Americans Set Early Records
Leading the way in a record-setting US indoor season Kathy Bergen attended the USATF Masters Southwest Region Indoor Championships in Houston. New to the W80 age group, Bergen set the first of her eventual three World Age Group Records at the meet. She ran the 60m in 10.02 (prior mark: 10.37 by Irene Obera) then continued her winning ways with a 200m WAGR win in 35.56 (prior best: 36.53 by Obera) followed by a 1.20m WAGR in the high jump (prior mark: 1.08m by Rosemary Chrimes).
W85 Flo Meiler also bested the listed WAGR in the high jump with her .89m effort at the New England Association Indoor Masters Championships in Rhode Island, January 26. In addition Meiler pole-vaulted a 1.65 WAGR becoming the first woman in that age division to record an indoor mark.
Rounding out the ‘awesome octogenarians’ early-season feats, M80 Don Isett vaulted 2.77m at the Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada, resetting the listed World Age Group Record of 2.75m.
Relay teams showed early prowess as several of them took down long-standing World Age Group Records, some completely smashing them.
On January 25 at the Bill Butterworth Indoor meet in Wichita, Kansas, The M70 SoCal Track Club squad of Gary Patton, Tim Wigger, Grady Cash and Nolan Shaheed ran the 4×800 in 10:57.99 destroying the listed WAGR of 11:33.66 set in 2014.
Equally impressive, the Southwest Sprinters Track Club M50 squad of Edward Winslow, Marek Wensel, Tony Echeandia and Khalid Mulazim ran 3:37 in the 4×400 at the Millrose Games in New York, beating the old mark 2016 mark of 3:39.27
The M45 team of Michael Jackson, David Bynoe Sr. and brothers Kyle and Kareem Lanier, racing for TNT International Racing Club, ran the 4×800 in 9:51.95 at the East Region Indoor Masters Championships in Landover, Maryland beating the listed 2019 World Age Group Record of 12:02.12 by over two minutes.
Mark Neff, Jeff Duyn, Bruce Becker Jr. and David Sullivan of the Athletics East Track Club ran a 10:37.05 4×800 in 10:37.05 in Landover, Maryland setting a fresh M55 WAGR for that age group.
Although not noted for competing in Masters events, both M60 Anselm LeBourne and W35 Jenn Shur set World Age Group Records in their respective events; the 800m for LeBourne (2:13.34) and the pole vault (4.85m) for 2012 Olympic gold medalist Shur.
Additionally, seven US Age Group Records have been set so far this indoor season and one has been set thus far outdoors.
In an impressive battle at the USA Masters Indoor Heptathlon & Rex Harvey Invitational
W45 Angela Herzner tallied 5203 points, eclipsing the old USAGR mark of 4663. Also breaking the former US record, Anne Sluder scored 5179. Herzner also put the shot 13.33m, resetting the former USAGR of 13.17m, set by the legendary Neni Lewis fifteen years ago.
A pair of 3000m marks were rewritten by W50 Karolyn Bowley, who ran 10:11.03 at Boston University’s Mini Meet #3, and M75 Paul Perry’s 12:18.49 February 9th in New York, which upended Doug Goodhue’s 2019 12:29.32.
On January 19th W85 Gloria Krug threw the 16-pound superweight 5.52m in Landover, Maryland, which beat her own USAGR of 5.39m set in 2017.
Another relay record fell, this time to the W50 team of Dominique Saint-Louis, Judy Stobbe, Jen Harvey and Sue McDonald, who ran the 4×800 in 10:12.69 at the John Thomas Terrier Classic in Boston. Their new USAGR beat the former mark by nearly twelve seconds.
And, finally, on the 1st of February, Sue McDonald, W55, ran the 400m in 64.08 at a USATF-sanctioned Westmont College meet, lowering her own American Age Group Record of 64.37 set in 2018.
With a WMA World Championship looming later in the year in Toronto, it appears the US Masters team is definitely priming for success.
Note: No USATF/WMA records are official until ratified and approved