Records set (W80 pentathlon, W55 throws pent) and record lost (W60 800-meter run)

Entrants at Seattle throws nationals included Carol Finsrud (fourth from left) and former National Masters News publisher Suzy Hess (in green).

So much for a lull between Spokane nationals and Malaga worlds. Christa Bortignon of British Columbia scored 4838 points in the outdoor pentathlon over the weekend to nip the listed W80 world record of 4319 by Vermont’s Flo Meiler at 2014 Winston-Salem nationals. Christa competed at Canadian masters nationals at South Surrey Athletic Park. (See results here.) Not far away, in Seattle, Neni Lewis beat the listed American record in the W55 throws pentathlon, scoring 4370 points.

The previous record-holder (4219) was fellow Hall of Famer Carol Finsrud, who also competed — and set an AR in the ultraweight pent. (See results here.) The listed throws pent WR is 4581 by Germany’s Margarethe Tomanek of Belgium.

What to do for an encore? Neni the next day claimed a weight throw AR (16 pounds) of 16.14 meters (52-11 1/2), the
superweight (25 pounds) AR of 11.33 (37-2 14) and the ultraweight pent AR of 5711 points — blasting her own pending mark of 5452 from June.

M90 William Platts, a potetial record-setter in several events, apparently was a no show.

Finally, a crushing disappointment (to me at least) via news that Lesley Chaplin Hinz of Atlanta took down the listed W60 WR in the 800 with a 2:32.94 (the record is 2:33.09 by Germany’s Lidia Zentner in 2013.)

But the time won’t count because the meet couldn’t conduct the mandatory zero-control timing test to assure FAT accuracy of the timer gun’s connection to camera.

“We found out earlier today that the timing system did not have the required ZCT capability as we and the meet director thought they had,” Lesley said on Facebook. “I fault no one. It seem everyone including meet directors and timing companies are still learning about the Zero Control Test.
We decided to run anyway.”

I commented: “Damn!” (And neglected to ask which meet and where, and whether it was USATF-sanctioned.)

Lesley replied: “I’ll be looking for a redo in Malaga!”

Hope conditions allow and fitness doesn’t degrade.

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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 or Story tips always welcome!

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