2019

Neni Lewis beats injuries, own ultraweight pentathlon record at Sunshine State Games

I once called Masters Hall of Famer Neni Lewis “easily the greatest age-group thrower in history.” She also deserves her own Hall of Fame wing for injury comebacks. I told her story several times. In 2008, I wrote: “Lewis qualified for the Olympic Trials in 1980, 1984 and 1988 in the shot put. Her best chance to make the team was in 1988, when she was throwing close to 60 feet leading up to the trials. But her bid was cut short when a car accident injured her hip and back.” After one episode in 2012, she said: “I am…


Masters track has a mole on IAAF Council — Olympian Willie Banks going to bat for us

I had a half-hour call Wednesday with my friend Willie Banks, M60 high jumper and newly elected IAAF Council member. The result was a story in Times of San Diego. I focused on how he won election and what he hopes to do for the sport overseen by the newly renamed World Athletics. But of course I mentioned my pet peeve — the failure of IAAF world meets to always include masters exhibition events. Beijing and Portland had such events. London and Doha not. Here’s how ex-prez Stan Perkins reported the situation at 2018 Malaga worlds: Since the successful participation…


Pete Magill caps book career with ‘Fast 5K’ — finally focusing on own favorite race

Pete Magill is a Masters Hall of Famer whose fame grew out of setting 5K records and leading teams to cross country titles. But for all his talents, I’m more awed by his mastery of writing. Picasso was great at painting and Paul McCartney wrote fantastic songs. But where can you pick up a book by these legends that tells you how to improve your drawing or tunesmithing? Coach Pete, a one-time Hollywood screenwriter, combines his deep athletic/academic understanding of his favorite distance with his conversational and down-to-earth writing style in “Fast 5K.” (Read a preview here.) The only question…


American M65 relay team claims 4×400 WR, showing magical sub-4 is possible

Results are posted for Sunday’s events at the 44th Annual Potomac Valley Games at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. There a team called Unattached ‘A’ clocked 4:01.03 in the 4×400 relay. But it was a startling mark — a pending world record — with four men over 65 averaging just over 60 seconds each. They included a 59.5 by M70 world record-holder Charles Allie, 72. Leadoff in 59.8 was David Ortman of Seattle, followed by Pittsburgh’s Charlie; Thomas A. Jones, 65, of Glenn Dale, Maryland, in 61.2 and George Haywood, 66, of Washington, D.C., in about 60.5. Amazing….


Peter Crombie retires at 74 — Aussie legend among top masters sprinters of all time

Peter Crombie, one of the greatest masters champions in history, has retired at age 74. This is the end of a sprinter era. Peter has been a frequent guest entrant at USATF nationals and is a buddy to many Yanks. When I heard from a friend about Peter’s pullout, I was skeptical. Peter is still in his prime! How could this be? So I wrote him. Here’s what I learned: MASTERSTRACK.BLOG: Can you share your status, and reasons for retiring? PETER CROMBIE: Injuries have plagued my athletics career for some 20 years now with knees being the main issue with…


Singapore Athletics slaps down masters chapter over Asian meet requirements

You’ve heard “Don’t mess with Texas”? Add: “Don’t war with Singapore.” At least stay clear of masters athletes on the warpath. This week Singapore Athletics had enough of the nonsense at Singapore Masters Athletics. As local media report: SMA, a voting affiliate of Singapore Athletics, has been provisionally suspended by the national sports association for what SA has deemed a “violation” of its tasks. This was in response to an appeal by several veteran athletes two weeks ago. They expressed concerns over the way the Masters community for track and field athletes aged 35 and above is being managed. The…


Singapore backs off qualifying standards, but ridiculous AMA meet rules alive?

Monday update: WMA President Margit Jugmann wrote me this morning: “The AMA Secretary and member of WMA Council Sivapragasam Sivisambo informed me today that AMA council has already taken care of the issue. It seems that there were some misunderstandings. SMA confirmed that a qualifying standard was set to select athletes for SMA to give subsidy for them. SMA is giving subsidy for the selected athletes. It is confirmed that those who don’t qualify or those who do not want to follow this procedure are NOT stopped from participating — they can all participate and pay on their own, which…


Sprinters in 90s honor David Pain’s birthday with world records at 400 meters

Wednesday would have been David Pain’s 97th birthday, and I’m marking the occasion by posting video of his funeral I shot April 6, 2019, at Faith Presbyterian Church in San Diego. Earl Fee, Diane Hoffman and Diane Friedman didn’t attend — but their latest ninety-something world record performances in the 400-meter dash are a virtual memorial to the founder of masters track. At Toronto WMA regionals July 19, Earl notched his 60th world age-group record, clocking 89.15 in the 400 at age 90 — and becoming the oldest to beat his age over the one-lap race. “In all probability I…


Photo galleries galore (mine and others) from Ames nationals, Toronto WMA regionals

WMA regionals wrapped up Sunday in Toronto, with world record efforts by W70 hammer specialist Myrle Mensey (in that event and the throws pent) and about-to-be-sworn-in-as-American Neringa Jakstiene (upping her own pentathlon WR from Ames). But Southern California’s Gunnar Linde was wrongly credited with an M90 WR in the 2K steeple. He ran 15:47.32 in the Ontario heat and humidity but scorched a 14:40.5 in mid-June in Los Angeles. The meet invited athletes from 31 North American, Central American and Caribbean nations — but the U.S. and Canada dominated, with many meet records falling on the Mondo tracks where 2020…


Germany’s Guido Müller, 80, retires as greatest long hurdler in masters history

Bittersweet news from Germany arrived Monday. The most fantabulous long hurdler in masters history has retired. Dieter Massin writes: “Yesterday, Sunday 14 July, Guido Müller (Mueller) run his last 200m and finished his career in athletics. A wonderful career of a fantastic sportsman ended at the German Masters Championships in Leinefelde.” (See results here.) I had heard that Guido has been suffering from dementia, so I asked if that was the reason. Dieter replied that he wasn’t sure, but “he was ill for a long time, so that his sports-retirement is the consequence. I respect his decision. Guido was /…