News & Notes, Volume 8, Number 100


Tom Surber
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field

USATF Masters Hall of Fame adds eleven

Six active and five old-timer Masters athletes have been elected to the USATF Masters Hall of Fame.

The actives are: Carol Finsrud, Alfred Guidet, Gayle Johnson, Barbara Miller, Austin Newman and Nadine O'Connor.

The old-timers are: Dan Conway, Alfred Funk, Ruth Rothfarb, Dorothy Stock and Herm Wyatt.

The Hall now contains 53 women and 99 men, with 97 inductees representing the discipline of track & field, 41 from long distance running, and 14 from race walking.

Carol Finsrud, a 50-year old thrower from Lockhart, Texas, currently holds three U.S. records of the 18 she set. An 11-time world champion, she holds 43 victories and 11 second-place finishes in USATF masters national championships after the age of 40. She was named Field Athlete of the Year for her age group six times in the last 10 years.

Alfred Guidet, 89, of California City, Calif., set seven world and one U.S. record, mostly in hurdles events. He was the first M55 to break 24 seconds in the 200m, setting a record that stood for two decades. He is an eight-time world champion.

Gayle Johnson, 59, of Columbia, Mo., still holds eight U.S. and one World record of the 14 she set in race walking. She has one indoor title and 14 outdoor crowns in USATF masters national championships. She is a five-time RW athlete of the year for F45/F50.

Barbara Miller, 68, from Modesto, Calif., still has eight of the 10 U.S. records she set at distances from 5 km to the marathon, age-grading for each above 90%. She is a six-time LDR athlete of the year. Her 3:11:57 at the 2000 Boston Marathon is an American Best for W60.

Austin Newman, 92, of Toms River, N.J., set three American and five World Records in the 800/1,500/3,000 in placing first 22 times in national championships. Total knee replacement in January, 2007, enables him to walk without pain after knee problems cut short his running career.

Nadine O'Connor, 65, of Del Mar, Calif., is a pre-eminent women's track and field athlete (10 World Records) who has age-graded seven times over 100%. She has 27 U.S. championship titles and one WMA title. She was named Outstanding Female T&F athlete in 2005 and 2006. She also has several sprint performances in the past two years that age-graded over 100%.

Dan Conway, 68, of Superior, Wis., was a mid-distance runner with a 1,500m to 20-mile range. He set one world and nine U.S. records, all age-grading over 90%, across 15 years (four still stand). He won the IGAL world 10 km title twice, and finished first in 17 U.S. championship events on the track or roads.

Alfred Funk, 93, of Bozeman, Mt., was a distance runner, competing primarily on the track. He set two world and six U.S. records for 800m to 10,000m distances. He won 14 national titles, four WMA regional events, and two WMA world events across a 16-year career that ended in 2000.

Ruth Rothfarb, of Miami Beach, Fla., died at the age of 96. She was an 11-time LDR runner of the year who set eight U.S. records at distances from 5 km to the marathon. On the track at Christchurch, New Zealand, she won the 400m, 800m, 1500m, and 10,000m, while placing as the runner up in the 100m, 200m, and 5,000m in the 1981 WAVA world championship.

Dorothy Stock, 75, of La Mesa, Calif., was a pioneer of masters women's distance and road racing at the world level. She set seven U.S. and one World record in a 25-year career. She was a six-time world champion between 1975 and 1981 and continued to win national titles until 1999.

Herm Wyatt, 76, of Los Gatos, Calif., set six world records in the high jump; two continue as U.S. records after 20 years. Between 1979 and 1989 he placed in WAVA world championship high jumps six times and won U.S. national high jump titles eight times by 1992.

Norm Green announced the results of this year's balloting on behalf of Jerry Donley, Bev McCall, Mel Larsen, Shirley Matson, and Joan Ottaway of the Masters Hall of Fame Committee supplemented by Ruth Anderson, Don Lein, Len Olson and Gary Snyder on the Old-Timers Committee.

Abilene Christian coaching legend Jackson dies

J. Oliver Jackson, a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame who coached track and field athletes from Abilene Christian University who set or tied 15 world records and won four gold medals in the Olympic Games, died Wednesday at 87 years of age.

While Jackson directed Wildcat track and field for 16 years (1948-63), Abilene Christian fielded one of the top collegiate teams in the nation. The Wildcats under Jackson won 78 titles at the Texas, Kansas and Drake Relays, and his athletes also set or tied 17 American records and 15 national collegiate records.

He developed three U.S. Olympic team members - sprinter and National Track & Field Hall of Famer Bobby Morrow, who won gold medals in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400m relay in 1956 in Melbourne; quarter-miler Earl Young, who won a gold medal in the 1,600m relay in 1960 in Rome; and Billy Pemelton, who placed eighth in the pole vault in 1964 in Tokyo.

Jackson was president of the U.S. Track and Field Coaches Association, member of the NCAA Track and Field Rules Committee, referee of eight NCAA Division I indoor and outdoor track and field championship meets, and referee of the Texas high school state track and field championships for the University Interscholastic League.

A family burial will be followed by a memorial service at 1 p.m. Saturday at Highland Church of Christ, 425 Highland, under the direction of Hamil Family Funeral Home of Abilene. Family visitation will be Friday from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road in Abilene.