General

Irene Obera sets a Sports Illustrated record — third time in ‘Faces in the Crowd’ since 1962

The June 18, 1962, issue of Sports Illustrated had an article by Jack Nicklaus advising right-handed golfers how to hit a left-handed shot. Also: full-page ads promoting whiskey and cigarettes (Marlboro and Viceroy) and a blooming sprinter from Northern California in “Faces in the Crowd.” It read: “Irene Obera of Berkeley, Calif., has out-sprinted everyone on her home-state tracks this season with three breezy 10.9s and an 11.0 in the 100-yard dash, gives promise of being a front-runner for the AAU women’s nationals next month in Los Angeles.” How did Irene do? She took fifth in the 100-yard dash (in…


M55 hurdler Kerry Sloan admits raping underage girl; 2 other victims emerge

Kerry Sloan, a world-class masters hurdler, faces a minimum of 10 years in prison after cutting a plea deal in his underage sex case, according to the feds in Oklahoma. Here’s how a TV station reported the news: TULSA, Oklahoma — A private track coach and retired U.S. Army sergeant first class from Killeen said in a plea agreement he sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl during a trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to meet with college coaches, the Department of Justice said in a press release. Kerry Sloan, 56, pleaded guilty Tuesday to transporting a minor with intent to engage in…


61 USATF entrants will split $33,000 in Toruń world meet travel and lodging grants

Rex Harvey just capped his career. Even with his elite and masters record decathlon records, our national masters chair can point to a milestone in the masters movement — at least in the United States. More than 60 Americans will get financial help to compete at Toruń indoor worlds, and likely will earn prize money as well. This is the geezertrack equivalent of Nicolaus Copernicus (touted by Toruń as their most famous son). Here’s the announcement Wednesday from Sandy Triolo, USATF MTF Communications chair: 84 USATF Masters Athletes applied for the W#1 Torun Program! 61 are currently eligible and one…


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…