W80 Kathy Bergen ups 2020 world record total to 5 with Texas marks in 100, high jump

Kathy Bergen (shown at a Mt. SAC Relays) now has notched 22 world age-groups records.Kathy Bergen (shown at a Mt. SAC Relays) now has notched 22 world age-groups records. Photo by Chris Stone

In September 2019, Kathy Bergen told her story to Rachel Lapidos of wellandgood.com. Kathy counted 17 world records to her name and hoped for more as a W80. “I’ll be working harder, because next year I want to break six world records,” she said. “When I move to a new age group, I break records.”

You don’t say. Earlier this month, SoCal Kathy notched WRs 4 and 5 for the year.

Returning to the state where she set three indoor WRs in February, Kathy ran 100 meters in 16.62 seconds with a barely legal wind of 1.8 meters per second. That smashed the listed WR of 16.81 by fellow Hall of Famer Irene Obera in 2014.

At that Oct. 3 meet at Faith Academy Marble Falls (northwest of Austin, see results), Kathy also high-jumped 1.15 meters (3-9 1/4) to top the listed WR of 1.10 (3-7 1/4) by Great Britain’s Rosemary Chrimes in 2013. (The listed W80 American record is 1.06, or about 3-6, by Christel Donley at 2015 Lyon worlds.)


Meet director was Seth Brower, brother of USATF masters records czar Jeff Brower. So count on the record being ratified. (Kathy’s indoor WRs at Houston were formally ratified March 12, just before the pandemic shutdown.)

Seth’s two-day Texas vs. The World meet — which included para-athletes and youngsters — attracted 330 entrants and observed Texas COVID-19 guidelines. (See the rules here.)

“So two meets, five events, five world records,” wrote Kathy’s husband, Bert, who did triple jump in Marble Falls. “I am biased, but I would like to cast my vote for Athlete of the Year at this time.”

Normally, World Masters Athletics gives annual awards only to folks who compete in WMA events. Hope they make an exception this year, since WMA canceled Toronto worlds.

Her main competition might be W55 Irish middle-distance star Anne Gilshinan, who set at least three world records during indoor season.

Kathy could set more. Stay tuned.

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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 TrackCEO@aol.com or kens@timesofandiego.com. Story tips always welcome!

1 Comment on "W80 Kathy Bergen ups 2020 world record total to 5 with Texas marks in 100, high jump"

  1. It is beautiful to see a plan come together! Congratulations to Kathy!

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