Team USATF Masters Torun Day Four

Team USATF Masters Torun Collects Another 22 Medals on Day Four at the WMA Indoor Championships; Including One World Record and One American Record


Team USATF Masters continued its excellent showing at the World Masters Athletics World Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland on Wednesday, March 27, as 21 US athletes claimed a total of 22 medals. This increased the total  US medal count to 76. Highlights of the day were the World Record set by Irene Obera (W85, Fremont, CA) in the 60 meter dash with a time of 12.28 seconds, breaking the old mark of 12.57 of Sweden’s Nora Wedemo set in 2001, and the American record , by Damon Blakemore (M55, Houston, TX0 in the pentathlon with a score of 4225 points, topping his own previous record set in Landover, MD in 2018.

Another highlight was the performances by American sprinters in the 60m dash finals where the total haul was 12 medals, including six golds, two silvers, and four bronzes. In addition to Obera, the gold medal performances came from Emma McGowan (W50, Sugar Hill, GA) in a time of 8.28 seconds, Bob Lida (M80, Wichita, KS) in a time of 9.60 seconds, Charles Allie (M70, Pittsburgh, PA) in a time of 8.18 seconds, Thomas Jones (M65, Glendale, MD) in a time of 7.92 seconds, and Karnell Vickers (M50, Acworth, GA) in a time of 7.29 seconds. Silver medal winners in the 60m were Rose Green (W80, Upper Marlboro, MD), reprising her second place in the 400m with a time in the 60m of 11.02 seconds, and Jeff Laynes (M45, Oakland, CA) in a time of 7.22 seconds. The bronze medalists in the 60m were Joy Upshaw (W55, Lafayette, CA) running 8.53 seconds, Easter Grant (W35, Toney, AL) clocking 8.00 seconds, Bill Jankovich (M85, Racine WI) who interrupted his gold medal winning performance in the pentathlon to run the 60m in 11.63 seconds, and Rondrick Parker (M35, Hardeeville, SC), whose time of 6.943 was less than 1/100th of a second out of second place and just 4/1000ths of a second ahead of fourth in a blanket finish that saw second through fifth place separated by just 2/100ths of a second.

Other gold medalists for Team USATF on Day Four included the aforementioned Bill Jankovich who scored 2917 points, Heide Moebius (W80, Lancaster, PA) who repeated her gold medal winning performance in Monday’s cross country race with a gold in the 10k road race (1:00:27), and Dawn Grunnagle (W40, Dallas TX) who won her 10k in a lifetime best of 34:24.

Winning silver medals were Gregory Mitchell (M45, McMinnville, OR) in the 10k road race (32:25), Gloria Krug (W85, New Oxford, PA) in the javelin (11.46m), Tamara Alegria-Dybvig (W60, Tucson, AZ) also in the javelin (29.47m), Roger Vergin (M80, The Villages, FL) in the pentathlon (3335 points), and Jon Dahlin (M35, Plymouth, MN) in the weight throw (16.27m).

The lone American bronze medalist outside the 60m on Day Four was Ed Kent (M80, Meridian, ID) in the javelin (20.14m).

As the M35 weight throw concluded, with Jon Dahlin capturing a silver medal, he suffered a heart attack and collapsed; quick action by the Polish paramedics saved his life, and he is recovering in St. Josefa Hospital in Torun, with his wife Billie Jo by his side, with help from former MTF Chair George Mathews (M75, Edmonds, WA) and newcomer James Druzdzel (M40, Vancouver, WA), who was born in Poland and speaks fluent Polish. At the Team USATF Social Hour on Wednesday evening a collection was taken up to help the Dahlin’s with the additional expenses that will be involved in their extended stay in Poland and a Go Fund Me page has been set up to help them as well:

After four days, Team USATF stands in fourth place in the official overall medal standing with 76 medals, trailing Great Britain and Northern Ireland by just three medals. Leading the pack is Germany with 149 medals, followed by host Poland with 102. Spain and Finland round out the top six with 57 and 46 medals respectively.

Thursday’s highlighted events will be the finals in the 800 meters and the heats in the 200m, as well as a variety of throwing and jumping events.

Compiled by:
Sandy Triolo, MTF Communications Subcommittee Chair (
Jerry Bookin-Weiner, MTF Vice Chair (
Amanda Scotti MTF Secretary (