BLOOMINGTON, IND. – After the first day of competition in the 2012 USA Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships, spectators at the Harry Gladstein Fieldhouse on the campus of Indiana University witnessed a total of six world records fall. Competition runs through the weekend and begins at 9 a.m. Saturday.
More than 800 athletes ages 30-95+ plus are competing in the Masters Indoor Championships in preparation for the World Masters Championships scheduled for April 3-8 in Jyvaskyla, Finland.
Establishing world records Friday included: Robert Lida with a time of 1:03.90 in the M75 400m; Phil Raschker in the W65 pentathlon with a score of 4,670 and in the pentathlon 60m hurdles in 10.72; Christa Bortignon in the W75 pentathlon with a score of 4,494 and the pentathlon 60m hurdles in 13.39 and Ralph Maxwell bettered his own world mark in the M90 pentathlon with a score of 4,030.
Additional American records Friday included: Jeanne Daprano in the W70 400m in 1:21.28; Danelle Readinger in the W35 pentathlon with a score of 2,446; Max Green in the M80 3,000m Race Walk in a time of 20:02.76 and Nolan Shaheed in the M60 3,000m run in a time of 9:48.84.
More world marks for Raschker
Phil Raschker didn’t know the answer when she was asked how many world records she currently owns.
“It’s not that many,” she stated modestly. “I think maybe 10. It’s time to start stacking up again.”
Raschker made a move in that direction Friday with another two world marks to her credit. One of the more accomplished athletes in the history of masters track and field in the United States, Raschker has been setting world records for longer than many of the other athletes have been competing. She still holds the W45 indoor high jump world mark, which she established in 1994.
So it becomes difficult for Raschker to keep track of her success.
“The way it started I didn’t think I was going to do it,” she said about the pentathlon record Friday. “But I looked at the scores through four events and saw that I had to run 3:20 to get enough points in the 800 to do it. So I ran comfortably.”
Raschker also consistently sets world records based on the fact that she gives herself multiple opportunities. She will compete in a total of nine different events in Bloomington, which is typical for her. Along with the pentathlon, Raschker will also compete in the 60m, 60m hurdles, 200m, 400m, high jump, long jump, pole vault and triple jump. She won the pole vault Friday with a height of 2.50m/8-2.5.
“I just don’t like to sit down,” she said. “I like to stay busy. I am equally good and equally bad in pretty much all of the events. One year the 100m might be better and another year the 200m might be better. But I just love being here. I love the opportunities.”
Raschker has twice been a finalist for the Amateur Athletic Union Sullivan Award, which annually is awarded to the country’s best amateur athlete. She has also won 10 gold medals at a single Masters World Championships.
Lida sets world mark
When Robert Lida was running 300-meters in 45 seconds consistently during his training he knew the current M75 world record of 1:06.28 would be in jeopardy Friday. Lida left little doubt by shaving more than two seconds off the existing record.
“It was not a very strong record,” Lida admitted. “The outdoor record is 65-something. I’m confident I can run faster. The fact that I ran even splits in this race is not something I am proud of.”
For Lida sprinting is something he has been doing much of his life. His foot speed took him to Kansas University running the 400m and relays. At the age of 40 he started running marathons turning in a personal best of 2:57 and made a return to sprinting beginning at age 43. He will also be competing at the Masters Indoor Championships in the 60m and the 200m. His goal is to break 27 seconds in the 200m, which would establish another world record.
His goal is to improve the world record when he travels to the World Masters Championships.
Dussett wins again
In a meet with dozens of 400m finals, the fastest time of the day was turned in by Antwon Dussett of 49.61 to win the event for M35. Dussett left little to question taking the lead from the gun and consistently extending it through the finish.
A former Olympic Trials qualifier, Dussett turned in times of 21.57 in the 200m and 47.34 in the 400m to claim Masters World Outdoor gold medals in both events in 2011. His top goal now turns to winning both events at the World Masters Indoor Championships.
“I was looking for a 48.5, which would have been the American record,” Dussett said. “I think I can get it. I needed a little extra push. I was hoping to get it on American soil. I’m planning on going to Finland to get gold in both the 200m and 400m.”
Dussett will also compete in the 200m Sunday.
For continuing covers of the Masters Indoor Championships see www.usatf.org and for event results see http://www.usatf.org/events/2012/USAMastersIndoorTFChampionships/schedule.asp.