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Samuelson blasts AR at Masters Indoors; 4 WRs fall


Jill Geer
Chief Public Affairs Officer
USA Track & Field
(508) 520-1529

BOSTON – Four pending world records and 11 pending American records – including a new American record by Joan Benoit Samuelson in the women’s 45-49 3,000 meters – highlighted a strong first day of competition Friday at the 2003 USA Track & Field Masters Indoor Championships at the Reggie Lewis Center.

Samuleson, 45, of Freeport, Maine, annihilated the American record in the women’s 45-49 age group with her time of 10 minutes, 2.55 seconds, beating Joni Shirley’s previous AR of 11:06.77, which had stood since 1992. The inaugural women’s marathon gold medalist at the 1984 Olympic Games, Samuelson is a two-time Boston Marathon winner and still holds the American record for the marathon with her 2:21:21 from 1985.

Samuelson lauded the performances of the other athletes in her race as well as the women of all ages she saw competing in the throws, pole vault and pentathlon, calling them “an inspiration.” Although her training this winter has consisted primarily of cross-country skiing, Samuelson said she had run “two and a half track workouts in the last two weeks” to train for Friday’s race.

“This was my first indoor track race in 20 years, so I felt like a duck out of water,” said Samuelson, who burst onto the world scene in 1979 when she won the Boston Marathon. “I was intrigued by this meet because it’s a national championship. This is where I launched my career, but I’m not ready to end my career just yet.”

Samuelson still competes competitively in road racing, including the 2000 Olympic Trials and the 2002 Chicago Marathon.

Popularly known as “Boston Billy” thanks to his local background and his four wins at the Boston Marathon, 55-year-old Bill Rodgers of Sherborn, Mass., placed third in the men’s 55-59 3,000 meters with a time of 10:03.57. Harold Nolan, 56, of Navesink, N.J., won the race in 9:50.86. “Any time you have someone of that caliber in the race, it’s in the back of your mind wondering if you can stay with him or beat him,” said Nolan, who scored his second career victory over Rodgers.

It was the well-known veteran masters athletes who turned in the biggest performances of the day with numerous world and American records. 56-year-old Phil Raschker of Marietta, Ga. – among the best-known masters athletes in the world – posted the best performance of any age in the women’s pentathlon with a 55-59 age-group world record of 4,822 points. En route to breaking her own pentathlon record, Rashker opened the pentathlon with a world record of 9.84 in the 60-meter hurdles and an American record of 1.46 meters/4 feet, 9.5 inches in the high jump. Raschker strained her left leg while attempting a world record 1.49 meters in the high jump but continued through the competition to break the record, despite her injury. “Without the injury I felt I could have broken 5,000 points,” Raschker lamented.

Also breaking a world record was Lenore McDaniels in the women’s 75-79 pole vault with a mark of 1.71 meters/5 feet, 7.5 inches. “I wanted to get 6 feet, but this wasn’t bad for my first competition of the year,” said the Virginia Beach resident, who turned 75 on March 6. McDaniels also will compete in the long jump, triple jump, high jump and 60 meters in Boston.

Evelyn Wright (66, Annapolis, Md.) set a world and American record for women’s 65-70 high jump with a mark of 1.28m/4-2.25

Records tumbled in weight throw competition. Setting American records on the men’s side were 61-year-old Dartmouth College head track and field coach Carl Wallin of Lebanon, N.H., in the 61-to-64 group (18.84m/61-9.75); 75-year-old Val McGann of Naples, Fla., in the 75-79 (12.84m/42-1.5); and 85-year-old David Schlohauer of Westport, Maine in the 85-89 (10.34m/33-11).

Setting women’s American record in the weight throw were 42-year-old Oneithea Lewis of Bayside, N.Y. in 40-44 (17.12/56-2); 73-year-old Lillian Snaden of Florence, S.C. in 70-74 (8.25m/27-0.75); and 87-year-old Betty Jarvis of Tahlequah, Okla. in 85-89 (5.58m/18-3.75)

Setting American records in other events were Barbara Jordan (67, South Burlington, Vt.) in the women’s 65-69 60m hurdles (13.01); Marie-Louise Michelsohn (61, Stony Brook, N.Y.) in the women’s 60-64 3,000m (12.96); and Lloyd Slocum (70, South Portland, Maine) in the men’s 70-74 3,000m (11:09.53).

All records are pending.

The Masters Indoor Championships continue Saturday and Sunday at the Reggie Lewis Center.

For complete results from the Masters Indoor Championships, visit

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