Torun roomies Alison Wood, Sue McDonald set American records in W45 high jump, W55 800

Sue Patterson-McDonald and Alison Wood were roommates at Torun worlds and are “high jump besties.” Sue has transitioned to the 800 of late, but in the USATF high jump records book, they’ll be side by side. On Saturday, Alison claimed the W45 American outdoor record in the high jump, clearing 1.64 meters (5-4 1/2) twice to win a jump-off at the West Coast Invitational at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. (See results here.) She beat Pacific Lutheran sophomore Lauren Wilson. Since Sue is the listed W50 AR lady in the HJ, she and Alison will be roomies on the records…


Spring fling of Ireland’s Anne Gilshinan: from W50 Torun silver to W55 WR in 1500-meter run

In 1974, Anne McKenzie of South Africa ran 4:49.2 for 1500 meters at age 49. It was a W45 outdoor world record, which would stand 11 years. Now it looks like 55 is the new 45. On Saturday, 55-year-old Anne Gilshinan scorched a metric mile in 4:45.65 at an Irish Milers meet in the seaside resort town of Greystones, Ireland. The record she beat was only two weeks old — 4:48.65 by world champ Clare Elms in Tonbridge, Britain. As a 54-year-old, Anne took silver in the W50 1500 at Torun worlds, losing by only three-hundredths of a second (to…


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…


Masters exhibitions vanish at Mt. SAC Relays, but resurrection possible if Willie Gault commits

Last weekend’s Mt. SAC Relays were the first in more than 20 years not to feature masters. In the late 1990s, when I first started covering geezer exhibitions at Walnut, we had an age-graded 100, flat 200 and age-graded 800s — with National Masters News publisher Al Sheahen calculating distances and starting times (for the 800s). Masters also ran 110 hurdles some years and threw the hammer. But in recent years, especially in the men’s and women’s 800s, few runners showed up. Some races had only two or three entrants. Scratches weren’t a problem for the sprints. But the writing…


World champ British hurdler calls Toruń worlds ‘without doubt the best ever,’ posts long review

Great Britain’s Donald Brown won the M55 hurdles at Toruń worlds, so he took away some good feelings about the 8th WMA indoor world meet. But he went the extra mile by doing a careful critique off the late-March event. Don posted initial comments on Facebook (below) and then composed a formal review called The Masters’ Voice. (He also came up with a nifty acronym — masters standing for “Making A Statement That Ensures Residual Success.”) Unlike 2018 Malaga worlds, where athletes complained about steeple barriers and relay selection, Poland produced little griping (as far as I know.) In any…


Irene Obera wins her 3rd USATF Athlete of Week award, but (many) outdoor WRs await

For at least the third time since 2014, Hall of Famer Irene Obera has been named USATF Athlete of the Week. The latest honor was announced Wednesday. This removes the egregious stain on her rep at Torun worlds, when she was the lone entrant in the W85 high jump, passed at .80 meters (2-7 1/2) and then had three misses at .83 (2-8 3/4). NM by her name. No gold. But I guess I’ll have to forgive her, since she set three world records in Poland. Indy’s fine summary: “Obera, 85, set world records in the women’s 85 division of…


At least 9 Americans take home $1,000 in USATF prize money from Torun worlds

Despite the USATF misreading of the Torun medals table (Yanks were fourth, not second in overall medals at worlds), it appears Team USA was ounce-for-ounce the best squad in Poland. “The main goal was to win the most overall medals which, this time, proved to be quite impossible with the home team Poland, and the next door country Germany having over four and nearly three times as many athletes entered as we,” said national masters chair Rex Harvey. “However, Team USATF-Masters did win more gold medals than anyone but Germany in the most successful WMA Indoor Championship ever. We couldn’t…


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…


Earl ‘The Great’ Fee steals thunder from Torun worlds with M90 WRs at 400, 800 in Iowa

We interrupt Torun coverage (elsewhere) to bring you this important announcement: Earl Fee is back! In the record books. A day after turning 90, The Great One set two M90 indoor world records at a meet in Grinnell, Iowa. Five years ago, the Canadian legend set an M85 indoor 800 WR at Budapest worlds. So this was no surprise. But why isn’t he in Poland? He says he missed the entry deadline. At a USATF Iowa meet over the weekend, he burned a 400 in 1:30.76, obliterating the listed WR of M 90 1:46.78 by barrel-chested Ugo Sansonetti of Italy…


Celebration of Life for David Pain set for April 6 at San Diego church he attended

Friends and family of David Pain, the Columbus of masters track, will gather at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Faith Presbyterian Church near his San Diego home for a Celebration of Life. On Sunday, his family-written obituary appeared in The San Diego Union-Tribune. Read it here. Among many other things, we learn that David “started a lawn-cutting business and worked full time as a gardener throughout high school. His love of gardening continued into his 80s with a plot filled with vegetables as well as many flower varieties, including prize-worthy Epiphyllums. During his senior year, he became a U.S….