M95 Roy Englert erases 800 WR; W55 Sue McDonald lowers own AR at Spokane

Sue McDonald recovers on infield after setting a W55 American record in the 800.Sue McDonald recovers after setting a W55 American record in the 800. Runner-up Lynn Cooke was 10 seconds back.

Roy Englert of Springfield, Virginia, shattered a 27-year-old world record in the M95 800 to kick off Spokane nationals at Eastern Washington University. (See results here.) He became the oldest man to go sub-6 when he clocked 5:18.15, taking 45 (!!!) seconds off the listed outdoor WR of 6:02.94 by fellow Yank Herb Kirk at 1991 Turku worlds. (Roy set the indoor WR of 6:03.84 at this year’s Landover nationals.)

Sue McDonald of Santa Barbara lowered her own W55 AR in the 800 by clocking 2:27.00 — a few ticks ahead of her recent 2:28.88. Three-time race walk Olympian Michelle Rohl returned to her old college distance, the 800, but won W50 in scary fashion.

About 10 yards from the finish, suffering in the mid-90s heat, she staggered and weaved, and needed help getting to a nearby medical tent. There she quickly recovered after getting bags of ice for her neck and stomach.

I spent the day taking pictures — and drinking at least five bottles of water.

One interesting sidelight was the presence, in the M35 800, of Vitaly Stepanov, who with his wife Yuliana blew the whistle on the Russian doping system — leading to that nation’s Rio Olympic ban.

In the entry list, Vitaly is listed as INA — Indonesia. In fact, he told me, he tried to enter the meet as an “independent national athlete.” (He won his age group in 2:04.60.) He wasn’t sure if he’d run the 1500 as well.

Meanwhile, check out the Spokesman-Review’s great story about Sabra Harvey’s continuing Hurricane Harvey ordeal in Texas. Here’s the USATF release for Day 1 — and my best shots from Thursday.

You can find about 80 high-resolution color images here and some more black-and-whites here. Why? Just cuz they’re cool. At this meet, we need cool.

Sue McDonald leads recent W55 mile record-setter Susan "Lynn" Cooke in the 800 where she lowered her own American record.

Sue McDonald leads recent W55 mile record-setter Susan “Lynn” Cooke in the 800 where she lowered her own American record.

Lesley Hinz (left) hugs her friend Sue McDonald after Sue lowered her own W50 American record for the 800.

Lesley Hinz (left) hugs her friend Sue McDonald after Sue lowered her own W55 American record for 800.

Three-time Olympic race walker Michelle Rohl, suffered from the heat at the end of her 800, but still won the W50 age group.

Three-time Olympic race walker Michelle Rohl, suffered from the heat at the end of her 800, but still won the W50 age group.

Ray Knerr of Ventura, California, savors his national title in the M55 800.

Ray Knerr of Ventura, California, savors his national title in the M55 800, in 2:10.57 (behind a Canadian).

McDuffrie Allen of San Diego is congratulated by Kevin Paulk of Portland, Oregon, after the M55 800.

McDuffrie Allen of San Diego is congratulated by Kevin Paulk of Portland, Oregon, after the M55 800.

Almir Rosa Jr. of Pompano Beach, Florida, exults in his M50 800 victory.

Almir Rosa Jr. of Pompano Beach, Florida, exults in his M50 800 victory. He clocked 2:08.70.

Vitaliy Stepanov covers his face before start of the M30-39 800. He was second in the M35 group.

Vitaly Stepanov covers his face before start of the M30-39 800. He won the M35 group.

A banner urging stadium-goers to report misconduct at football games is behind former Russian whistle-blower (and world-class 800 runner) Yuliya Stepanova as she congratulates her husband, Vitaliy.

A banner urging stadium-goers to report misconduct at football games is behind former Russian whistle-blower (and world-class 800 runner) Yuliya Stepanova as she congratulates her husband, Vitaly.

Dr. Richard Watson of Yuma guts out the 1500 – the last event of the M65 pentathlon.

Dr. Richard Watson of Yuma guts out the 1500 – the last event of his M65 pentathlon.

W50 Regina Richardson of Clayton, North Carolina, eyes the high jump bar as a rival warms up.

W50 Regina Richardson of Clayton, North Carolina, eyes the high jump bar as a rival warms up.

M70 shot putter Bob Sager is from White Sulphur Springs, Montana.

M70 shot putter Bob Sager is from White Sulphur Springs, Montana. He took sixth with a throw of 8.52 meters (27′-11½).

Here’s the USATF release for Thursday:

In stunning fashion, 95-year-old Roy Englert (Springfield, Virginia/Potomac Valley Track Club) clinched the M95 world record in the men’s 800. Englert, who also set age group records at USATF Masters Indoor Championships earlier this year, ran 5:18.15 – a huge improvement from the previous WR of 6:02.94 set in 1991 by Herb Kirk of the U.S.

On the women’s side, Sue McDonald (Santa Barbara, California/T.H.E. Track Team) set a new American record in the W55 800m. McDonald’s 2:27.00 dipped under the previous age group AR of 2:30.53. Lesley Hinz (Atlanta, Georgia/Unattached) nearly broke the American record in the W60 800m, finishing in 2:34.95 compared to the AR time of 2:34.66. In March, Hinz won USATF Athlete of the Week following her 800m world indoor record. She followed up by winning her 400m prelim in 1:11.84.

Three-time U.S. racewalk Olympian Michelle Rohl (Madison, Wisconsin/unattached) clinched the national title in the W50 800m in 2:32.78. 2018 USATF Masters Athlete of the Year Sabra Harvey (Houston, Texas/Houston Striders, Inc.) won her W65 800m final in 2:49.63.

M50 competitor Carl Combs (Sheney, Washington/Club Northwest) ran the fastest time of all M30-59 5,000m runners, clocking in at 16:14.14.

In the multi-events, Michael Janusey (Venetia, Pennsylvania/Unattached) won the M60 pentathlon with 2976 points and Rachel Guest (Surprise, Arizona/Southwest Sprinters Track Club) took home the USATF Masters title in the W40 pentathlon with 3348 points.

William Harvey (Glenbrook, Nevada/Unattached) earned first in the M70 shot put at 13.81m/45-3.75 and Oneithea Lewis (Oakland Gardens, New York/Shore Athletic Club) claimed the national title in W55 weight throw with a best of 14.05m.

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About the Author

Ken Stone
Ken has followed track as an athlete, writer and webmaster since the late 1960s, and saw most sessions of track and field at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He also attended the 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Trials. He worked for 10 newspapers and now reports for Times of San Diego. Write him at TrackCEO@aol.com or kens@timesofandiego.com. Story tips always welcome!

1 Comment on "M95 Roy Englert erases 800 WR; W55 Sue McDonald lowers own AR at Spokane"

  1. Great job. 2:27.00 is #4 all time.

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