Records set (W80 pentathlon, W55 throws pent) and record lost (W60 800-meter run)

So much for a lull between Spokane nationals and Malaga worlds. Christa Bortignon of British Columbia scored 4838 points in the outdoor pentathlon over the weekend to nip the listed W80 world record of 4319 by Vermont’s Flo Meiler at 2014 Winston-Salem nationals. Christa competed at Canadian masters nationals at South Surrey Athletic Park. (See results here.) Not far away, in Seattle, Neni Lewis beat the listed American record in the W55 throws pentathlon, scoring 4370 points. The previous record-holder (4219) was fellow Hall of Famer Carol Finsrud, who also competed — and set an AR in the ultraweight pent….


Read ’em and vote: Interviews with candidates for WMA president at Malaga worlds

Who will succeed Australia’s Stan Perkins as WMA president? Will the General Assembly in Malaga downsize itself — by limiting each nation to a maximum of three delegates instead of five? Will the Age-Graded Tables be updated for single-year use instead of the current five-year groupings? Those questions will be answered the first Saturday of the world meet, under way in a month. Also up for a vote — eliminating the office of women’s representative. (The WMA Council, which made the proposal, said: “Over time the composition of the Council and the Committees of the Council have changed so that…


M90 records expected at National Masters Throws Championships in Seattle

If M100 Orville Rogers was the media star of Spokane, look for M90 William Platts to be the recordman at Seattle this weekend. He’s entered in the throws pentathlon at the USATF National Masters Throws Championships (strangely absent from the USATF nationals calendar.) His fan Suzy Hess Wojcik, a W75 Eugene thrower and former National Masters News publisher, called Bill: “Number 1 in the world in 5 events and 2 World ranking in another event.” In any case, USATF master mediafolks have issued a nice preview of the meet at West Seattle Stadium directed by George Mathews, a former masters…


Spokane nationals dazzle: Shuttle hurdles, Kay’s kit, Becky Bowman’s shock

If track meets are three-ring circuses, what are masters nationals? A ballet buffet? After four sizzling days in The Inferno (what they call the Eastern Washington University football stadium), I’m overheated with memories. Some are personal — like getting season bests in the high jump and 200. Others were communal — as when 93-year-old George Roudebush helped an M80 team become the oldest to record a shuttle hurdle time. Witnesses to his gingerly slow-mo step-over of the 27-inch hurdles will never forget it. Thankfully, on Day 2, I had finished my events and focused my Nikons on that event. The…


M95 Roy Englert erases 800 WR; W55 Sue McDonald lowers own AR at Spokane

Roy Englert of Springfield, Virginia, shattered a 27-year-old world record in the M95 800 to kick off Spokane nationals at Eastern Washington University. (See results here.) He became the oldest man to go sub-6 when he clocked 5:18.15, taking 45 (!!!) seconds off the listed outdoor WR of 6:02.94 by fellow Yank Herb Kirk at 1991 Turku worlds. (Roy set the indoor WR of 6:03.84 at this year’s Landover nationals.) Sue McDonald of Santa Barbara lowered her own W55 AR in the 800 by clocking 2:27.00 — a few ticks ahead of her recent 2:28.88. Three-time race walk Olympian Michelle…


Douglas Thompson: Why am I having a sprints breakthrough after 800 focus?

By Douglas Thompson Athletic performance breakthroughs are rare. For masters athletes, they may be even less common, since the athlete has already tried many approaches to improve their performance, and because time is constantly eroding what is possible. I seem to be experiencing one of these rare breakthroughs. It’s exciting, but I’m still not sure it’s going to last, and that makes me nervous. I am sharing my story in the hopes that some of you will share your own, and give me some perspective and insight into what may be happening. Since I began running track at age 44,…


Italian candidate for 2022 WMA worlds shares video: L’Aquila has tourism chops

L’Aquila, Italy, apparently is first out of the blocks with a promotional video intended to win the 2022 WMA outdoor world meet. Other candidates mentioned are Tampere (Finland) and Gothenburg (Sweden). Gianni Lolli, general director and manager of LOC L’Aquila 2022, sent the clip and details. “L’Aquila stands at 721 meters above sea level in the heart of Region Abruzzo, which is its capital,” Gianni says. “It is 100K from Rome and 100K from Pescara on the Adriatic Sea. There will be three tracks and one stadium in which all the throwing events shall take place.” He continued: The track…


Injuries block world-record mile attempts by M50 Tom LeGan, W80 Eve Pell

Tom LeGan’s attempt to break Nolan Shaheed’s M50 WR in the mile – telegraphed here recently — didn’t go down. Tom’s calf did. According to a posting by a Northern California track club, “The Tamalpa Runners had the Tamalpa July Track Meet sanctioned by the USATF in anticipation of 52-year-old Tom LeGan and 81-year-old Eve Pell attempting to break the American and World Age Group Records for the M50-54 and F80-84 Age Groups for the One Mile. “Unfortunately, Eve strained her groin and Tom injured his calf and neither runner was able to run in the Tamalpa July Track Meet….


No USATF money for Malaga-goers: Sponsors are no-shows for 2018 prizes

It’s a false start. Eight months after announcing hopes to hand out money to elite masters headed for Malaga worlds and reward them for medals, national chair Rex Harvey says the plan is a DNS for this year. “We have not been able to find a sponsor, but still working on this for future years,” Rex told me this week. As you may recall from my post on Rex’s report at the Ohio annual meeting, the plan had three parts — “Championships Facilitators, financial support for those ranking in the top six in the world in an event, and awards…


Track guru Paul Merca boning up for Spokane as 12-hour-a-day meet announcer

M55 track writer Paul Merca of Seattle is one gracious guy. He let me win the inaugural TAFWA blogging award in 2009 before swooping in for the honor in 2010 via his site. Now he’s onto another task – announcing Spokane masters nationals (actually Cheney, but whatever). Over the past few days, we’ve chatted about the challenge. He’s well aware he’s filling the superstar shoes of Peter Taylor (rehabbing from a near-stroke experience). But Paul aims to do justice to our niche, cramming daily with the help of Pete, spreadsheets of entries and reviewing this blog. On Facebook this week,…