Rex Harvey

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…


National Senior Games age-group rules debated: Should USATF practice apply?

Kathy Bergen doesn’t turn 80 until late December, and Brenda Matthews doesn’t turn 70 until early July. But at last week’s National Senior Games in Albuquerque, Kathy won W80 sprints and Brenda won W70. For those in the parallel USATF masters circuit, this is crazy. In Senior Olympic state, regional and national events, it’s par for the quirky course. As I’ve explained to newbies for decades, USATF (and World Masters Athletics) assigns your age group based on your actual age on the first day of a given meet. (This leads to some folks aging up in the middle of the…


At least 9 Americans take home $1,000 in USATF prize money from Torun worlds

Despite the USATF misreading of the Torun medals table (Yanks were fourth, not second in overall medals at worlds), it appears Team USA was ounce-for-ounce the best squad in Poland. “The main goal was to win the most overall medals which, this time, proved to be quite impossible with the home team Poland, and the next door country Germany having over four and nearly three times as many athletes entered as we,” said national masters chair Rex Harvey. “However, Team USATF-Masters did win more gold medals than anyone but Germany in the most successful WMA Indoor Championship ever. We couldn’t…


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…


Should 90-year-old lose world record for eating tainted meat? USA Cycling loses its marbles

The sport of cycling, like the nation of Germany, is rightfully ashamed of its doping history. But that has led to some crazy superstrict policies. One has gotten a lot of attention: the loss of an M90 world record in the 2-kilometer individual pursuit at the unfortunately named Masters Track National Championships. (My local paper reported the case without mentioning the sport!) Carl Grove of Indiana, the gent who accepted a public warning, apparently ate contaminated meat the night before his July WR. USA Cycling drug-tests everyone who sets a world record. The Guardian newspaper said: “Grove told the Associated…


USATF racing clock to inform world-classers of potential $2,000 Toruń travel grants, prize money

It’s only taken 50 years, but USA masters athletes are finally getting serious financial help from their governing body. As told in my deep-dive story for Times of San Diego, more than 300 eligible Americans as old as 103 can claim up to $1,000 for travel to Toruń worlds this March, and they can bring home up to an additional $1,000 for medals — $400 for gold, $200 for silver and $100 for bronze. Relay team members, too. The overall budget is $125,000, including $25,000 pledged by a mystery donor. I contacted masters national chair Rex Harvey and a dozen…


Special Report: John Seto’s mastersrankings.com raised $244,000 in 3 years, still got USATF grants

An argument can be made that John Seto has done more to turbocharge masters track than anyone since David Pain ran his Johnny Appleseed track tours of Europe and Oceania in the 1970s and Al Sheahen spotlighted the sport via National Masters News. After growing his site, mastersrankings.com, for a decade, John won our highest honor a year ago — induction into the USATF Masters Hall of Fame. John wasn’t coy about his commitment, saying he worked 10-12 hours a day. He wasn’t shy about asking for donations, either. And in July 2015, he won nonprofit OK from the IRS….


USATF could end masters club scoring (titles at indoor, outdoor nationals) under rule proposal

Last January, the WMA Competition Committee issued the world body’s “Rules of Competition 2018-2020.” Buried within, under Scoring, is Rule 151.1: “There shall be no overall Team Championships.” That appears to mean that WMA meets won’t score national teams for the purpose of identifying the top teams. OK fine. But since USATF likes to stay in step with World Masters Athletics, a rule proposal at the Columbus annual meeting this week aims to update USATF rules to end club scoring at masters nationals. (See team results from Maryland indoor nationals and Spokane outdoor nationals.) Ruh roh. That won’t win cheers…


Help save our memories: Contribute materials to 10-year-old mastershistory.org

I must have been napping. But I failed in February to mark the 10th anniversary of mastershistory.org — our worldwide geezertrack museum. This year’s updates have been slim, however, since we’ve exhausted the Al Sheahen archive. So now we’re launching an effort to crowd-source materials from others. Masters History subcommittee chair Jeff Davison recently visited national masters chair Rex Harvey in Arizona, who is making available some of his papers, including newsletters of the Over The Hill Track Club in Ohio. And yet some basic materials are still missing. For example, USATF Masters T&F Records czar Jeff Brower needs complete…