 Meter Dash
Name Age Team Finals H# Points
1 7 Allie, Charles M69 Houston Elite 1:00.65 3 8
2 452 Powell, Charles M65 So Cal Track Club 1:04.24 3 6
3 494 Salazar, David M66 New Mexico T 1:07.58 3 4
4 487 Rossiter, Spider M65 Shore Athletic Club 1:08.74 2 3
5 597 Wigger, Tim M68 So Cal Track Club 1:12.10 2 2
6 294 Kearley, Timothy M67 Unattached 1:13.11 1 1
7 286 Jones, Allen M69 Unattached 1:14.92 2
8 226 Haines, Patrick M68 So Cal Track Club 1:15.11 1
9 481 Roeske, John M68 Unattached 1:16.15 1
10 566 Tucker, David M65 Unattached 1:27.98 2
â€” 233 Hardison, Steve M66 SC Striders DQ 1 Lane line violation
Event 508 M65 60 Meter Dash
Name Age Team Finals Points
1 111 Collins, Bill M66 Houston Elite 7.79 8
2 126 Craig, David M65 Unattached 8.21 6
3 7 Allie, Charles M69 Houston Elite 8.23 4
4 605 Wilson Sr, Thaddeu M66 Pacific Coas 8.36 3
5 452 Powell, Charles M65 So Cal Track Club 8.38 2
6 65 Boucquey, Thierry M66 So Cal Track Club 8.62 1
7 257 Hogue, Barry M68 Unattached 9.07
Event 528 M65 200 Meter Dash
Name Age Team Finals Points
1 7 Allie, Charles M69 Houston Elite 25.82 8
2 126 Craig, David M65 Unattached 26.80 6
3 452 Powell, Charles M65 So Cal Track Club 27.10 4
4 286 Jones, Allen M69 Unattached 31.13 3
5 568 Turock, Art M66 Unattached 32.18 2
Here are Charlieâ€™s Daegu results:
Event 218 M65 60 m
WMA: R 7.69
Name Age Team Finals
1 Collins, William M66 United States 7.83
2 Allie, Charles M69 United States 8.06
3 Seidel, Wojciech M67 Poland 8.06
4 Szymura, Henryk M65 Poland 8.42
5 Wilson, Thaddeus M66 United States 8.54
6 Powell, Charles M65 United States 8.57
7 Kong, Hansik M65 Korea 8.65
8 Boucquey, Thierry M66 United States 8.72
Event 230 M65 200 m
WMA: R 24.94
Name Age Team Finals
1 Collins, William M66 United States 25.50
2 Allie, Charles M69 United States 25.54
3 Soru, Mario M66 Italy 26.57
4 Seidel, Wojciech M67 Poland 26.64
5 Felicetti, Vincenzo M68 Italy 27.49
6 Powell, Charles M65 United States 27.94