CLEVELAND, OHIO -- As the competition on the final day of the 2011 USA Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships came to a close, so did the high-flying assault on the record books by Johnnye Valien and Paul Babits.
Johnnye rockets to record
Johnnye Valien, of Los Angeles, Calif., set the American record in the W85 high jump with a clearance of .90m/2-11.5. She surpassed her previous record of .84m/2-9 set earlier this month in Sacramento. Training in the searing heat of California, Valien arrived in Cleveland prepared to endure four straight days of intense summer competition.
Valien, who competes for the SC Striders Track Club, capped off a tremendously successful meet that included two additional gold medals in the long jump (1.85m/6-1) and shot put (6.32m/20-9). On day three, in one of the fastest W85 100m finals ever, both Patricia Peterson and Valien broke the previous American record, running 22.38 and 22.82, respectively.
Babits barely misses world record
Paul Babits’ second attempt at 4.77m/15-7.75 in the M50 pole vault was the closest he came to bettering his own world record of 4.76m/15-7.25. Babits, of Fort Wayne, Ind., finished the competition with a clearance of 4.60m/15-1 - good enough for gold by more than half a meter.
His illustrious pole vaulting career, which includes an Olympic Trials berth, began as a young child when his father encouraged him to vault over a fence using a bamboo stick. More than 35 years later, Babits has the highest M50 vault in the history of the sport.
Peterson flirts with own American Record
Patricia Peterson, of Albany, N.Y., nearly broke her own pending American record in the W85 200m. Earlier this month in Sacramento, Calif., Peterson ran a time of 51.43 to demolish the previous W85 record of 60.31 held by Carol Peebles.
During today’s competition, Peterson ran the W85 200m in 51.73, winning the gold medal and coming incredibly close to her own American record. During her championship heat, Peterson was pulled along by a younger field of runners 10-15 years her junior.
97 year old wins eight golds
Leland McPhie, of San Diego, Calif., put on a one-man show as he won three gold medals today and eight over the four days of competition. He emerged victorious in the M95 long jump (1.0l2m/3-4.25), shot put (4.96m/16-3.25), weight throw (4.63m/15-2), 100m (30.86), triple jump (2.76m/9-0.75), high jump (.70m/2-3.5), discus (9.76m/32-0) and javelin (8.14m/26-8). McPhie, who competes for the So Cal Track Club, braved the sun and relentless heat to accumulate his haul of gold medals.
American relay records set during day four include:
M70-79 shuttle hurdles – Over The Hill TC ‘B’
- Barry Kline (Washington, Pa.), John Sloan (Hartville, Ohio), Charles Bartholomew (Mercer, Pa.) and Grover Coats (Warrensville Heights, Ohio) – 1:10.70
M80-89 4x100m – Over The Hill TC ‘E’
- Jack Greenwald (Seville, Ohio), George Riser (Lyndhurst, Ohio), John Means (Richmond Heights, Ohio) and George Roudebush (Chardon, Ohio) – 1:26.38
W30-39 4x100m - Carolinas Track Club ‘A’
- Anne Sluder (Pineville, N.C.), Kris Kazebee (Charlotte, N.C.), Melanie Walker (Lawndale, N.C.) and Toccata Murphy (Alexis, N.C.) – 53.52
W30-39 4x400m – Over The Hill TC ‘A’
- Belinda McCoy (Cleveland, Ohio), Joslyn Coats (Oakwood Village, Ohio), Susan Isabella (Highland Heights, Ohio) and Mya Sullivan (Garfield Heights, Ohio) – 5:14.52
W50-59 shuttle hurdles – non-club
- Kay Glynn (Hastings, Iowa), Linda Lowery (Decatur, Ga.), Jo Phelps (Chesapeake, Va.) and Kathleen Shook (Zionsville, Ind.) – 1:08.75
Ohio athletes who won national championships on day four of competition:
M30 - Timothy Budic, Berea, Ohio, 1500m, 4:07.03
M35 – Omar Nash, Cincinnati, Ohio, 10,000m race walk, 51:34.50
M45 – Khalid Mulazim, Cleveland, Ohio, 200m, 22.69
M45 – Jonathan Bartos, Waynesville, Ohio, pole vault, 4.35m/14-3.25
M50 – Derek McKinley, Hudson, Ohio, 400m hurdles, 1:04.65
M60 – Chris Schmid, Wooster, Ohio, 10,000m race walk, 52:25.50
M65 – Stephen Robbins, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 200m, 26.01
M80 – Jack Shuter, Worthington, Ohio, 10,000m race walk, 1:35:08.90
M80 – Jack Greenwald, Seville, Ohio, 200m, 35.59
M85 – George Riser, Lyndhurst, Ohio, discus, 26.78m/87-10
M85 – George Riser, Lyndhurst, Ohio, 200m, 41.27
M85 – Denver Smith, Louisville, Ohio, javelin, 24.12m/79-1
M90 – John Means, Richmond Heights, Ohio, 200m, 41.60
W60 - Barbara Broad, Pepper Pike, Ohio, 1500m, 5:28.70
W60 - Mary Hartzler, Gahanna, Ohio, javelin, 26.98m/88-6
TOP FIVE TEAM SCORES:
1. TNT International Racing Club 674
2. So Cal Track Club 556
3. Over The Hill TC 413.50
4. Atlanta Track Club 326
5. Potomac Valley Track Club 272
For full results of the USA Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships, visit www.usatf.org.