2019

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 /…


Neringa Jakstiene (after latest WR at Ames) on verge of becoming American citizen

Despite a recent illness (with a high temp of 102), W55 Neringa Jakstiene of Memphis sizzled at Ames nationals, smashing yet another Phil Raschker world record. This time, it was the outdoor pentathlon with a score of 4594 points. Phil set the listed WR at 2002 Orono nationals with 4511. (This brings her recent WR total to 10.) A key to Neringa’s latest record was her 12.86 in the 80-meter hurdles, which would have been an American record but for a 2.2 mps aiding wind. (2.0 is the maximum for a single-event record but not for a combined-events record.) But…


USATF defends Roy Englert’s M95 world record 5000 at Ames, labels Italian an age fraud

I was at 2009 Oshkosh nationals when Frank Levine set his M95 world record at 5000 meters. That weekend, the Norristown, Pennsylvania, gent also ran the 400, 800 and 1500. He and fellow 95-year-old Max Springer sparred at the shorter races, with Max winning both. But Frank had his age group 15 and 5K all to himself. And his 5K set the standard for 10 years. Now we’re having another moment. At Thursday’s Day 1 of USATF masters nationals in Ames, Iowa, Roy Englert of northern Virginia ran/walked the 5000 in a sensational 42:30.23. He was interviewed on local TV…


Cheer on W45 marathoner Mindy Zottola — and all entrants at Ames nationals

I arrived in Ames on Wednesday afternoon after a flight from Las Vegas (my layover from San Diego) to Des Moines. On that leg, fellow passengers included athlete royalty Kathy and Bert Bergen, famed massage therapist Bill Theriault and some USATF officials. Once settled in my Bed & Breakfast just outside Iowa State University (a former Delta Chi frat house that’s on the National Register of Historic Places), I drove to the track and found a gate unlocked. I met a 5K and 10K contender named Mindy Zottola, apparently a newbie to masters track nationals, and her husband, Art. I…


Kerry Sloan gets 15-year sentence for raping girl a year before Spokane nationals

According to mastersrankings.com, M55 Kerry Sloan was ranked eighth in America last year in the 400 hurdles, running 74.10 at Spokane nationals. He was listed fourth in the 60 hurdles nationally, clocking 9.73 at Landover indoors. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Oklahoma, Kerry is a convicted rapist. On Monday, Kerry Lynn Sloan was sentenced to 15 years in prison after a plea deal in which he admitted to assaulting one of his athletes a year before Spokane. Texas media are all over the case, based on this news release: A former private track coach was sentenced…


National Senior Games age-group rules debated: Should USATF practice apply?

Kathy Bergen doesn’t turn 80 until late December, and Brenda Matthews doesn’t turn 70 until early July. But at last week’s National Senior Games in Albuquerque, Kathy won W80 sprints and Brenda won W70. For those in the parallel USATF masters circuit, this is crazy. In Senior Olympic state, regional and national events, it’s par for the quirky course. As I’ve explained to newbies for decades, USATF (and World Masters Athletics) assigns your age group based on your actual age on the first day of a given meet. (This leads to some folks aging up in the middle of the…


WRs fall to M90 Earl Fee (800), W55 Anne Gilshinan (1500 again) and W50 Irie Hill (pole vault)

In his new biography, Earl Fee said his goal, after turning 90, was to raise his world records count to 60. He had 56 age-group WRs when he wrote that. Don’t look now, but he’s at 59. After setting M90 indoor WRs in March in the 400 and 800, he crushed the listed M90 WR in the outdoor 800 on Sunday at the site of 2019 WMA regionals and 2020 worlds. On Facebook, Earl said: “Had some good fortune today at the Ontario Masters Championships at Varsity Stadium today, lowering the outdoor world record 800m in age group 90-94 by…