Mondo in Málaga: Is that your favorite track and field surface?

At WMA worlds in September, sprinters will be pleased to learn, Mondo is the surface of at least one track — at the University of Málaga. But that’s considered a secondary venue. The main one is the City of Málaga’s combined football (soccer) and athletics (track) stadium. Unsure which spikes are recommended for the non-Mondo stadium, but pyramid and Christmas tree spikes (specified for Mondo) may suffice for all. In any case, the 2012 and 2016 Olympics were contested on Mondo — because it’s speed friendly. (I’ve heard that distance runners have a problem with it, but oh well.) What…


Wolfgang Ritte at 65 becomes oldest man to clear 4.0 (13 feet) in vault

Wolfgang Ritte has a thing for Wipperfuerth, Germany. Five years ago Saturday, he set an M60 WR in the vault at that ancient North Rhine-Westphalia town. Don’t look now. Wipperfuerth was the site Saturday of his M65 WR, where he made first-attempt clearances of 4.0 and 4.05 meters (13 1 1/2 and 13-3 1/2) and screamed with joy on the way down. Haven’t seen results site, but a YouTube video and my source are reliable. (He came close to 4.0 indoors in March.) So by breaking American John Altendorf’s listed WR of 3.89 (12-9), Wolfie becomes the oldest man to…


Damien Leake looms as M65 WR man after 12.40 in 100 on May 6

Results are posted for the Southern California Striders Meet of Champions at Santa Ana College. The top mark was by Damien Leake, who at 65 clocked a legal 12.40 in the 100 — with the listed world record being 12.33 by Bill Collins at the 2017 Penn Relays. On Saturday, Damien responded to some queries. “I am hoping to take a real shot at Bill’s WR,” he said. “I was a little surprised at how close I was this early in the season, as I am a little ‘soft’ because I’ve been doing a lot more coaching than training this…


2020 Olympic Trials masters exhibitions where? USATF not sure

USATF is sweating bullets over whether anyone will bid for the 2020 Olympic Trials — important for masters because we get some exhibitions and major attention. As I reported a couple week ago, Mt. SAC lost the Trials gig because of a lawsuit cloud over it stadium project. But I also learned that Mt. SAC and USATF both had reason to be red-faced — the Walnut school for not informing Indy about pending lawsuits until two months after it won the meet and USATF for not checking court records. As my Times of San Diego story noted, USATF Deputy General…


Toronto’s Doug Smith shares great news: He’s the picture of health

Doug “Shaggy” Smith of Ontario – the dreadlocked vegan photographer and steeplechasing M65 meet director of 2020 Toronto worlds — gave his 1,400 Facebook friends a mighty scare on April 6. He wrote: “Not feeling well lately — many of the symptoms of a slow-burn heart attack.” He refused an ambulance but got to the ER. Initial tests were OK, except for high blood pressure. Over the next five weeks, Doug shared updates on various tests, all with his trademark sense of humor. On Thursday, we finally got a chance to exhale. He posted: “Great news from the cardiologist today…….


4 decades as friends and rivals: Aussie sprinters Kernaghan and Richards

I tell newcomers to our niche that a major joy is joining a traveling tribe. The High Jump Tribe. The Throwers Tribe. The Hurdles Tribe. We hold reunions at nationals and worlds. Now comes a story Down Under by Laura Pond of Stirling Times — a tale of the Sprint Tribe. “Masters athletes Norm Richards (80) and Barrie Kernaghan (78) have enjoyed a friendly rivalry for nearly 40 years,” Laura writes. “Mr. Richards, of Woodlands, and Karrinyup resident Mr. Kernaghan competed at the recent Australian Masters Athletics Championships at the WA Athletics Stadium, achieving 12 medals between them.” Barrie says:…


WMA posts survey, opens Pandora’s box of giving athletes a voice

Dang! World Masters Athletics went and done it! On Tuesday it posted a survey! Perhaps its first. The 25 questions are basically demographic and commercial — aimed at learning about attendance at WMA world and regional meets, indoors and out. You get a hint of marketing, since one question asks what athletic brands you wear. We’re asked for suggestions on how to improve the experience. Good for WMA. But now a precedent is set (asking our thoughts), and there’s no way back to the days of pretending athletes/officials have no views. I don’t know who will be privy to results,…


Earl Fee’s great scare — items dropped into his eye during cataract surgery

Our Ontario friend Earl Fee — the scholar and poet with countless world titles and dozens of world records — will compete at Malaga worlds this fall at 89. He’ll be the favorite to win most events he enters, usually including hurdles, sprints and perhaps the 800. But even Earl has challenges (besides age). He described his latest in a scary Facebook post eight days ago. He told of a cataract operation gone horribly wrong — “two dropped items at bottom inside [of] my eye — a very rare problem.” He says: an “urgent second operation two days later to…


Aeron Arlin Genet creeping up on 1500 American record as 50-year-old

In Section 4 of the women’s 1500 at Saturday’s Occidental Invitational in Los Angeles, Aeron Arlin Genet of California’s Central Coast ran 4:54.74. Not that impressive until you know she turned 50 last June. That puts her 3 seconds behind the listed American age-group record of 4:51.86 by Marisa Sutera Strange in 2015. With the season still young, Aeron could snag the AR yet. (The W50 WR is a stretch, though — 4:36.79 by Britain’s Clare Elms in 2014.) According to mastersrankings.com, the best 50-plus woman in the world this year is Sally Gibbs of New Zealand, who clocked 4:48.49…


Ninetysomethings Milliman, Platts, W70 Gerl highlight Hayward Classic with WRs

Three months ago, KVAL-TV in Eugene, Oregon, did a story on Tracktown Fitness, a free program that trains at Hayward Field. It noted W90 mile record-holder Colleen Milliman, who told of her goal to set a WR in the 800 at the Hayward Classic. Well, there she goes again. Last weekend, at 91, she crushed the listed WR of 6:57.56 by fellow Yank Betty Lindberg in 2016. Colleen clocked an amazing 5:44.50 — more than a minute faster but more in line with the age curve. The WR party continued with W70 Sharon Gerl of the Oregon Track Club running…