Torun roomies Alison Wood, Sue McDonald set American records in W45 high jump, W55 800

Sequence of marks shows Alison clearing AR 1.64 twice, missing at 1.66 and 1.68, after tying with girl young enough to be her daughter at 1.63.

Sue Patterson-McDonald and Alison Wood were roommates at Torun worlds and are “high jump besties.” Sue has transitioned to the 800 of late, but in the USATF high jump records book, they’ll be side by side. On Saturday, Alison claimed the W45 American outdoor record in the high jump, clearing 1.64 meters (5-4 1/2) twice to win a jump-off at the West Coast Invitational at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. (See results here.) She beat Pacific Lutheran sophomore Lauren Wilson. Since Sue is the listed W50 AR lady in the HJ, she and Alison will be roomies on the records page, too.

Alison upped the listed record of 1.62 (5’3¾”) by Clare Look-Jaeger in September 2011, which I noted at the time.

On Facebook, Alison shared a photo of herself during AR day.

On Facebook, Alison shared a photo of herself during AR day.

That same day before Mother’s Day, W55 Sue competed at Occidental College in Los Angeles. (See results here.)

She wrote on Facebook that she warmed up three times for the 800 amid lightning delays: “I was in last place and tried to pass the girl (these were all college kids) in front of me but she held me off and I didn’t have it in me to fully pass and get in front of her so I tucked behind her to draft and ended up with a 2:26.64! My coach has me training right through most of my races leading up to the NCCWMA meet in Toronto in July so my legs were toast. My lungs felt very strong though! An hour later I ran the 200 in second to last place in 29.23 — not better than my 28.80 a couple of weeks ago but I will take it! This mama is TIRED! I am ready to be spoiled for Mother’s Day tomorrow!”

Her 2:26.64 bumps her own listed AR of 2:27.00 set at last year’s Spokane nationals. She also tells me that Oxy was the site of her all-time 800 PR of 2:15 — set about 35 years ago in the heptathlon. Can anyone claim an 800 time now only 11 seconds slower than a 1984 mark?

After lowering her AR, Sue texted Alison with the news “and she responded back with: I got my AR too.”

Sue says she is skipping Ames nationals and the National Senior Games, but will enter the NCCWMA regional WMA meet in Toronto in July, where she’ll double in the 200 and 800.

She also tells me: “I think you’ll see many records broken by Alison and I this season because we both plan on improving a lot.”

(The listed WRs are 2:21.98 and 1.76 meters, or 5-9 1/4, BTW.)

Alison, you’ll recall, set a WR in the indoor high jump this season at 1.66. So she has room to improve on 1.64. Best of luck to both masters mommas!

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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!

1 Comment on "Torun roomies Alison Wood, Sue McDonald set American records in W45 high jump, W55 800"

  1. Weia Reinboud | May 15, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Reply

    Always special to jump a record height in a jump-off!

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