USA MASTERS TRACK FOLLOWS LAST WEEKEND’S OPEN; MANY ALBUQUERQUE AREA STARS
STANDOUTS INCLUDE PHILIPPA RASCHKER, 2-TIME SULLIVAN FINALIST (ONLY MASTER EVER, JOINING OPEN STARS APOLO OHNO, LEBRON JAMES, AND MICHAEL PHELPS); WORLD CLASS JAZZ MUSICIAN NOLAN SHAHEED PLAYED LEAD FOR DIZZIE GILLESPIE, STEVIE WONDER, MARVIN GAYE, WHILE BEING WORLD CHAMPION DISTANCE RUNNER; ALBUQUERQUE OLYMPIAN TRISH PORTER; AND OLDEST ATHLETES LELAND McPHEE, 96, AND BETTY JARVIS, 95
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Last weekend it was the open athletes, but now the masters take over. 77 reigning indoor world masters champions, 34 current outdoor world masters champions, and Olympians are among over 800 athletes 35 to 96 years old in the USA Track and Field Masters Championships in Albuquerque, NM Friday through Sunday, March 4-6. Media are invited to cover trackside and interview athletes following their competitions. Individual event finals begin 2:15 PM Friday, 10 AM Saturday, and 7:30 AM Sunday, at the Albuquerque Convention Center, 401 2nd Street Northwest, Albuquerque 87102 (I-40 exit 159A ramp to Albuquerque for 4th-2nd St).
Olympians entered include:
W45 Patricia Porter of Albuquerque tied for eighth in the high jump in the Seoul Olympics in 1988 as University of Oregon alumna Trish King. She is married to 1984 and 1988 10K Olympian Pat Porter. Here she'll high jump, long jump, run 60-meter hurdles, and put the shot.
M45 Christopher "Chris" Faulknor: An Olympian for Jamaica in 1988, he was the leadoff leg of his 4x100 relay team, which took fourth and set a national record. He's the founder of the Southern California Running Cougars youth track team and coaches at Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, CA.
The oldest athletes entered are both legends: San Diego's Leland McPhie, 96, and Betty Jarvis of Aberdeen, N.C., 95 hold dozens of records between them. McPhie boasts world records in the high jump, long jump and triple jump in his age group. Jarvis holds 13 American age-group records in the throws.
ATHLETES TO WATCH IN ALBUQUERQUE, By Age Group:
Here are 15 standouts entered at nationals:
M45 Chris Bates: Oregon resident set a stunning world indoor record of 3979 points in the pentathlon at Kamloops a year ago. He's entered in that event here as well as the 60-meter hurdles, high jump and long jump.
M50 Bruce McBarnette: Virginia resident is the defending world outdoor and indoor champion. A 2010 inductee to the USATF Masters Hall of Fame, he has raised the age-group American record in the outdoor high jump at least 11 times. It's currently at 1.94 meters (6-4 1/4). He also holds the indoor M50 record of 1.93
M60 Bill Collins: Moving into a new age group, the Texan who boasts several world masters sprint records will go after new age-group bests in the 60, 200 and 400 meters. Outdoors, he owns world 100-meter records in three age groups. He'll try to add the M60 indoor 60 record to his M55 WR.
M60 Nolan Shaheed: World class jazz musician, played lead trumpet for Dizzie Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye. Southern Californian shared male USATF Masters Athlete of the Year honors in 2010 (with Ralph Maxwell) and should duck under the 5-minute barrier in the mile, where he holds the world indoor record of 4:57.06. He's already run 4:58.21 this season. He's also entered in the 800 and 3000.
M65 Stephen Robbins: Ohio resident and business-management textbook author is a 2005 inductee in the USATF Masters Hall of Fame, having won countless sprint titles on the world level and set many records. He's entered in the 60 and 200. He holds the American record in the 60 of 8.04 seconds and also is entered in the 200.
M90 Ralph Maxwell: Texan shared Male USATF Masters Athlete of the Year award in 2010 after setting world records in the indoor 60 hurdles and the outdoor 80- and 200-meter hurdles. At Albuquerque, he'll run the hurdles as part of the pentathlon and also is entered in the 60, 200, high jump, long jump, triple jump, pole vault and shot put.
M90 Orville Rogers: Another Texan will challenge Maxwell in the 60, 200 and shot put and also will compete in his better events — the 400, 800, mile and 3000. Orville holds M90 world indoor records in the 800 (4:19.97) and mile (9:56.58).
W45 Renee Henderson: New Jersey resident, a Lahti world champion in 2009, is the top-ranked in America in all sprint events and is entered in the 60 and 200. She holds American indoor records in the 60, 200 and 400 and American outdoor records in the 100 and 200.
