Will Anthony Famiglietti run sub-4 at 40? Milestone is goal of steeple Olympian

Anthony Famiglietti, a two-time Olympian with a mile PR of 3:55.71 (in 2006), turns 40 in five months. He’s gearing up by training hard, pitching a documentary and letting the world know he’s shooting for a sub-4. It’s a stretch. But you gotta admire the grit. See Martin Fritz Huber’s story in Outside. The former steepler’s “moonshot mile is perhaps an unusual way to confront the beast of senescence, but it makes a crazy kind of sense. When you’ve spent more than half your life constructing your identity around the fact that you can run faster than 99.99 percent of…


USATF masters are subject to snitch program — as cyclist, 59, was

Nobody is safe. That’s my takeaway from an exchange of email I had Thursday with Brad Horn, a spokesman for USADA — the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. I queried him on how 59-year-old cyclist came to be sanctioned for refusing an out-of-competition drug test. I wanted to know where he was when he was solicited. (Brad doesn’t know yet.) But he said: “Ultimately, this case was the result of target testing, based on credible information received through USADA’s Play Clean Tip Line. USADA makes available a number of ways to report the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in an effort to protect clean…


Kenyan ‘trials’ for Málaga worlds? Chinese report is clueless or confused

China’s Xinhua news agency reports from Nairobi that Kenya will send athletes to Málaga worlds. But something got lost in translation. “Rose Tata-Muya, Masters Athletics Kenya Secretary General, said trials will be held on July 21 and July 22 in Iten, located in the Rift Valley area which is the cradle of Kenyan athletics,” the report said. Trials? Well, maybe that’s their way of saying they’ll use a “qualifying meet” to decide who gets travel subsidies. Because, of course, it’s an all-comers meet open to anyone with the cash to enter. A further clue: “We require 20,000 U.S. dollars to…


Cyclist, 59, suspended for refusing drug test outside race. Are we next?

Two months ago, I wrote about M50 thrower David Burrell in Britain, who is suspended until October 2021 for refusing a drug test, possibly at home. Now comes news that an M55 cyclist — Scott Gross of Orange Park, Florida — has accepted a 4-year suspension for refusing an out-of-competition drug test May 3. This hits close to home. So I wrote USATF national masters chair Rex Harvey whether masters tracksters could get a knock on the door. He replied: “All USATF athletes are liable for testing at any time and any place.” While conceding that MTF has no formal…


Mondo in Málaga: Is that your favorite track and field surface?

At WMA worlds in September, sprinters will be pleased to learn, Mondo is the surface of at least one track — at the University of Málaga. But that’s considered a secondary venue. The main one is the City of Málaga’s combined football (soccer) and athletics (track) stadium. Unsure which spikes are recommended for the non-Mondo stadium, but pyramid and Christmas tree spikes (specified for Mondo) may suffice for all. In any case, the 2012 and 2016 Olympics were contested on Mondo — because it’s speed friendly. (I’ve heard that distance runners have a problem with it, but oh well.) What…


Wolfgang Ritte at 65 becomes oldest man to clear 4.0 (13 feet) in vault

Wolfgang Ritte has a thing for Wipperfuerth, Germany. Five years ago Saturday, he set an M60 WR in the vault at that ancient North Rhine-Westphalia town. Don’t look now. Wipperfuerth was the site Saturday of his M65 WR, where he made first-attempt clearances of 4.0 and 4.05 meters (13 1 1/2 and 13-3 1/2) and screamed with joy on the way down. Haven’t seen results site, but a YouTube video and my source are reliable. (He came close to 4.0 indoors in March.) So by breaking American John Altendorf’s listed WR of 3.89 (12-9), Wolfie becomes the oldest man to…


Damien Leake looms as M65 WR man after 12.40 in 100 on May 6

Results are posted for the Southern California Striders Meet of Champions at Santa Ana College. The top mark was by Damien Leake, who at 65 clocked a legal 12.40 in the 100 — with the listed world record being 12.33 by Bill Collins at the 2017 Penn Relays. On Saturday, Damien responded to some queries. “I am hoping to take a real shot at Bill’s WR,” he said. “I was a little surprised at how close I was this early in the season, as I am a little ‘soft’ because I’ve been doing a lot more coaching than training this…


2020 Olympic Trials masters exhibitions where? USATF not sure

USATF is sweating bullets over whether anyone will bid for the 2020 Olympic Trials — important for masters because we get some exhibitions and major attention. As I reported a couple week ago, Mt. SAC lost the Trials gig because of a lawsuit cloud over it stadium project. But I also learned that Mt. SAC and USATF both had reason to be red-faced — the Walnut school for not informing Indy about pending lawsuits until two months after it won the meet and USATF for not checking court records. As my Times of San Diego story noted, USATF Deputy General…


Toronto’s Doug Smith shares great news: He’s the picture of health

Doug “Shaggy” Smith of Ontario – the dreadlocked vegan photographer and steeplechasing M65 meet director of 2020 Toronto worlds — gave his 1,400 Facebook friends a mighty scare on April 6. He wrote: “Not feeling well lately — many of the symptoms of a slow-burn heart attack.” He refused an ambulance but got to the ER. Initial tests were OK, except for high blood pressure. Over the next five weeks, Doug shared updates on various tests, all with his trademark sense of humor. On Thursday, we finally got a chance to exhale. He posted: “Great news from the cardiologist today…….


4 decades as friends and rivals: Aussie sprinters Kernaghan and Richards

I tell newcomers to our niche that a major joy is joining a traveling tribe. The High Jump Tribe. The Throwers Tribe. The Hurdles Tribe. We hold reunions at nationals and worlds. Now comes a story Down Under by Laura Pond of Stirling Times — a tale of the Sprint Tribe. “Masters athletes Norm Richards (80) and Barrie Kernaghan (78) have enjoyed a friendly rivalry for nearly 40 years,” Laura writes. “Mr. Richards, of Woodlands, and Karrinyup resident Mr. Kernaghan competed at the recent Australian Masters Athletics Championships at the WA Athletics Stadium, achieving 12 medals between them.” Barrie says:…