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…


Singapore backs off qualifying standards, but ridiculous AMA meet rules alive?

Monday update: WMA President Margit Jugmann wrote me this morning: “The AMA Secretary and member of WMA Council Sivapragasam Sivisambo informed me today that AMA council has already taken care of the issue. It seems that there were some misunderstandings. SMA confirmed that a qualifying standard was set to select athletes for SMA to give subsidy for them. SMA is giving subsidy for the selected athletes. It is confirmed that those who don’t qualify or those who do not want to follow this procedure are NOT stopped from participating — they can all participate and pay on their own, which…


Sprinters in 90s honor David Pain’s birthday with world records at 400 meters

Wednesday would have been David Pain’s 97th birthday, and I’m marking the occasion by posting video of his funeral I shot April 6, 2019, at Faith Presbyterian Church in San Diego. Earl Fee, Diane Hoffman and Diane Friedman didn’t attend — but their latest ninety-something world record performances in the 400-meter dash are a virtual memorial to the founder of masters track. At Toronto WMA regionals July 19, Earl notched his 60th world age-group record, clocking 89.15 in the 400 at age 90 — and becoming the oldest to beat his age over the one-lap race. “In all probability I…


Photo galleries galore (mine and others) from Ames nationals, Toronto WMA regionals

WMA regionals wrapped up Sunday in Toronto, with world record efforts by W70 hammer specialist Myrle Mensey (in that event and the throws pent) and about-to-be-sworn-in-as-American Neringa Jakstiene (upping her own pentathlon WR from Ames). But Southern California’s Gunnar Linde was wrongly credited with an M90 WR in the 2K steeple. He ran 15:47.32 in the Ontario heat and humidity but scorched a 14:40.5 in mid-June in Los Angeles. The meet invited athletes from 31 North American, Central American and Caribbean nations — but the U.S. and Canada dominated, with many meet records falling on the Mondo tracks where 2020…


Germany’s Guido Müller, 80, retires as greatest long hurdler in masters history

Bittersweet news from Germany arrived Monday. The most fantabulous long hurdler in masters history has retired. Dieter Massin writes: “Yesterday, Sunday 14 July, Guido Müller (Mueller) run his last 200m and finished his career in athletics. A wonderful career of a fantastic sportsman ended at the German Masters Championships in Leinefelde.” (See results here.) I had heard that Guido has been suffering from dementia, so I asked if that was the reason. Dieter replied that he wasn’t sure, but “he was ill for a long time, so that his sports-retirement is the consequence. I respect his decision. Guido was /…


Neringa Jakstiene (after latest WR at Ames) on verge of becoming American citizen

Despite a recent illness (with a high temp of 102), W55 Neringa Jakstiene of Memphis sizzled at Ames nationals, smashing yet another Phil Raschker world record. This time, it was the outdoor pentathlon with a score of 4594 points. Phil set the listed WR at 2002 Orono nationals with 4511. (This brings her recent WR total to 10.) A key to Neringa’s latest record was her 12.86 in the 80-meter hurdles, which would have been an American record but for a 2.2 mps aiding wind. (2.0 is the maximum for a single-event record but not for a combined-events record.) But…


USATF defends Roy Englert’s M95 world record 5000 at Ames, labels Italian an age fraud

I was at 2009 Oshkosh nationals when Frank Levine set his M95 world record at 5000 meters. That weekend, the Norristown, Pennsylvania, gent also ran the 400, 800 and 1500. He and fellow 95-year-old Max Springer sparred at the shorter races, with Max winning both. But Frank had his age group 15 and 5K all to himself. And his 5K set the standard for 10 years. Now we’re having another moment. At Thursday’s Day 1 of USATF masters nationals in Ames, Iowa, Roy Englert of northern Virginia ran/walked the 5000 in a sensational 42:30.23. He was interviewed on local TV…


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…