USATF could end masters club scoring (titles at indoor, outdoor nationals) under rule proposal

Last January, the WMA Competition Committee issued the world body’s “Rules of Competition 2018-2020.” Buried within, under Scoring, is Rule 151.1: “There shall be no overall Team Championships.” That appears to mean that WMA meets won’t score national teams for the purpose of identifying the top teams. OK fine. But since USATF likes to stay in step with World Masters Athletics, a rule proposal at the Columbus annual meeting this week aims to update USATF rules to end club scoring at masters nationals. (See team results from Maryland indoor nationals and Spokane outdoor nationals.) Ruh roh. That won’t win cheers…


Landslide victory predicted for Willie Banks as USATF’s pick for IAAF Council rep

Becca Gillespy Peter, the PoleVaultPower.com legend who made her masters vault debut at Spokane over the summer, has posted her valued endorsement of Willie Banks, our masters track friend, for IAAF Council. One commenter on Becca’s post said: “Fearless prediction – Banks in a landslide.” Delegates will make their pick this coming Saturday at the USATF annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio, where the favorite daughter (and local resident) is Stephanie Hightower, the incumbent U.S. rep to the IAAF Council. If Willie wins, it will be a ratification of my bit role in his career. In 2009, at the Reno annual…


WMA legal costs and ‘guest/gift’ expenses skyrocket, but Prez Margit won’t say why

What is World Masters Athletics trying to hide? Six days ago, I stumbled on the final report to the Malaga General Assembly — where Germany’s Margit Jungmann was elected the first female president of WMA. Buried was a financial summary of recent years. Two line items jumped out at me: skyrocketing legal expenses and costs of “guests/gifts.” So on Nov. 17, I sent this query letter to Margit and her predecessor, Stan Perkins of Australia (with CC to WMA Treasurer Jean Thomas of France): Greetings, Margit and Stan Hope you are well. I notice on page 35 of the 2018…


Charles Allie, Lesley Hinz named USATF Masters Athletes of Year (with Charlie top overall)

Surprising nobody, Charles Allie has been named USATF Masters Athlete of the Year. In a related decision by the USATF Masters Awards Committee, Charlie and Lesley Hinz were named male and female masters athletes of the year. The committee chaired by W40 combined-eventer Rachel Guest — herself an honoree — also introduced event-group athletes of the year (along with the usual age-group AoYs). Photographer Rob Jerome did a wonderful job of highlighting award winners. Here’s the USATF press release on Charlie as overall AoY: Charles Allie (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is no stranger to accolades. Since entering a new age group this…


W70 world champ Annelies Steekelenburg homeless from Malibu fire but not friendless

Lady Gaga fled. So did Miley Cyrus, Neil Young and Robin Thicke. But I’m not worried about their fate from the devastating Woolsey Fire that razed parts of Malibu. I’m stunned how masters royalty has been victimized. Malaga M60 champion Peter Hlavin shares the sad news that his high jump friend — and Malaga W70 gold medalist — Annelies Steekelenburg lost almost all her possessions. She rented a home in Malibu. “Annelies is safe, having evacuated with car, computer, some clothes, a few of her personal paintings and — high jump shoes,” Peter writes. “For the past 18 years, she…


M60 Olympian Willie Banks seeks election at Ohio meeting as IAAF rep nominee

Willie Banks may be forgiven if he doesn’t have time to compete in coming years. My M60 jumper friend is leaping into USATF/IAAF politics big time. As I note in my Times of San Diego story, Willie is seeking to replace Stephanie Hightower as the American representative on the powerful IAAF Council. His candidacy is a surprise, and since nobody else had reported this (besides the USATF Document Library), I jumped on it. My first story covers the basics, but notable is something Willie says in his statement of candidacy: “I believe I am uniquely qualified by both experience and…


W90 Heather Lee stomps on guys, her own WRs in two racewalks Down Under

Last Sunday, Aussie star Heather Lee beat M70 Brendon Hyde and M60 Christopher Worsnop in a 10K road walk at the Pan Pacific Masters Games on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Sorry, fellas. But it wasn’t just a victory of the sexes. Heather is 91 (turning 92 this weekend). In clicking to a time of 1:24:21, she also lowered her own listed W90 world record of 1:25:28, set last April in Perth. And just for a warmup, she won gold in the track 3K walk in 24:45.29 — bettering her own listed WR of 24:56.97. (But I’ve also been told that no…


Help save our memories: Contribute materials to 10-year-old mastershistory.org

I must have been napping. But I failed in February to mark the 10th anniversary of mastershistory.org — our worldwide geezertrack museum. This year’s updates have been slim, however, since we’ve exhausted the Al Sheahen archive. So now we’re launching an effort to crowd-source materials from others. Masters History subcommittee chair Jeff Davison recently visited national masters chair Rex Harvey in Arizona, who is making available some of his papers, including newsletters of the Over The Hill Track Club in Ohio. And yet some basic materials are still missing. For example, USATF Masters T&F Records czar Jeff Brower needs complete…


M65 Dutch gent wants court to make him M45 for sake of sex appeal

Feeling old? Wish you were 20 years younger? Well, you can hit the gym. Or do what Emile Ratelband did in Holland. You can ask a court to change your legal age. Old Emile is 69 and wants to be declared 49. Yeah, I thought it was fake, too. But lots of outlets are covering this — including HuffPost, whose weird-news writer David Moye lives a few minutes from me. NPR’s headline goes straight for the jugular: “69-Year-Old Dutch Man Seeks To Change His Legal Age To 49.” The story begins: Emile Ratelband, a 69-year-old motivational speaker from the Netherlands,…


Overcoming misery to excel in Malaga: 3 Americans with medical issues

Three recent profiles of Malaga-goers make my favorite point: Everyone in masters track is competing despite issues. In the case of W65 hurdler Tina Bowman, M75 hammer dude George Mathews and M60 discuser Ralph Fruguglietti, the hurdles are medical. From the Redmond News of Washington: “A year ago, Matthews took a break for hernia surgery at the Cascade Hernia & Surgical Solutions at Meridian Surgery Center in Puyallup. He credits his excellent care for getting him back to training in six weeks and competing a few months later.” From the562.org of California: “Bowman recovered from rotator cuff surgery in April…