61 USATF entrants will split $33,000 in Toruń world meet travel and lodging grants

Rex Harvey just capped his career. Even with his elite and masters record decathlon records, our national masters chair can point to a milestone in the masters movement — at least in the United States. More than 60 Americans will get financial help to compete at Toruń indoor worlds, and likely will earn prize money as well. This is the geezertrack equivalent of Nicolaus Copernicus (touted by Toruń as their most famous son). Here’s the announcement Wednesday from Sandy Triolo, USATF MTF Communications chair: 84 USATF Masters Athletes applied for the W#1 Torun Program! 61 are currently eligible and one…


Neringa Jakstiene nets USATF Athlete of the Week after 4 WRs at indoor nationals

As tradition holds, USATF named the star of masters nationals as Athlete of the Week So that means Neringa Jakstiene of Memphis is the choice after shattering four W55 world records at Winston-Salem nationals. I’m still stunned. (I asked for her contact info, and she wrote me. I sent her some Qs. Stay tuned.) But she didn’t win AOW in a walk. She went up against Johnny Gregorek, whose runner-up to the new indoor mile WR was the second-fastest indoor mile in U.S. history (3:49.98 at the Boston University Lehane Mile to narrowly miss Bernard Lagat’s AR of 3:49.89.) Gregorek’s…


Soft relay WRs highlighted at Winston-Salem nationals as 5s become record-eligible

The asterisk tells quite a story. In USATF’s list of world age-group records set at Winston-Salem nationals, the * follows 13 WRs. It notes: “Relays include 5-year age group World and American records for the first time due to new WMA and USATF MTF rules.” So the Potomac Valley TC’s M45 4×800 mark of 12:02.12 may not stand for long (compare it to the listed M50 WR of 8:32.95). Same for the club’s M55 4×800 WR of 12:57.06 (dwarfed by the listed M60 WR of 9:50.90). Or a couple 4x400s by Philadelphia Masters (M75 in 8:54.00 and W45 in 5:28.31.)…


Newbie W55 Neringa Jakstiene claims 3 world records, plus an AR, at Winston-Salem

Neringa Jakstiene of Memphis via Lithiuania (in 1994) won two W50 golds (hep and triple jump) and a silver (80 hurdles) at Malaga worlds last year, so it was no surprise that she’d excel as a W55 at Winston-Salem nationals. But three world records in one day? Thus she’s my pick for star of Day 1. See results here. USATF did a good roundup of top marks, including Irene Obera’s not unexpected W85 world record for 400 meters. But Neringa’s marks really blew me away, including 4,894 in the pent, which crushed the listed WR of 4,502 by our ultralegend,…


Look for Irene Obera, Bill Jankovich to redefine age-85 abilities at Winston-Salem nationals

I’m not in Winston-Salem this weekend for indoor nationals, but I’m eager to see results, especially from newbie W85 (and Hall of Famer) Irene Obera (entered in 60, 200, 400, 800, high jump, long jump, shot put and triple jump) and M85 Bill Jankovich (60, 60 hurdles, 200, 400, high jump, pentathlon, long jump, pole vault, shot put and triple jump). Bill set a monster AR in the indoor hep a month ago. Who hazards a guess at Irene’s record-setting at JDL Fast Track? Also notable: Jim Barrineau, the Olympic high jumper, is venturing WAY outside his comfort zone. My…


Gunnar Linde zips 9:42.99 at 90 for outdoor mile world record, crushing AR by 70 seconds

Besides the fireworks at USATF Indoor Nationals (including 60-meter masters exhibitions and the son of masters runner Joan Hunter winning a national 2-mile title from the “slow” heat), the weekend brought news about a massive outdoor mile WR by a SoCal runner. Five years ago, I wrote: “M85 distance star Gunnar Linde, a Latvian-born former ski champion in Europe, now lives in Venice, California. He moved to the States in the early 1950s, so he’s a complete Yank. Sunday at the Southern California Indoor Meet … Outdoors (intended to give athletes a chance at distances contested at Boston indoor nationals),…


Colleen Barney gets shot at NBC stardom — to appear on ‘American Ninja Warrior’

W50 sprinter Colleen Barney has been posting Facebook photos of herself training at a gym — hinting that she’s prepping for “American Ninja Warrior.” Last week, she made it official. She aims to be the best over-50 woman ever to appear on the reality show when she tackles the L.A. Universal Studios course March 6. She’s not sure if she’s the oldest woman ever invited, “but I do hope to make it further than any woman over 50 has gone (right now that means I have to complete at least the first two obstacles)!” Colleen — already a certified Super…


Our founding father has passed: David Pain dies at 96 at home in San Diego

I’ll share my own memories later. For now, please see my obituary of David Pain on Times of San Diego. It’s impossible to overstate what David meant to me, the sport and the world. Please join me in wishing deepest condolences to Linda Pain and their extended family. Meanwhile, here are some touching remembrances from his 90th birthday party and 2014 salute by the San Diego Track Club.


Martha Mendenhall hopes to elevate masters at new Flop House High Jump Club

You can take the girl out of the high jump but not high jump out of the girl. So it goes for world champion Martha Mendenhall of Tacoma, who may be retired from competition but still in the game. Big time. Her latest effort is coaching the well-named “Flop House” High Jump Club, which invites masters athletes. “Only one [masters member] so far and he is from Oregon,” Martha says. “Tacoma doesn’t have a lot of, if any, masters high jumpers that I know of. There are a few in the Seattle area and I’m hoping as my “Flop House”…


President Lananna deserves USATF job back, chance to Make Track Great Again™

When it comes to Vin Lananna and why he was shown the door as USATF president (at least “temporarily”), I have no theories. All I know is that lots of people were outraged — especially the people who gave him a four-year term by acclamation. A couple nights ago, I learned that Vin was gearing up to file a grievance with the Mother Ship — Indy HQ. His aim: To be restored to the presidency. Then he can do his magic and Make Track Great Again.™ So I contacted some people and put together a story. (Read it on Times…