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…


Greg Foster on Greg Foster: Masters star notes heart-transplant need of Olympic hurdler

In July 1988, at the Indianapolis Olympic Trials, Greg Foster the triple jumper said hi to Greg Foster the high hurdler. The jumping Foster finished 9 1/2 feet behind winner Willie Banks’ windy but historic 59-8 1/2. The hurdling foster — four years after taking silver behind Roger Kingdom at the L.A. Games — dropped out at the eighth hurdle, handicapped by a broken arm. The jumping Foster went on to become a standout masters track star (who also throws and has a hurdling star son). But the Olympian Foster, with four world titles as well, is 61 and needs…


Tying my record for Press Club awards and trying out Jeff Brower’s new records site

I tied my PR on Tuesday night. Not for the 100 or high jump, but for awards at the San Diego Press Club journalism contest. First in 2017 and again this year, I picked up 14 awards for a variety of posts on Times of San Diego, including a photo of indicted Rep. Duncan D. Hunter and a video of a crazy anti-LGBT trio from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka. As usual, some of my ribbons were for stories on masters athletes. I won second-place awards for my report on sprint great Colleen Barney competing on “American Ninja Warrior” and…


Neni Lewis beats injuries, own ultraweight pentathlon record at Sunshine State Games

I once called Masters Hall of Famer Neni Lewis “easily the greatest age-group thrower in history.” She also deserves her own Hall of Fame wing for injury comebacks. I told her story several times. In 2008, I wrote: “Lewis qualified for the Olympic Trials in 1980, 1984 and 1988 in the shot put. Her best chance to make the team was in 1988, when she was throwing close to 60 feet leading up to the trials. But her bid was cut short when a car accident injured her hip and back.” After one episode in 2012, she said: “I am…


Masters track has a mole on IAAF Council — Olympian Willie Banks going to bat for us

I had a half-hour call Wednesday with my friend Willie Banks, M60 high jumper and newly elected IAAF Council member. The result was a story in Times of San Diego. I focused on how he won election and what he hopes to do for the sport overseen by the newly renamed World Athletics. But of course I mentioned my pet peeve — the failure of IAAF world meets to always include masters exhibition events. Beijing and Portland had such events. London and Doha not. Here’s how ex-prez Stan Perkins reported the situation at 2018 Malaga worlds: Since the successful participation…


Pete Magill caps book career with ‘Fast 5K’ — finally focusing on own favorite race

Pete Magill is a Masters Hall of Famer whose fame grew out of setting 5K records and leading teams to cross country titles. But for all his talents, I’m more awed by his mastery of writing. Picasso was great at painting and Paul McCartney wrote fantastic songs. But where can you pick up a book by these legends that tells you how to improve your drawing or tunesmithing? Coach Pete, a one-time Hollywood screenwriter, combines his deep athletic/academic understanding of his favorite distance with his conversational and down-to-earth writing style in “Fast 5K.” (Read a preview here.) The only question…


American M65 relay team claims 4×400 WR, showing magical sub-4 is possible

Results are posted for Sunday’s events at the 44th Annual Potomac Valley Games at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. There a team called Unattached ‘A’ clocked 4:01.03 in the 4×400 relay. But it was a startling mark — a pending world record — with four men over 65 averaging just over 60 seconds each. They included a 59.5 by M70 world record-holder Charles Allie, 72. Leadoff in 59.8 was David Ortman of Seattle, followed by Pittsburgh’s Charlie; Thomas A. Jones, 65, of Glenn Dale, Maryland, in 61.2 and George Haywood, 66, of Washington, D.C., in about 60.5. Amazing….


Peter Crombie retires at 74 — Aussie legend among top masters sprinters of all time

Peter Crombie, one of the greatest masters champions in history, has retired at age 74. This is the end of a sprinter era. Peter has been a frequent guest entrant at USATF nationals and is a buddy to many Yanks. When I heard from a friend about Peter’s pullout, I was skeptical. Peter is still in his prime! How could this be? So I wrote him. Here’s what I learned: MASTERSTRACK.BLOG: Can you share your status, and reasons for retiring? PETER CROMBIE: Injuries have plagued my athletics career for some 20 years now with knees being the main issue with…


Singapore Athletics slaps down masters chapter over Asian meet requirements

You’ve heard “Don’t mess with Texas”? Add: “Don’t war with Singapore.” At least stay clear of masters athletes on the warpath. This week Singapore Athletics had enough of the nonsense at Singapore Masters Athletics. As local media report: SMA, a voting affiliate of Singapore Athletics, has been provisionally suspended by the national sports association for what SA has deemed a “violation” of its tasks. This was in response to an appeal by several veteran athletes two weeks ago. They expressed concerns over the way the Masters community for track and field athletes aged 35 and above is being managed. The…