American M65 relay team claims 4×400 WR, showing magical sub-4 is possible

From left to right are Dave, Charlie, Thomas and George — a Fab Four for our niche. Photo by Penny Ingles

Results are posted for Sunday’s events at the 44th Annual Potomac Valley Games at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. There a team called Unattached ‘A’ clocked 4:01.03 in the 4×400 relay. But it was a startling mark — a pending world record — with four men over 65 averaging just over 60 seconds each. They included a 59.5 by M70 world record-holder Charles Allie, 72. Leadoff in 59.8 was David Ortman of Seattle, followed by Pittsburgh’s Charlie; Thomas A. Jones, 65, of Glenn Dale, Maryland, in 61.2 and George Haywood, 66, of Washington, D.C., in about 60.5. Amazing.

The listed M65 WR is 4:02.62 by Col Buyers, Heinz Steinmann, Tony Ireland and Neville McIntyre of Australia at an Adelaide meet in 2009 — which took 6.4 seconds off the existing record by a German team. (The team of Klaus, Scheid, Busss and Guido Müller ran 4:09.08 in 2005.) Dave, Charles, George and Howard Clark had set the American M65 record of 4:04.78 at Malaga worlds in 2018.

So the race for the first sub-4 relay post-65 is on. The next opportunity is at the European Masters Athletics Championships — a WMA regional like Toronto — starting Thursday in Venice, Italy. The 4x4s are Sept. 15.

With the WR time and wearing their national uniforms are From left to right are Dave, Charlie, Thomas and George. Photo by Penny Ingles

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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!

2 Comments on "American M65 relay team claims 4×400 WR, showing magical sub-4 is possible"

  1. Congratulations to all of these fine gentlemen for running so beautifully. I will give special praise to David Ortman for flying across the country (from Seattle) to take part in the foursome’s quest to establish a world standard. Every member of the team stood up successfully to the pressure of such a record attempt.

  2. Duncan Geeenshields | September 3, 2019 at 7:35 am | Reply

    This is phenomenal! Congratulations to these fabulous four. To think sub 4 minutes at 65+ is not only possible but within a hair’s breadth is truly amazing.

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