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

Roy Englert nears finish of his record-smashing 5000 meters at Ames nationals.

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.

Roy Englert approaches the cameras for start of his 5000 WR coverage.

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 and his mark went national via a Sports Illustrated tweet. (See results here.)

I got some nice shots, and was preparing to trumpet the WR (and several others at Ames). But I went down a rabbit hole when I discovered that on May 4 or 5 (sources differ), M95 Antonio Nacca of Italy ran 5000 meters in 39:42.52.

I found the Nacca mark on the unofficial Wikipedia masters records page, and confirmed it with an Italian media outlet.

Dutifully, I reported the discrepancy to USATF officials. Then I got this note in reply:

“Good” news. At [USATF masters executive committee meeting] tonight Rex [Harvey, nationals masters chairman] reported that Sandy [Pashkin, WMA records czar] indicated … they have no birth certificate or other doc from the Italy guy proving DOB so there is no record for him — hence Roy’s IS the best pending WR and what we and the release said is true.

Oy vey! That opens another can of worms. If WMA has no record of Antonio’s date of birth, why does World Masters Athletics credit him with five indoor WRs (including M95 800, 1500 and 3000? How did this fraudster sneak through the system? Italy’s athletics federation lists him as record holder, too, BTW.

So questions for WMA and Sandy: Who is the true M95 indoor WR man for 800, 1500 and 3000 if not Antonio? Or how did Antonio’s marks get ratified by WMA without a DOB?

On Friday, my Italian statmeister friend Andrea Benatti added some details, writing:

Well, for the accuracy of the results, here you can find the official results

According to the Italian Federation, he is born in 16 December 1923: you can find it in this Italian master record sheet in which you can find also the M95 record over 5000.

So the Italian federation has well accepted the mark.

About Antonio I’ve found that he has beginning athletics at 56. He is a retired police marshal, and he was a big smoker in his past.

I don’t know if the Italian Federation will submit his mark… I’ll have a phone call with the master chief in order to know this.

In the meantime, enjoy my brief chat with Roy:

I took lots of pictures at Iowa State, and will post when time avails, including shots of Neringa Jakstiene in the pentathlon 80-meter hurdles — contested a second time because the first time lacked a wind gauge. Thanks to the redo, she set a W55 world record in the pent. (Also got tons of shots of Mindy Sawtelle-Zottola, who graciously won the W45 5000 in her first masters track nationals after I wrote about her Wednesday.)

Here’s the USATF release noting Day 1 records at Ames:

World, American records highlight day one at USATF Masters Championships

Ames, IA — Masters athletes set three age-group world records and one American record during the first day of competition at the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships on the campus of Iowa State University. The world’s best athletes ranging from 30 to 96 years of age are among the more than 900 athletes competing at ISU’s Cyclone Sports Complex this week.

96-year-old Roy Englert (Potomac Valley Track Club), who holds age group world records in the 800m and 1500m, clocked a new 5000m world record (pending) in the 95-99 age group in 42:30.23. Roy demolished Frank Levine’s 2009 record of 50:10.56.

In the mens 80-84 pentathlon, Sherwood Sagedahl (Unattached) set a new age group world record (pending) with 3,787 points. He won all five events – long jump (3.19m/10-5.75), javelin (23.81m/78-1), 200m (33.86), discus (24.10m/79-1), 1500m (6:20.17). Sagedahl, the pentathlon world record holder in the 70-74 and 75-79 age groups broke Poland’s Kazimierz Bulczynski’s 2010 record of 3,646 points.

Neringa Jakstiene (Unattached), returned to the masters circuit after a dominant indoor season in which she set five age group world records and won six medals (four gold) at the World Masters Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland. Jakstiene set yet another world record winning the women’s 55-59 age group with 4,594 points breaking Phil Raschker’s record of 4,511 set in 2002. She dominated the competition winning all five events – 80m hurdles (12.86), high jump (1.42m/4-7.75), shot put (9.13m/29-11.5), long jump (4.89m/16-0.5) and 800m (2:59.06).

The 2018 USATF Masters outdoor champion in the 65-69 discus, hammer throw and weight throw, Mary Hartzler (Unattached) set a new American record hammer throw in the women’s 70-74 with a throw of 32.35m/106-1, more than 15 meters ahead of the second place finisher. Hartzler threw over 30m on five of her six attempts with winning heave on her fourth toss.

Michael Janusey (Unattached), the 45-49 American record holder in the pentathlon, won the men’s 60-64 Pentathlon with 3,613 points. He won the long jump (4.74,/15-675), javelin (48.48m/159-0), 200m (28.88) and discus throw (44.53m/146-1) and finished second in the 1500m (6.29.51). Janusey finished just 182 points behind the American record and 941 points ahead of second place finisher Kevin McGovern (2,672 points) who dominated the 1500m with a time of 5:31.79.

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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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