General

Look for Irene Obera, Bill Jankovich to redefine age-85 abilities at Winston-Salem nationals

I’m not in Winston-Salem this weekend for indoor nationals, but I’m eager to see results, especially from newbie W85 (and Hall of Famer) Irene Obera (entered in 60, 200, 400, 800, high jump, long jump, shot put and triple jump) and M85 Bill Jankovich (60, 60 hurdles, 200, 400, high jump, pentathlon, long jump, pole vault, shot put and triple jump). Bill set a monster AR in the indoor hep a month ago. Who hazards a guess at Irene’s record-setting at JDL Fast Track? Also notable: Jim Barrineau, the Olympic high jumper, is venturing WAY outside his comfort zone. My…


Colleen Barney gets shot at NBC stardom — to appear on ‘American Ninja Warrior’

W50 sprinter Colleen Barney has been posting Facebook photos of herself training at a gym — hinting that she’s prepping for “American Ninja Warrior.” Last week, she made it official. She aims to be the best over-50 woman ever to appear on the reality show when she tackles the L.A. Universal Studios course March 6. She’s not sure if she’s the oldest woman ever invited, “but I do hope to make it further than any woman over 50 has gone (right now that means I have to complete at least the first two obstacles)!” Colleen — already a certified Super…


Martha Mendenhall hopes to elevate masters at new Flop House High Jump Club

You can take the girl out of the high jump but not high jump out of the girl. So it goes for world champion Martha Mendenhall of Tacoma, who may be retired from competition but still in the game. Big time. Her latest effort is coaching the well-named “Flop House” High Jump Club, which invites masters athletes. “Only one [masters member] so far and he is from Oregon,” Martha says. “Tacoma doesn’t have a lot of, if any, masters high jumpers that I know of. There are a few in the Seattle area and I’m hoping as my “Flop House”…


Peter Brady debuts Masters Milers podcast on iTunes with John Trautmann, Nick Berra

In the beginning was the masters mile — exhibition events at indoor meets for middle-age men. David Pain of San Diego organized these races and found them popular enough to start a sport — masters track and field. (Older athletes had run track, but David’s role was being the Johnny Appleseed of age-group athletics.) More than 50 years later, M45 middle-distance star Peter Brady is continuing the Pain legacy. First he helped found the Masters Milers group on Facebook (with 1,000 members). This month he’s launched a podcast — free audio interviews on Apple iTunes. (A related website is a…


W55 race walker Carmen Jackinsky preps for 50K nationals, has Olympic Trials in mind

Carmen Jackinsky of suburban Portland, Oregon, is an inventor, coach and W55 race walker. Not sure which order she would use. But proving again that masters are far more interesting than kiddies, I point to my profile of Carmen in Times of San Diego. She walked funny as a child, she recalls, and was put in dancing. Then she wouldn’t stop hanging from a bar upside down and became a gymnast. Then she injured her back and was told she’d never be an athlete again. So she took up race walking. And then she decided to improve the design of…


Prize money returns, team competition added at Saturday’s Hartshorne Masters Miles

I love seeing heat sheets for the Hartshorne Masters Miles — the 52nd edition is Saturday at Cornell University in Ithaca, Snow York. That’s where I learn who submitted 4:56 as a seed time. This year, it’s Brian Lazzaro of Ithaca. Why 4:56? That’s my all-time PR — set indoors at Allen Fieldhouse at the University of Kansas as a 20-year-old senior. (The dirt track is gone, subsumed by a museum beneath the basketball arena.) Brian, 44, will wear Hip No. 7 in the men’s elite race, where Stefan Lingmerth, 41, is top seed at 4:25. (Defending champ Mark Williams…


800 great Nick Symmonds reveals M35 goal: Learn his 100-meter speed for first time

Nick Symmonds, the Run Gum CEO who defied USATF over its wear-Nike edict, turned 35 on Sunday and came out with a video Thursday. He says he’s unretiring. But Nick’s not making a comeback in the 800, where he won a world silver medal and competed in two Olympics. He says he can’t turn left anymore. So he’s challenging himself in a completely new event: the 100-meter dash. He has a 400 PR of 47.45 and figures he once was in 10.5 to 11 shape for the 1. He’s also using his YouTube channel to promote his brand and training…


Help comebacking M65 high jumper find brief 1971 clip from ‘CBS Sports Spectacular’

In the summer of 1971, the NAIA Outdoor track championships were held in Billings, Montana, and a second-place Sioux Falls College high jumper was interviewed by long jump legend Ralph Boston for a tape-delayed episode of “CBS Sports Spectacular.” “My last cleared height was shown on TV in about August or September of ’71 when this was broadcast,” writes Steve Hackel. “To my knowledge, this is the only video of my jumping that might still exist.” So nearly M70 Steve, making a comeback after 26 years, wrote me for help in digging up the clip of his jump. “I am…


Phil Greenwald named meet director of 2021 USATF masters indoor nationals at Armory Track

Upon learning that the Armory track in New York City was the likely (and only) choice for 2021 indoor nationals, I wrote to Jonathan Schindel, who presented the bid at Columbus. Jonathan is co-president and CFO of the Armory Foundation. He graciously responded, informing me that the nationals are set for March 19-21, 2021, and “our goal would be to keep entry fees as close as possible to current / then-current entry fees.” But the biggest news is that Phil Greenwald, known mainly as USA team manager (stadia) at WMA worlds the past umpteen years, will serve as meet director….


Here’s how USATF Masters T&F Committee is allocating its dollars — budget of $258,000

Carroll DeWeese, treasurer of the USATF Masters Track & Field Committee, has graciously shared our budget for 2019, adopted at the recent Columbus annual meeting. He sent it as an Excel file, and I also made a PDF version. So view either way. Carroll wrote me: Note that it is not a budget in the traditional sense. It is actually pre-approved spending limits for different areas of responsibility. The total is actually greater than the funds being provided to MTF by USATF. MTF knows that everyone will not spend all their approved funds and the total spending will be less…