U.S. dominates 100m on day four of World Masters
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. - Team USA proved its dominance in the short sprints on the fourth day of the 2011 WMA World Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Americans took home a total of 33 medals in the 100m, including 13 golds.
Leading the way for the U.S. was Patricia Peterson of Albany, N.Y. who set an American record in the W85 age division with her time of 22.30. Fremont, Calif. native Irene Obera's performance in the W75 race was another highlight as she improved her own American record, running a 16.09.
Former Olympian and Chicago Bears Superbowl champion Willie Gault (Encino, Calif.) ran the fastest time on the track for the day with a 10.96 in the M55 division. Gault's time was just eight hundredths of a second off his own world record which he set earlier this year at the Occidental Invitational in Los Angeles, Calif.
Stephen Robbins (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) crossed the line in 12.77 in the M65 division, edging out teammates Kenton Brown (Austin, Texas) and Stanley Whitley to lead a U.S. sweep. Ralph Peterson's (Oakland Calif.) time of 12.56 topped a dominant U.S. field in the M60 category, where Americans claimed the top five places. The M55 race was another sweep for the U.S., with Oscar Peyton (Accokeek, Md.) running a 11.89 to take home the gold.
Starkey vaults to new American record
Former professional track and field athlete Jill Starkey of Queen Creek, Ariz. bettered the W40 pole vault American record in her masters competition debut. Starkey, who finished fourth at the 1999 USA Outdoor Championships, won with a clearance of 3.45m/11-3.75.
"It was a good competition, strong crosswind" Starkey said. "The competitors were great. I probably should have been on some bigger poles, but that's alright."
For Starkey, pole vaulting is a family tradition. Her husband, Dean, was the 1997 World champion in the event and has a lifetime best of 5.92m/19-5, and her son, Garrett, ranked sixth among high school juniors this season after recording a best of 5.02m/16-6.
"I was [in Sacramento] back in the 2000 Olympic Trials, and I made the finals" she said. "So it's nice to be back again. It's a lot of fun."
U.S. sweeps M50 high jump
Bruce Mcbarnette of Sterling, Va. won his ninth World Masters championship title with a victory in the M50 high jump. Mcbarnette, along with teammates Tom Foley (Chesterfield, Mo.) and Greg Vidos (Lafayette, La.), cleared the bar at 1.81m/5-11.25, but Mcbarnette took the top spot on the podium based on number of attempts.
"We've been blessed in the United States with some top high jumpers right now," Mcbarnette said. "We had three other jumpers who were in the competition for the United States who also finished very high as well."
While Mcbarnette is a seasoned veteran of the World Masters meet, Foley and Vidos are newcomers.
"For me, it's a great experience because i really never had an opportunity to experience anything on this stage in my youth," Vidos said. "So it's good to come back and make it up now."
All three athletes hope to continue competing with each other and take home more medals in the future.
"It's nice to run into each other at other meets, and the camaraderie is just top notch," Foley said. "We help each other out."
Other U.S. event winners from today's competition include the following:
-Linda Cohn, W55 triple jump (8.96m/29-4.75)
-Dmitry Piterman, M45 triple jump (13.88m/45-6.5)
-Helen Croskell, W35 pole vault (7-6.5)
-Johnnye Valien, W85 shot put 6.19m/20-3.75
-James Barrineau, M55 high jump (1.78m/5-10)
-Kathy Bergen, W70 100m (14.90)
-Albert Williams, M70 100m (13.35)
-Sharon Warren, W60 100m (14.53)
-Joy Upshaw, W50 100m (12.95)
-Renee Henderson, W45 100m (12.36)
-Donna Lawrence, W40 100m (12.82)
-Dena Birade, W35 100m (12.36)
-Carol Finsrud, W50 discus throw (39.95m/131-1)
-Mark Landa, M35 discus throw (45.20m/148-3)