Hurdlers over 90 are rare. Steeplechasers over 90 are rarer still. In fact, according to mastersrankings.com, only two M90 men — Americans Dixon Hemphill and George Roudebush — have run the 2000-meter steeple since Charles Ross set the listed world record of 18:54.10 in 2013. (But Charles also has a nonratified 18:27.44 from 2013.) At the time, I reported that Charles was the world’s first M90 steepler.
So it should be something to celebrate that M90 Gunnar Linde is entered in the 2K steeple this Sunday at West Los Angeles College. He’ll run in the USATF-sanctioned Southern California Association USATF Masters Championships. (The meet even offers prize money — $150, $100 and $50 for men and women in four event groups each.)
But as meet organizer Andy Hecker writes, Gunnar’s efforts may be for naught — thanks to an extreme (and unfair) reading of World Masters Athletics record rules by WMA records czar Sandy Pashkin (who once was USATF masters records czar but got the boot after many complaints.)
Six years ago you wrote about Charles Ross setting the world record in the M90 2000 meters steeplechase at 18:54.10. That is in jeopardy because Gunnar Linde has entered the Southern California Association USATF Masters Championships this Sunday, June 9 at West Los Angeles College.
Gunnar set what should have been the world record in the M90 mile, 9:42.99 literally in a hail storm, back in February at the Southern California Indoor Meet . . . Outdoors. We found out later that while the mark will be accepted as the American Record (by Jeff Brower), the North American WMA Records representative Sandy Pashkin will not submit the mark for world record consideration because the other people who started the race with Gunnar did not finish the mile.
While we can argue that ruling does not adhere to the rules (WMA Rule 260.1), we have to learn from this experience. Gunnar will do the important part. He already holds the M70, M75 and M80 records in the event. He’s a sub-10 miler and even with barriers and an extra lap added, its not going to add 9 minutes to his time.
I need two more competitors, M60+ or W35+ to FINISH the 2000 meters steeplechase on Sunday so that Sandy will let it count. Any takers? Online meet registration is open until Friday night, or you can show up in person on meet day, but let’s not leave this to chance.
I hope a couple people join Gunnar on Sunday. Beyond that, I pray Sandy finds a soul to allow a WR if the other runners don’t finish. Charles Ross would support me.
Contribute to support independent track and field journalism: