Olympians, world record holders lead athletes into USA Masters Championships

07-26-2005

Contact:
Melvin Jackson II
Communications Coordinator
USA Track & Field
317-261-0478 x322

INDIANAPOLIS - Olympians Dr. Duncan Macdonald (Honolulu), Trish Porter (Albuquerque, N.M.), Val Barnwell (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Anna Wlodarczyk (Orange, Calif.) and Bud Held (Del Mar, Calif.) will be among the competitors at the 2005 USA Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships Aug. 4-7, on the world's only "Rainbow" track at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. The event will see competition by 800 of the world's best masters track & field athletes, age 30 to 95 years old.

Track events range from 100 meters to 10,000 meters, while field events include the full range of jumps and throws. "World and personal records will be broken on this great track," said meet director and Honolulu resident Mark Zeug. "More than 100 USATF-certified officials, coordinated and assigned by Ron Althoff of Ohio, will be working the meet to ensure a quality experience for the athletes. Equally important, while here in Honolulu, we've made sure that competitors and their families will enjoy a great meet and have the vacation of a lifetime."The meet will include athletes from Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Japan, Romania, Tasmania, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Dr. Macdonald, 56, Oahu's Kailua High cross country and track standout who grew up just ten miles from the Rainbow track in Honolulu, is generally regarded as the greatest runner ever produced in Hawaii. A Stanford alumnus, now an anesthesiologist and cross country and track coach at Honolulu's Punahou High School, Macdonald in 1976 became the first runner to break legendary Steve Prefontaine's American 5,000-meter record with 13:19.40. He competed in the 5,000 at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal and will run the 5,000 on Thursday, August 4, at the 2005 Championships in his first competitive return to the track since recovering from an Achilles injury.

Porter (formerly Trish King before marrying fellow Olympian, distance runner and U.S. cross country champion Pat Porter), one of two women in the world to have jumped 1.76 meters/5-9.25 after reaching the age of 40, heads the field of high jumpers. A neck injury forced Porter, 42, off the track for 11 years, but the 1988 Olympian recovered and set a world record in the 2003 Masters Championships at her alma mater, the University of Oregon.

Barnwell, competing in the men's 45-49 division, hails from Brooklyn, N.Y., and represented Guyana in two Olympics. He brought home gold in the 100 in the last two masters world championships (Puerto Rico, 2003; Brisbane, 2001) and looks to shine on the Rainbow track in the 100 and 200.

Polish Olympian Anna Wlodarczyk, 54, finished fourth in the long jump in the 1980 Moscow Games. Now the coach at Chapman University in California, she won the long jump, triple jump, 80m hurdles, high jump, and heptathlon in the 2003 USA Masters Championships and will be almost impossible to beat in Honolulu.

Franklin "Bud" Held, 77, NCAA javelin champion and 1952 Olympian, was the first to throw the javelin more than 260 feet, breaking a world record in 1953 with a throw of 263 feet, 10 inches. He also improved everyone else's performances by designing an improved and better-balanced javelin.

The 2005 Championships boast world-class athletes spanning all ages, locations and walks of life: from a veterinarian (Dr. Jim Stookey, Potomac Valley, DC Track Club world-record hurdler for men 70-74 from Dickerson, MD) and a California district attorney (Rita Hanscom of San Diego notched 3rd-fastest 200 and 2nd-fastest 60 in 2005 Indoors), to a Mississippi oilman (Emil Pawlik, world-record decathlete 65-69).

Among the prominent entrants:

Trent Lane, 95, the oldest entrant at press time, a farmer who enjoyed a 75-year track and field hiatus, stayed in shape by working on his farm in Baker, La. That regimen that has lifted him to age-group records in the shotput, javelin and discus at the National Senior Games;

Other star competitors include USATF's 2005 BENGAY Masters athlete of the year, Kathy Martin, from Northport, N.Y., the premier 50+ woman in the U.S. in the middle distances;

Nadine O'Connor, the emerging superstar from Del Mar, Calif., who may become the first American over age 60 to break 29 seconds in the 200 dash; David Ashford, the 1981 California state high school champ in the 110-meter hurdles (13.67 seconds), who 22 years later set the world record of 13.73 in the same race for the 40-44 age group;

Aaron Thigpen, who will go after Willie Gault's American masters 40-44 record in the 100 meters (10.73).

46 entrants are from Hawaii.

Media invited for coverage and athlete interviews. For more information or interview requests, please call Bob Weiner at 301-283-0821 (office) / 202-329-1700 (cell), or locate Bob trackside. Media credentials requested. Schedule and entries list available at the web site of the 2005 Championships, http://www.usatf.org/events/2005/USAMastersOutdoorTFChampionships/

Premier athletes confirmed to compete in the 2005 National Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships Aug 4-7, 2005 in Honolulu, HI

Men:

David Ashford, the 1981 California state high school champ (from West Covina HS) in the hurdles, when he ran 13.67. Twenty-two years later he set the still-standing world record of 13.73 for the 110-m hurdles for men 40-44 (both races were with hurdles at 39 inches).

Val Barnwell, who hails from Brooklyn, NY, and represented Guyana in two Olympiads, brought home gold in the 100 in the last two masters world championships (Puerto Rico, 2003; Brisbane, 2001) and looks to shine on the Rainbow track in the 100 and 200 men's 45-49 division.

Bill Collins, 54, the world record holder for men 50-54 in the 100m dash at an otherworldly 10.95 seconds. In 1977 in Dusseldorf, Germany, Collins teamed with US national team members Cliff Wiley, Steve Williams, and Steve Riddick in setting a world mark of 38.03 in the 4 x100 relay. An All-American at Texas Christian University, Collins is the reigning world champion in his age group for 100 and 200 meters.

Franklin "Bud" Held, 77, NCAA javelin champion and 1952 Olympian, was the first to throw the javelin more than 260 feet, breaking a world record in 1953 with a throw of 263 feet, 10 inches. He also improved everyone else's performances by designing an improved and better-balanced javelin. Injuries kept him out of the '56 Games and curtailed his javelin career, but look for Held to compete in the pole vault and discus in Honolulu.

Former Swedish champion Marty Krulee, this year's Penn Relays champ in the 100 for men 45-49 (as well as the 2005 60 dash champ at the indoors), will give world champion Val Barnwell all he wants in the 100 at Honolulu.

Mel Larsen, who set world indoor marks in the 60, 60 hurdles, and 200 dash at the 2005 USA Masters Indoor Championships 80-84 group) threatens to break 31 seconds at Honolulu in the 200. The American mark is 30.89 by the legendary Payton Jordan. Mel already holds the 80-84 long jump record (4.19 meters/13-9).

Dr. Duncan Macdonald, 56, former Olympian and Kailua High standout, is generally regarded as the greatest runner ever produced in Hawaii. In 1976, Macdonald became the first runner to break legendary Steve Prefontaine's American 5,000-meter record of 13:21.87 set in 1974. He competed in the 5,000 at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal and will run the 5,000 on Thursday, August 4 at the 2005 Championships in his first competitive return to the track since recovering from an Achilles injury.

Emil Pawlik, the amiable oilman from Jackson, Miss., who recently set a world masters mark in the decathlon (65-69). Pawlik has few peers in the multi-events (four-time USATF masters athlete of the year in the multi-events) and excels in the high jump and hurdles.

Mark Pope, 42, a distance runner from Oxford, Miss., set American records in both the 3,000 (8:17) and 5,000 (14:36) last year and will be a top favorite in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

Dr. Jim Stookey, possibly the world's fastest veterinary pathologist, even in the 75-79 group. Dr. Stookey holds the world record in the 80m hurdles for men 70-74 (12.99 seconds) and is brilliant in the sprints and jumps as well. Attended veterinary school at Auburn, but now resides in Dickerson, Md.

Aaron Thigpen, who will go after Willie Gault's American masters 40-44 record in the 100 meters (10.73). Thigpen ran a 10.79 at Modesto earlier this year and a 10.34 in 2003. Thigpen, who was ranked fifth in the world in the indoor 60 in 1993 and has been on many national teams, was WAC conference champ in the 100 in 1987.

Robert Thomas, Southwestern Michigan Community College All-American, and winner of the 200 at the World Indoor Masters in 2004 (35-39 group), is the USA Masters Outdoor defending champion at 200 and 400 meters.Women:

Kellie Archuletta, the former standout at Oklahoma (5-time All American), former national 3-mile champ, and 5-time Olympic Trials qualifier should run wild in the women's 40-44 10,000.

Kathy Bergen (65-69 group), the brilliant and maddeningly consistent sprinter who won the 60 at the USA Indoor Masters Championships four years in a row (2000-2003). with less than 1/10 of a second difference between slowest and fastest times. From La Canada, Calif., she also is a record-setting high jumper.

Rita Hanscom, the Deputy district attorney in San Diego, has come from nowhere to run shocking times in the sprints. Among women of all ages in the 2005 Masters Indoor Championships, Hanscom had the 3rd-fastest 200 and 2nd-fastest 60, despite being on the upper side of 50.

