Fast times in 800 meters, Hunter sets world record during third day of USA Masters Outdoor Championships


Jared Slinde
Communications Intern
USA Track & Field

ORONO, MAINE - A number of fast finals in the 800 meter run along with a world record performance by Gary Hunter in the pole vault summarized the third day of competition of the USA Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships here Saturday on the campus of the University of Maine.

More than 1,100 athletes ages 30 to 95+ are in Orono competing in the national championships. The USA Masters Championships continue through Sunday.

Hunter (Fort Wayne, Ind.) cleared 4.75 meters/15 feet 07 inches to win the M50 pole vault national championship and set the world mark. He won the competition by nearly three feet ahead of William Murray (Birmingham, Ala.), who cleared 3.85m/12-07.50.

Upon conclusion of the 800m in the W70 division, Jeanne Daprano believed she had set a world record of her own with a winning time of 3:04.26. Unfortunately, she was misinformed and the world record still stands at 2:59. Her time is a new American record, however.

But it didn't change the performance in Daprano's eyes.

"It's really rewarding," she said. "After competing in track and field for 30 years to still be able to perform at this level is great. That's why we are here."

Daprano now has her sights set on achieving the world record and will make an attempt at it at the World Championships.

"I have three more weeks to train and I am going to target the 800 at the world championships," said Daprano, who set the world record in the 400m dash of 1:18.64 just weeks ago and also owns the world record in the mile (6:47.75). "I don't follow (the records) all that closely. Most of the time I don't really know what they are. All I care is that I have my name in the book of life."

When the men took the track in the 800m finals the crowd was able to view a number of quick performances.

"They've arrived," said Saladin Allah (Piscataway, N.J.) of the depth of numerous age groups in the 800m run. "There is no doubt it has been that way for awhile. From 40 up to 65 it's really tough."

Allah successfully defended his 800m national championship by running 1:59.51 to win the M45 age group. Kevin Forde (Philadelphia, Penn.) won the M40 division in 1:59.17, Mark Wensel (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) won the M35 in 2:00.08 and Frank Condon (Chico, Calif.) set an American Record in the M65 division in 2:17.20.

Allah, the current 800m world record holder of 1:54.18, said the USA Masters Outdoor Championships were his world championships for the year as he is now finished competing for the season. He quickly deemed them a success after also defending his other national title in winning the 400m dash Friday.

Alisa Harvey (Manassas, Va.) proved the women's competition in the 800m can be just as fast as the 11-time NCAA All-American from Tennessee won the W40 division in 2:08.81.

Mark Stickley (Winchester, Va.) took advantage of overcast morning skies and the lowest temperatures of the week to win the M45 10,000m run and was the overall winner in a time of 33:11.65. He finished ahead of Brian Pope, who claimed the M40 division in a time of 33:12:41.

Competition continues Sunday at 7:30 a.m. starting with conclusion of the 200m dash prelims. For more information on the 2007 USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships, including live scoring and webcast, visit