Jeff Brower steps down as masters records czar; modernized process for 6 years

For six years, Jeff Brower of Texas has been chair of the USATF Masters T&F records committee. He cleaned up a holy mess left by Sandy Pashkin, whose failures I noted over the years (including a 2006 post headlined “Sandy Pashkin, as roadblock to records, has to go.”) Sandy inherited an index-card system from Pete Mundle, a booger beyond belief. Jeff also helped update the MTF website, finally adopting a WordPress design. (Easier to use.) And in 2020, according to his annual report, Jeff didn’t take a dime from his $3,000 budget. Now Jeff is stepping down. Our fourth records…


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…


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

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….


Inspirational sprinter Dick Camp dies at 84, joins friend Bob Lida on Heaven’s top relay

“Now it can be told,” I blogged in March 2007. “The recent world indoor record 4×2 relay team, made up of four 70-year-olds, benefited from PED. No, not drugs — performance-enchancing deity. The Rev. Dick Camp, No. 3 leg on the 1:54.05 team, writes: ‘Two things stand out in my memory: 1) Rich (Rizzo) asked me to lead the team in a prayer before the race. We asked that God would be honored in our performance; 2) as I completed my leg, I gave an extra lunge to be sure Bob Lida got the baton in our handoff, and I…


Was Dan King cheated of M60 mile WR? Meet may have lacked USATF sanctioning

In late August, 61-year-old Dan King of Boulder, Colorado, traveled 1,600 miles to Columbia, South Carolina, and came away with a mile mark of 4:49.08 (see results) — crushing the listed M60 world record of 4:51.85 by Kiwi Tony McManus in 2012 and American record of 4:53.01 by Nolan Shaheed the same year. On Runner’s World, Sarah Lorge Butler wrote: “Behind two pacers—Jackson Neff and John Minen, who earlier in the meet had run the open mile—King clicked off 72-second laps, going hard from the gun.” (The actual splits were 73.57, 71.31, 72.29 and 71.91.). She quoted Dan as saying:…


Time to take temps: 7 polls for Masterstrackland, and my self-indulgent stories

In late 1971, a cold winter in Omaha, I was a high school hurdler in a hurry. My senior track season was approaching and I was determined to crush my 14.9 PR in the 120 highs as a 16-year-old junior. So I did what any laser-focused prep would do. I blasted through a two-semester class before Christmas. Let me explain. Biology was my last class of the day at Harry A. Burke High School, a fully-enclosed new campus only miles down the road from famous Boys Town. And since I wanted class time for training, I took advantage of the…


Pete Mundle dies at 91; pioneering M40 record-setter put world masters marks on the map

Peter Mundle has passed, and our sport’s Mount Rushmore must make room for a shy man with prodigious running and recordkeeping talents. According to an obituary in Sunday’s Eugene Register-Guard, Pete died May 7 — about two weeks short of turning 92. No cause of death was listed. Nor where he passed. Unsure why word was delayed. Pete would have been a stickler for such details, since his legend was made not as a record-setting runner — who won the 3- and 6-mile races at the first USA masters nationals in San Diego in 1968 — but as the compiler…


Virtual Masters Challenge, USATF Masters budget, NMN health on my mind

Last month, several athletes including Florida-based M65 thrower Guy Dirkin, launched an effort to replace 2020 Toronto worlds with something they call the 2020 Worldwide Virtual Masters Challenge. It’s being run out of John Seto’s mastersrankings.com site, charging 2 Euros ($2.35) per event. If I enter the M65 short hurdles now, I’m in the running for a medal. If I enter the high jump, I could win gold. I’ll pass. (See Status of Entries.) But WMA Prez Margit Jungmann of Germany has given the event her seal of approval. She writes: “I wish this initiative great success. I encourage you…


Don’t count on any WMA world meets until 2024, or when The Beast is busted

WMA has awarded 2021 outdoor worlds to Tampere, Finland, and delayed other world meets down the line. The scrambled calendar has led to much gnashing of teeth and griping about meet conflicts and other inconveniences. Others cheer the changes. My reaction: Yeah, right. Don’t count on ANY major international masters meets going off as scheduled. Not in 2021, 2022 or even 2023. As I’ve noted in social media, until we have herd immunity globally via a widely used and effective vaccine, ain’t nobody going nowhere. (And who wants to run timed finals at 100m using only lanes 1, 5 and…