Kathy Jager, from Glendale, Arizona, has performed brilliantly in the sprints in recent years and set an indoor mark in the 60 dash (women's 60-64 group) of 8.91 seconds. Raised in Minnesota, she attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.

Betty Jarvis, the "toy cannon", according to masters premier announcer Peter Taylor; Hall of Famer from North Carolina should have no problem with the weight throws in the women's 90-plus age group.

Onithea Lewis and Carol Finsrud highlight the 45-49 group in the weight throws -- Lewis won the open competition shot put at the 2003 Verizon Millrose Games and Finsrud competed in the discus at the 2000 Olympic Trials, even though she is many years out of college (University of Texas).

USATF's 2005 BENGAY Masters athlete of the year, Kathy Martin, from Northport, N.Y., the premier 50+ woman in the U.S. in the middle distances and star of a Nike commercial.

Irene Obera, a world champion from California and member of the inaugural class (1996, with Payton Jordan) of the Masters Hall of Fame. Making a comeback in the women's 70-74 group since "retiring" from the sprinting life (reportedly took up softball!).

Nadine O'Connor, the emerging superstar from California who may become the first American woman age 60+ to break 29 seconds in the 200 dash. She also has pole vaulted 3.10 meters (10-2).

Trish Porter (formerly Trish King before marrying fellow Olympian, distance runner Pat Porter), a 1988 Olympic high jumper and one of two women in the world to have jumped 1.76 meters (5-9 1/4) after reaching the age of 40.

Cherrie Sherrard, a 1964 Olympic hurdler from Vallejo, CA, now competes in discus and shot put. Injuries forced Sherrard, 67, off the track and into field events, but her performances remain outstanding. At the 2005 Senior Games, she won gold in shot with a throw of 31 feet, 10 1/2 inches, a Senior Games age-group record. She also won a bronze in discus.

Karen Steen, women's 40-44 group, a versatile performer from Washington State who won the steeplechase last year in record time and handled the 1500 as well.

Johnnye Valien, a Hall of Famer and world champion out of Tuskegee Institute (Alabama), who now resides in California and should come home loaded with gold in the women's 80-84 age bracket.

Anna Wlodarczyk, the Polish Olympian who finished fourth in the long jump in the 1980 Moscow Games. Now the coach at Chapman University in California, she won the long jump, triple jump, 80m hurdles, high jump, and heptathlon in the 2003 Championships and will be almost impossible to beat in Honolulu (50-54 group).

HAWAII ENTRANTS

Mary Brady, Mililani, 10K

Joni Chin, Honolulu, 100M

Richard Chin, Honolulu, 100

Sai Ching, Honolulu, 400

Vincent Costello, Honolulu, Pentathlon

Patrick Daily, Honolulu, Long Jump

Leslie Davies, Kailua, 200

Joan Davis, Honolulu, Shot Put

Carl Fennema, Honolulu, Shot Put

Don Hardaway, Honolulu, Discus

Marian Harrison, Savannah, 200

Beverlee Hart, Honolulu, 800

Geoff Howard, Honolulu, 10K

Robert Husic, Honolulu, Hammer

Diane Jamain, Honolulu, 100

John Karbens, Honolulu, 400

Linda Kawana, Mililani, 5K RW

V. Ted Leon, Honolulu, 1500

Thomas Lim, Honolulu, 100

Mike Lundblad, Haiku, 5K

Dr. Duncan Macdonald, Honolulu, 5K

Jeanette McCoy, Waipahu, 200

Angie Miyashiro, Hilo, 1500

Stewart Miyashiro, Pahoa, 10K

Richard Moeller, Honolulu, 5K

Ken Mohica, Haleiwa, 5K

Robert Molyneux, Kailua, Hammer

Alan Nakasone, Honolulu, TJ

Kelly Noonan, Waimanalo, 400

Duke Ota, Kapolei, 100

Phillip Oyape, Honolulu, 200

Colin Peters, Honolulu, 5000 RW

Thomas Peterson, Honolulu, 800

Walter Ritte, Kaunakakai, 400

Alex Rodriguez, Honolulu, 5000

Eric Roth, Mililani, Hammer

Steve Sakuma, Aiea, 400 H

Sterling Sasaki, Honolulu, 5000

Basil Scott, Kapaa, 1500

Robyn Staszkow, Honolulu, 400

Britta Staub, Honolulu, 800

Akira Tanaka, Hilo, 100

Val Umphress, Mililani, 5000

Edward Van Pelt, Kailua-Kona, Discus

Craig Young, Honolulu, 5000

Jeannie Young, Honolulu, 1500