Coronavirus fears force 10-month delay in European masters indoor champs

Coronavirus concerns have led to a long delay in the European masters indoor championships, originally set for March 15-21 in Braga, Portugal. The meet will be pushed back 10 months to January 2021. But organizers of WMA worlds in Toronto say that meet is still on track for July 20-August 1. USATF HQ in Indy issued a statement March 3: “USATF wants to assure you that we take the ​health, safety, and well-being of our membership very seriously…. Currently, all events are proceeding as planned. Please understand, we are following guidance issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the…


M60 Vaulter’s Uplifting Memoir: ‘Finally Fit’ Gives Bubba Sparks a Long-Overdue Boost

Spend an hour with Bubba Sparks and you’re a goner. You’ll become a vaulter. In the case of author John H. Clark III, all it took was a Facebook query to Bubba, his older classmate from Houston’s Scarborough High School. “Do you think I could take up pole vaulting for the first time in my life at 60 years old?” Of course, Bubba said: “Let’s go!” John’s journey from “couch potato” to National Senior Games entrant is movingly told in his latest book — “Finally Fit: It’s Never Too Late to Achieve a Dream.” Published six days after Valentine’s Day,…


Kathy Bergen, Jenn Suhr lead Americans setting early 2020 world records

The race is on. Who will set more masters world records this year — Americans or Europeans? A month ahead of the Eurovets indoor meet in Braga, Portugal, and USATF indoor nationals at Baton Rouge, the Americans hold a big lead. The Yanks boast 13 indoor WRs. Our Europeeps have four. (But some U.S. marks are relays, where many of those WRs are soft or nonexistent because the M65, M75, W85 types are new, being 5-year age groups. Old records were in 10-year increments.) Leading the way is SoCal’s Kathy Bergen, who traveled to the USATF Masters Southwest Region Indoor…


Iowa services set Feb. 1 for Rex Harvey in his old hometown

Jerry Bookin-Weiner shares news about Rex Harvey services: There is now a link for the official obituary and place to leave condolence messages for Rex Harvey. On the website there is a place to leave condolence messages for the family, who have asked that their personal email addresses not be shared. The funeral will be held on Saturday, February 1, at 10 a.m. Central Time in his hometown of Redfield, Iowa, about 45 minutes from the Des Moines (DSM) Airport. There will be a visitation the previous evening. Full details are in the obituary. A Rex Harvey Memorial Track &…


Kay Glynn is our Christmas elf, but will never put her athletic career on the shelf

Kay Glynn sent me her 13th annual Christmas greeting photo more than a week ago, writing: “I don’t even know what this picture means — but it was challenging and fun.” I know exactly what it means. Kay in her mid-60s has made a terrific comeback from hip replacement and resurfacing surgeries. She is showing how track is the fountain of youth and her flexibility and blond hair signal you can recapture past glories. In fact, masters tracksters likely sense holiday themes in our pursuits. Like Christmas, we see our sport as an athletic savior. Like Hanukkah, we see our…


Rex Harvey dies at 73; decathlete-turned-official was a beloved leader in masters track

If masters track had a Mount Rushmore, it would includes David Pain, Al Sheahen and Rex Harvey. On Sunday — two weeks after enduring the flu many caught at the USATF annual meeting in Reno — Rex died of a heart attack in Prescott, Arizona, where he was recovering from appendix cancer. He was 73. I don’t know if the flu weakened Rex, but on Dec. 12 he wrote me: “Today I ate for the first time in 5 days but still feeling woozy around the edges.” When I learned of Rex’s passing via Facebook, my heart sank 1,000 miles….


New USATF Officials Hall of Famer Carroll DeWeese: ‘Thank you for supporting masters’.

USATF Masters Committee Treasurer Carroll DeWeese is rich in friends and fans, including me. He battled cancer a decade back but seems fine now. This weekend, the Michigan city commissioner joined Doug Allen, Roger Burbage, John Shirey as inductees Saturday into the USATF Officials Hall of Fame — celebrated at the USATF Annual Meeting at the Grand Sierra Resort, Reno, Nevada. “Many people asked to get a text copy of my acceptance talk,” he wrote friends of his 940-word remarks. “I spoke from the heart and did not have a text.” Not surprisingly, he talks of love. That’s the kind…


Sandris Linbergs, javelin world champion at Toruń, gets 4-year suspension for doping

Last March, Latvian athletes won 11 gold medals at Toruń indoors worlds in Poland, including an M35 thrower (nearing 39) named Sandris Linbergs. In 2018, he was listed on the World Athletics (formerly IAAF) site as the 1040th best discus thrower in the world. At Torun, however, he tested positive for “a prohibited substance, its metabolites or markers.” And this week World Masters Athletics announced he was given a four-year suspension through March 23, 2023. “As the result of this suspension, there will be a reallocation of the results shot put M35 and the results and medal places in the…


Orville Rogers, Harrison Dillard and Dave Douglass mourned as track and field heroes

Orville Rogers wasn’t just a centenarian role model. He was a model track athlete, period. His training discipline, fierce will-to-win (see him overtaking Dixon Hemphill at indoor nationals 60) and willingness to share his secrets (through his recent book “The Running Man”) made him a hero to many. A middle-distance specialist who also ran sprints and long races, Orville held 11 world records spanning M90 to M100 when he died Thursday two weeks short of turning 102. INSPIRING 99 year old Orville Rogers faces 92 year old Dixon Hemphill in the Men’s 90 year old division 60 meters at #USATFmasters…


William Platts pulverizes M90 world record in throws pentathlon at Nevada Senior Games

Bonnie Parrish-Kell of the Nevada Senior Games graciously informs us of a remarkable record in the throws pentathlon set at her USATF-sanctioned meet Oct. 11 at University of Nevada Las Vegas. “Last month,” she writes, “36 track and field records were set at the Nevada Senior Games, including world and American records in throws pentathlon. William Platts, a 91-year-old from Boise, Idaho, set those records for his age group, and they may stand for quite some time.” Javelin specialist William — who holds six ARs over age groups M80, M85 and M90 — ran up a score of 4927 crushing…