Ames nationals

At Ames Masters Nationals, Flo Meiler Continues World Record Spree as 87-Year-Old

With meet organizers and USATF enchiladas spiking their “wear green or red wristbands” edict on vaccination status, USATF Masters nationals opened Thursday at Ames, Iowa — the first major meet since 2019 Ames nationals in 2019. Thankfully, competition supplanted controversy. While waiting (likely in vain) for USATF brass to answer my wristband questions, check out photos by Rob Jerome and highlights of Day 1, graciously provided by Mike Mahon: Ames, Iowa — Florence Meiler (Sprinticity/Shelburne, Vt.), 87, set two age-group world masters records to highlight the first day of competition at the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships Thursday on the campus…


Vax wristbands lead ace photographers Dave Albo, Rob Jerome to bail out of shooting Ames masters nationals

Dave Albo is one of the great track photographers of our day — not just a nifty M65 shooter of geezers at masters nationals who runs a mean 400. On Saturday, he asked my opinion of whether he should bow out of shooting Ames nationals this coming week on account of its recently posted COVID-19 protocols — which include mandatory wristbands. Athletes must show their vaccination status — wearing green bands for having gotten their shots and red for not. (Ames picked up the baton after sizzling Sacramento, the original 2021 nationals site, got cold feet over COVID spreading potential.)…


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…


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…