W50 Liz Palmer: Northern Californian set American outdoor record in the 80-meter hurdles last summer and will be going after Phil Raschker's age-group American record in the 60-meter hurdles of 9.38 seconds. At an outdoor all-comers meet in February, she ran the 60 hurdles in 9.36. She's also entered in the 60 and 200.
W50 Oneitha "Neni" (pronounced knee-knee) Lewis: The New Yorker was named overall USATF Masters Athlete of the Year in 2010 on the strength of an incredible debut year in the W50 age group. She shattered world records in the hammer, weight and throws pentathlon. She also topped the American records in the superweight and ultraweight pentathlon. She's entered in the shot put, weight throw and superweight — and will face competition from world champion Carol Finsrud.
W55 Rita Hanscom: The San Diegan broke the world heptathlon record, won a fistful of gold medals at the Lahti world championships in 2009, and finished the year by being named IAAF Masters Athlete of the Year. She resumed her title chase in 2010, winning four gold medals and a silver at Kamloops. Here she's entered in the 60, 200, 400, 60 hurdles, high jump, pole vault, long jump and pentathlon.
W60 Phil Raschker: The Hall of Famer from Marietta, Georgia —twice over the past six years a Sullivan Award finalist as America's top athlete—along with Apolo Ohno, Lebron James, and Michael Phelps -- and the most decorated masters athlete in history — made news off the track in late 2010 by posing nude (tastefully) for ESPN the Magazine's second annual Body Issue. She won ten gold medals at the World Masters Championships in 2007 and nine medals in the 2010 Indoor Worlds including seven golds. She's entered here as F60 in seven events (60, 200, 60 hurdles, high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump).
W65 Nadine O'Connor: The suburban San Diegan and Hall of Famer holds the world record in the outdoor 100 meters, and her vault marks are so off the charts that she regularly beats women 15 years her junior. In 2009, she scored the highest point total in the decathlon of anyone on earth: 10,234 points under an old scoring system. Here she's entered in the 60, 200, 60 hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put and pentathlon.
W70 Kathy Bergen: The Southern Californian and Hall of Famer set world records in the high jump in 2010. But she's better known as a sprinter. In fact, she's the fastest woman over 70 in the world and her 2010 world outdoor record for 100 meters (14.76 seconds) was run into a wind. Here she's entered in the 60, 200 and high jump.
W75 Mary Harada: The Massachusetts resident and Hall of Famer ran an indoor mile in 8:21.50 in January — 5 seconds under the listed world record. Her outdoor world age-group record of 7:55.74, set last June, shows she has potential to go sub-8 in Albuquerque. She's also entered in the 800 and 3000.
Dan Ballou, Director of Sports Marketing for the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau, said, "We fully expect to put on a first class event for the athletes. Albuquerque is becoming a hotbed of indoor track and field at the national level, and having the 2011 USATF Masters Championship is another example." The co-meet directors are Rick Miller and Rich Ceronie.
LOCAL ATHLETES TO WATCH (From Rick Miller, co-meet director):
1. Trish (Patricia) Porter of Albuquerque, Women's High Jump many times record holder and former Olympian.
2. Paul Economides (M65) has lived in Albuquerque since 1978. He is entered in the shot, weight throw and super weight throw. He holds the American m65 weight pentathlon and discus records. He also holds the M65 World record for the weight pentathlon. He won the M60 weight throw at the World Masters Championship in Riccione Italy (2007).
3. Brad Winters (M 55), is entered in and is a M50 indoor national championship winner of the Pole Vault and a current Masters athlete. He is a city councilman in Albuquerque and is one of the persons responsible for bringing the indoor track to Albuquerque and finding/providing the facility.
4. Lisa Valle (W-40), middle distance runner and Masters record holder and champion. She won Women's exhibition 1500 in last years Senior Indoor Championships here in Albuquerque. (Pete Taylor adds:) Lisa Valle (W40) of Albuquerque(triple gold at Lahti worlds, world outdoor record holder in W40 steeplechase) is a big star, although so far she has little name recognition outside of our sport.
5. Jamie Cook, a masters weight thrower. One of the driving forces for the indoor facility.
For schedule of events, athletes list, and other information:
For media trackside athlete interviews and more information, contact Bob Weiner, USATF National Masters Media Chair, at email@example.com or cells 202-306-1200 or 202-329-1700. Media may arrange advance credentialing or see Bob trackside and show media organization credentials.
SOURCE USATF Masters Media Committee and Robert Weiner Associates