U.S. dominates relays on last day of World Master
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. - Team USA collected 17 first-place finishes in the relays, including four world records and two American records, as competition at the 2011 WMA World Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships came to a close.
In the W75 4x100m, the team of Irene Obera, Barbara Jordan, Christel Donley and Flo Meiler bettered the world record for their age division by four seconds. The previous record was set by a U.S. relay team that included current masters standouts Johnnye Valien and Patricia Peterson back in 2008.
Another 4x100m world record fell in the M60 race, as Team USA clocked a time of 47.93 to edge the previous record set by Germany 12 years ago. The record-setting team included four of the top finishers in the M60 100m final -- Ralph Peterson, Thaddeus Wilson, Charles Allie and Leo Sanders.
The U.S. M50 4x400m team had its sights set on the world record from the get-go and came through the line in a time of 3:31.76 to surpass the previous record of 3:35.31 set by Great Britain in 2008. Michael Sullivan, the M50 400m and 200m champion, was supported by Corey Moody and Ray Blackwell who topped the podium with him in the quarter-mile and 400m hurdle winner Darnell Gatling.
The last record of the day was set by the M45 4x400m team of Khalid Mulazim, Duane Gosa, James Lawson and Marcus Shute. Their time of 3:24.84 improved on the previous world record set in April by a relay team that included Mulazim and Shute.
Two American records were set in the 4x100m as well. Brenda Matthews, Kathy Jager, Sharon Warren and Marcella Hale-Hall became the first American W60 relay team to dip under the one-minute barrier with a final time of 58.75. In the M35 race, the team of Demitrius Snaer, Thachvu Ho, Lyndell Pittman and Antwon Dussett finished in a time of 41.89 to better the American record of 42.62 set in 2005.
Valle and Linde set steeplechase records
Lisa Valle and Gunnar Linde each set records in the 2,000m steeplechase, the first track event of the day.
Valle (Albuquerque, N.M.) became the first W45 competitor ever to dip below the seventh minute mark with her winning time of 6:58.89. Valle bested the second place finisher by well over a minute to improve Karen Steen's previous world record of 7:07.49 set in 2009. Earlier in the meet, Valle got her first gold of the meet in the 800m after losing a close battle in the 1,500m with Corinne Debaets.
Linde (Venice, Calif.), who won the M80 2,000m steeplechase at the last World Masters in Lahti, Finland, earned another world title and set an American record in his best event. Linde's time of 11:06.76 improved Dan Bulkley's old record by a margin of 42 seconds.
Ryan earns first gold and WR
Lisa Ryan (Sioux City, Iowa) came out on top of a duel with U.S. teammate Grace Padilla (Los Angeles, Calif.) to earn gold in the W40 2,000m steeplechase and set a world record in the event. Ryan's time of 6:49.58 bested the previous record which was set by W45 steeple winner Valle in Sacramento last year.
"I really have to give the credit to Grace for taking it out because I probably would have been a little more conservative," Ryan said. "I noticed after two laps that I was ahead and I was on on world record pace. So I thought, 'I'm just going to go for it, what do I have to lose.' It all kind of worked out."
Earlier this week, Ryan medaled in the 1,500m which gave her the boost she needed to chase the record.
"The bronze in the 1,500m was what really gave me confidence because I PR'ed by ten seconds," she said. "So I knew that my training was where it should have been for the steeple."
Ryan, who is competing in her first track and field season since high school, has found her niche in the challenging steeplechase race.
"I did hurdles in high school and really loved it, and I did distance in my mid-life," Ryan said. "So I think it's just a natural fit for me. It's a blast to be jumping in the water and jumping over the barriers, so I'm going to do it as long as I can."
Torres tops all marathon runners
Tony Torres (Cedar Glen, Calif.) clocked the best time of all marathon competitors with his time of 2:32:30 in the M40 age division. Torres, who was competing in his first World Masters meet, helped the U.S. to a first place finish in the M40 marathon team standings.
"It was a beautiful course," Torres said. "I was expecting nice hot weather, and it was very cold which is okay. I'm training hard for the [USA Masters Marathon Championships] in Minneapolis in the fall, so this is a good tune-up for me."
Torres started out as a miler and two-miler in high school, and has progressively worked his way up to the 26.2 mile race.
"As I was getting older I was slowing down, so that motivated me to move up," he said. "I've won the San Francisco marathon, the Lake Tahoe Marathn, Oakland marathon, so that's why I'm motivated. I'm still improving at this age."
Other U.S. event winners from today's competition include the following:
Kathy Martin, W55 2,000m steeplechase (8:22.01)
Paul Economides, M65 weight pentathlon (4357)
Ed Burke, M70 weight pentathlon (4508)
Sara Gigliotti, W35 marathon (3:00:43)
Annette Bednosy, W40 marathon (3:01:30)
Christine Kennedy, W55 marathon (3:00.48)
Chad Worthen, M35 marathon (2:35:54)
Tony Torres, M40 marathon (2:32:30)
Terry McCluskey, M60 marathon (2:52:43)
Kaspari, Clark, Cozens, Tuck, M75 4x100m (1:06.48)
Williams, Lida, Sims, Stewart, M70 4x100m (54.07)
Greenfield-Webster, West, Daley, Murphy, W40 4x100m (52.35)
Jace, Walles, Dendy, Roux, W35 4x100m (51.26)
Pierce, Barnum, Laing, Talib, M65 4x400m (4:08.51)
Allie, Blake, Hardison, Sanders, M60 4x400m (3:54.56)
Schoffman, Davis, Hockersmith, Haywood, M55 4x400m (3:49.28)
Roux, Daley, Ryan, Roberts, W40 4x400m (4:03.49)
Prince, Sax, Wensel, Fitzgerald, M40 4x400m (3:23.15)
Lewis, Rosborough, Walles, Dendy, W35 4x400m (4:03.60)
Dussett, Price, Pittman, Batiste, M35 4x400m (3:21.57)