General

Linda Cohn to join legends Dick Fosbury and Willie Banks for free Zoom Q&A on Jan. 11

The Pasadena Senior Center is famed for its annual Senior Games at Cal Tech, a qualifier for the National Senior Games. But in these Pandemic Times, it’s organizing Zoom talks with famed athletes. On Jan. 11, three current or former masters track stars are featured in a panel discussion and Q&A. You might have heard of Dick Fosbury and Willie Banks. The Flop creator once jumped in masters, the Rhythmic Clap inventor still does. And Linda Cohn? She has something the first two don’t — a pair of world masters age-group records. (In the W60 and W65 javelin.) In the…


Dan King’s second try at official M60 mile WR falls short in Columbia, S.C.

Colorado’s Dan King, 61, ran the mile in 4:53.41 on Saturday — one of the greatest four-lap efforts in masters history. But his paced effort at Ben Lippen School, a Christian prep school in Columbia, South Carolina, was more than 4 seconds off his August mark of 4:49 at a meet in the same city. It barely missed the listed M60 American record of 4:53.01 by Nolan Shaheed in 2012. Because that earlier event wasn’t USATF sanctioned, his miletone mile isn’t eligible for American and world record ratification (as I telegraphed a few weeks ago). On Facebook, Dan posted video…


Greensboro meet decision expected Friday; 2022 nationals sites announced

Interim national masters chair Jerry Bookin-Weiner made some big announcements Wednesday in his latest update. And in a Facebook post today, he said: “The [masters] Outdoor Championships in Greensboro have not yet been cancelled. The notice about the future of that meet is scheduled for tomorrow.” Other highlights: Lexington, Kentucky, will host 2022 masters outdoor nationals and Spokane the 2022 indoor nationals to be held in the city’s Spokane Sportsplex currently under construction in downtown Spokane. Both were the only bidders. “The Anti-Doping and Substance Abuse Subcommittee announced at the closing Executive Committee meeting that out-of-competition drug testing for masters…


Stanisław Kowalski turns 110, could be first athlete ever in that milestone age group

Lift a glass for Stanisław Kowalski of Poland. Tuesday he turned 110, potentially becoming the first masters trackster in that virgin age group. Although a Polish masters track post on Facebook indicates that he is “no longer in competition,” it says he still has a “lot of positive energy and sense of humor.” That’s enough to give me hope that someday, when The Beast is vanquished, he’ll enter a sanctioned meet and set as many M110 world records as he wants. Someone once told me that the oldest master wins. Period. That would make Stan our sport’s ultimate champion. Just…


M60 Vaulter’s Uplifting Memoir: ‘Finally Fit’ Gives Bubba Sparks a Long-Overdue Boost

Spend an hour with Bubba Sparks and you’re a goner. You’ll become a vaulter. In the case of author John H. Clark III, all it took was a Facebook query to Bubba, his older classmate from Houston’s Scarborough High School. “Do you think I could take up pole vaulting for the first time in my life at 60 years old?” Of course, Bubba said: “Let’s go!” John’s journey from “couch potato” to National Senior Games entrant is movingly told in his latest book — “Finally Fit: It’s Never Too Late to Achieve a Dream.” Published six days after Valentine’s Day,…


Kay Glynn is our Christmas elf, but will never put her athletic career on the shelf

Kay Glynn sent me her 13th annual Christmas greeting photo more than a week ago, writing: “I don’t even know what this picture means — but it was challenging and fun.” I know exactly what it means. Kay in her mid-60s has made a terrific comeback from hip replacement and resurfacing surgeries. She is showing how track is the fountain of youth and her flexibility and blond hair signal you can recapture past glories. In fact, masters tracksters likely sense holiday themes in our pursuits. Like Christmas, we see our sport as an athletic savior. Like Hanukkah, we see our…


New USATF Officials Hall of Famer Carroll DeWeese: ‘Thank you for supporting masters’.

USATF Masters Committee Treasurer Carroll DeWeese is rich in friends and fans, including me. He battled cancer a decade back but seems fine now. This weekend, the Michigan city commissioner joined Doug Allen, Roger Burbage, John Shirey as inductees Saturday into the USATF Officials Hall of Fame — celebrated at the USATF Annual Meeting at the Grand Sierra Resort, Reno, Nevada. “Many people asked to get a text copy of my acceptance talk,” he wrote friends of his 940-word remarks. “I spoke from the heart and did not have a text.” Not surprisingly, he talks of love. That’s the kind…


Greg Foster on Greg Foster: Masters star notes heart-transplant need of Olympic hurdler

In July 1988, at the Indianapolis Olympic Trials, Greg Foster the triple jumper said hi to Greg Foster the high hurdler. The jumping Foster finished 9 1/2 feet behind winner Willie Banks’ windy but historic 59-8 1/2. The hurdling foster — four years after taking silver behind Roger Kingdom at the L.A. Games — dropped out at the eighth hurdle, handicapped by a broken arm. The jumping Foster went on to become a standout masters track star (who also throws and has a hurdling star son). But the Olympian Foster, with four world titles as well, is 61 and needs…


Tying my record for Press Club awards and trying out Jeff Brower’s new records site

I tied my PR on Tuesday night. Not for the 100 or high jump, but for awards at the San Diego Press Club journalism contest. First in 2017 and again this year, I picked up 14 awards for a variety of posts on Times of San Diego, including a photo of indicted Rep. Duncan D. Hunter and a video of a crazy anti-LGBT trio from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka. As usual, some of my ribbons were for stories on masters athletes. I won second-place awards for my report on sprint great Colleen Barney competing on “American Ninja Warrior” and…


Pete Magill caps book career with ‘Fast 5K’ — finally focusing on own favorite race

Pete Magill is a Masters Hall of Famer whose fame grew out of setting 5K records and leading teams to cross country titles. But for all his talents, I’m more awed by his mastery of writing. Picasso was great at painting and Paul McCartney wrote fantastic songs. But where can you pick up a book by these legends that tells you how to improve your drawing or tunesmithing? Coach Pete, a one-time Hollywood screenwriter, combines his deep athletic/academic understanding of his favorite distance with his conversational and down-to-earth writing style in “Fast 5K.” (Read a preview here.) The only question…