Cheer on W45 marathoner Mindy Zottola — and all entrants at Ames nationals

I arrived in Ames on Wednesday afternoon after a flight from Las Vegas (my layover from San Diego) to Des Moines. On that leg, fellow passengers included athlete royalty Kathy and Bert Bergen, famed massage therapist Bill Theriault and some USATF officials. Once settled in my Bed & Breakfast just outside Iowa State University (a former Delta Chi frat house that’s on the National Register of Historic Places), I drove to the track and found a gate unlocked. I met a 5K and 10K contender named Mindy Zottola, apparently a newbie to masters track nationals, and her husband, Art. I…


Kerry Sloan gets 15-year sentence for raping girl a year before Spokane nationals

According to mastersrankings.com, M55 Kerry Sloan was ranked eighth in America last year in the 400 hurdles, running 74.10 at Spokane nationals. He was listed fourth in the 60 hurdles nationally, clocking 9.73 at Landover indoors. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Oklahoma, Kerry is a convicted rapist. On Monday, Kerry Lynn Sloan was sentenced to 15 years in prison after a plea deal in which he admitted to assaulting one of his athletes a year before Spokane. Texas media are all over the case, based on this news release: A former private track coach was sentenced…


National Senior Games age-group rules debated: Should USATF practice apply?

Kathy Bergen doesn’t turn 80 until late December, and Brenda Matthews doesn’t turn 70 until early July. But at last week’s National Senior Games in Albuquerque, Kathy won W80 sprints and Brenda won W70. For those in the parallel USATF masters circuit, this is crazy. In Senior Olympic state, regional and national events, it’s par for the quirky course. As I’ve explained to newbies for decades, USATF (and World Masters Athletics) assigns your age group based on your actual age on the first day of a given meet. (This leads to some folks aging up in the middle of the…


WRs fall to M90 Earl Fee (800), W55 Anne Gilshinan (1500 again) and W50 Irie Hill (pole vault)

In his new biography, Earl Fee said his goal, after turning 90, was to raise his world records count to 60. He had 56 age-group WRs when he wrote that. Don’t look now, but he’s at 59. After setting M90 indoor WRs in March in the 400 and 800, he crushed the listed M90 WR in the outdoor 800 on Sunday at the site of 2019 WMA regionals and 2020 worlds. On Facebook, Earl said: “Had some good fortune today at the Ontario Masters Championships at Varsity Stadium today, lowering the outdoor world record 800m in age group 90-94 by…


Retailer rips off image of W100 sprinter Ida Keeling — calling her Katelyn Turner

According to an April 24 “special editorial by Jeremy Thomson,” the world’s oldest sprinter is Katelyn Turner, 102. But on June 1, a “special editorial by Julian Downes” calls Katelyn 104. Both reports appear on a website selling electronic and other doodads called definekits.com. But wait! There’s more! The story says Katelyn at age 21 hurt her back five steps into the 1948 Olympic sprint final. (Don’t do the math. She’d be 31 if she’s now 102.) Confused yet? It’s all a shameless ripoff on the Ida Keeling story, even stealing her image (running with a red beret at 2016…


M90 Gunnar Linde laps 2K steeple world record; W40, W65 and M85 decathlon ARs set in Wisconsin

How fast was 90-year-old Gunnar Linde when he ran the five-lap steeplechase over the weekend in Los Angeles? If he’d been racing listed M90 record-holder Charles Ross, Gunnar would have lapped him. That’s how I grok Gunnar’s 14:40.54 2K steeple WR Sunday at West Los Angeles College. Charles holds the listed WR of 18:54.10. Special thanks to three M60 gents — Brian Nelson, Dennis Wilson and meet director Andy Hecker — who finished the race to make sure no technical rules glitches kept Gunnar from going in the WMA record books. (BTW, he ran 30-inch barriers despite the fact standard…


Anne Gilshinan adds another W55 WR notch to her belt — 800 meters in milestone 2:19.63

A month ago, Ireland’s Anne Gilshinan set a W55 world record in the 1500, clocking 4:45.65 at an Irish Milers meet in Greystones, Ireland. Don’t look now, but now the 800 WR is toast. Anne ran 2:19.63 to become the oldest sub-2:20 woman as she crushed the listed WR of 2:21.98 by Australia’s Jeanette Flynn at Brisbane in 2007. (See complete results here.) Anne posted to Facebook: What a fantastic day at the Irish Milers Meet at Le Cheile Leixlip today. I set a new World Record in the 800m, W55 category, in 2.19.63. Thanks in particular to Susan and…


Colleen Barney is our Jessie Graff — but ‘American Ninja Warrior’ didn’t show her

Longtime viewers of NBC’s reality show “American Ninja Warrior” know that many of the female runners of the obstacle courses are former track stars, such as Jessie Graff, the stuntwoman. So it’s no wonder that ANW producers picked W50 sprinter Colleen Barney to run the course last March at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Too bad her run wasn’t shown last week in the Season 11 premiere — almost certainly because she didn’t fit the narrative. See my Times of San Diego story for details. Also scroll down to near the bottom of the story for pictures I took of…


Italy’s Davide Raineri runs 4:13.96 mile, claims M45 world record at Rome Diamond League

In May 2018, Davide Raineri of Italy turned 45 and began dismantling national age-group records, running 800 in 1:57.76, 1500 in 3:54.68 and 3000 in 8:27.50. But he didn’t reach my radar until David Westenberg sent me a heads up Thursday night. Competing in one of the masters events at the Rome Diamond League meet, Davide ran the mile in 4:13.96. That’s not the fastest M45 mile on record, but he’ll likely get credit for a WMA world record, since the listed best is 4:16.09 by American Tony Young (also 46) in 2008. (Tony ran 4:13.25 a year later on…


Gunnar Linde eyes M90 steeple WR, but could use help making Los Angeles race ‘legal’

Hurdlers over 90 are rare. Steeplechasers over 90 are rarer still. In fact, according to mastersrankings.com, only two M90 men — Americans Dixon Hemphill and George Roudebush — have run the 2000-meter steeple since Charles Ross set the listed world record of 18:54.10 in 2013. (But Charles also has a nonratified 18:27.44 from 2013.) At the time, I reported that Charles was the world’s first M90 steepler. So it should be something to celebrate that M90 Gunnar Linde is entered in the 2K steeple this Sunday at West Los Angeles College. He’ll run in the USATF-sanctioned Southern California Association USATF…