Newbie W55 Neringa Jakstiene claims 3 world records, plus an AR, at Winston-Salem

Neringa Jakstiene was the cover girl in 2015 of Memphis Health & Fitness magazine. She belongs in Sports Illustrated.

Neringa Jakstiene of Memphis via Lithiuania (in 1994) won two W50 golds (hep and triple jump) and a silver (80 hurdles) at Malaga worlds last year, so it was no surprise that she’d excel as a W55 at Winston-Salem nationals. But three world records in one day?
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Thus she’s my pick for star of Day 1. See results here.

USATF did a good roundup of top marks, including Irene Obera’s not unexpected W85 world record for 400 meters.

But Neringa’s marks really blew me away, including 4,894 in the pent, which crushed the listed WR of 4,502 by our ultralegend, Phil Raschker, at 2003 Boston nationals. On the way to her WR, Neringa ran the 60 hurdles in 9.59 to beat Joy Upshaw’s 9.71 from 2016 Albuquerque nationals. And NJ long-jumped 5 meters (16-5) to nip the listed WR of 4.97 by Germany’s Ramona Pfeiffer in 2017. And her high jump of 1.48 (4-10.25) beat the listed indoor AR of 1.46 (4-9½) by Phil Raschker. Whew!

Here’s the writeup by USATF’s Josh Gurnick:

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina — American Masters athletes demonstrated athletic excellence and inspiring determination Friday during the first day of the 2019 USATF Masters Indoor Championships at JDL Fast Track. Four world age group records were set with six new American records

In the Women’s 400m, 85-year old Irene Obera (Fremont, California; Sierra Gold) returned from a two-year absence to set a World Masters record in her new 85-89 age group with a time of 2:10.23. Obera, a 1996 USATF Masters Hall of Fame inductee and 2014 Masters Athlete of the year, is now the current masters world record holder in 10 events (five indoors and five outdoors) and is entered in eight events throughout the weekend.

Neringa Jakstiene (Memphis, Tennessee) set three new Masters world records and an American record while competing in the Women’s Pentathlon 55-59 age group. Jakstiene scored 4,894 points breaking the previous world record by 392 points. To reach that mark she recorded individual event world records in the long jump (5.00m/16-5), 60m hurdles (9.59) and an American record in the high jump (1.48m/4-10.25).

In the Men’s Pentathlon 40-45 age group, Jeferson Sousa (Miami, Florida) broke his own American record by 15 points as he won four of the five events claiming the age group title finishig with 3,937 points. Sousa clocked 8.36 in the 60m hurdles, leapt 6.28m/20-7.25 in the long jump and 1.78m/5-10 in the high jump, threw the shot 13.29m/43-7.25 and finished second in the 1000m in 3:04.63.
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Noel Ruebel (Winston-Salem, North Carolina), former Wake Forest track coach, and the country’s first high schooler to clear 7-feet in the indoor high jump in 1974, won the Men’s Pentathlon 60-64 with 3,366 points ahead of second place finisher Eugene Anton’s (Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts; So Cal Track Club) 3,257 points. Anton won the first two events of the day clocking 9.90 in the 60m hurdles and jumped 4.33/14-2.50 in the long jump. Then Ruebel took over, dominating the shot put with a heave of 12.46m/40-10.50, six and a half feet further than Anton. Ruebel and Anton tied in the high jump at 1.48m/4-10.25 and then Ruebel finished third in the 1000m with a time of 4:14.53 claiming 458 points to secure the Masters title on his hometown track.

In the Men’s Pentathlon 85-89 age group, Robert Hewitt (Gresham, Oregon) set a new American record in the high jump, clearing 1.12m/3-8. Hewitt still holds the world record in the 75-79 age group in the indoor pentathlon (4,239 points) and the 80-84 age group indoor long jump (4.09m/13-5), as well as numerous outdoor age group records.

2015 USATF Masters Hall of Fame inductee and American record holder in the 65-69 age group 3000m, Doug Goodhue (Milford Michigan; Ann Arbor Track Club) clocked a new American 75-79 age group record with a time of 12:29.32 in the 3000m.
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Karen Swisher (Shawnee, Kansas; Heartland Racewalkers) broke her own Masters American record in the Women’s One Mile Race Walk 65-69 age group by nearly three seconds with a time of 9:46.61.

In the 60-64 Women’s One Mile Race Walk, Maryanne Daniel (Clinton, Connecticut; Connecticut Racewalkers), the 2018 USATF Masters Indoor Champion and American record holder in the event in the 55-59 age group, smashed the Masters American record with a time of 8:58.44, taking more than 18 seconds off the previous record.

On the men’s side a pair of 73-year old teammates Norman Frable (Ivins, Utah; So Cal Track Club), the American record holder in the event, and Richard Campbell (Orange, California; So Cal Track Club) battled in the Men’s Race Walk 70-74 age group. Frable clocked 9:18.61 to break his own American record and Campbell crossed the line in 9:28.67.

The 2018 USATF and World Masters Athlete of the year and masters world record holder in eight events (three indoors and five outdoors), Charles Allie (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Houston Elite) won the Men’s 400m 70-74 age group in 1:02.70, more than 17 seconds ahead of second place finisher Ronald Pate (Hawaii Champs) in 1:19.73.

Here’s amazing photo coverage by our friend Rob Jerome:

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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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