News & Notes, Volume 6, Number 53


Tom Surber
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field
317-261-0478 x317

Pollinger, Vered walk to USA Junior Championship wins

New Jersey residents Dana Vered (Paramus) and Zachary Pollinger (Mahwah) overcame tough competition and the elements to win their respective national titles at the 2005 USA Women's and Men's Junior 5,000 Meter Race Walk Championships Saturday in Bar Harbor, Maine. Temperatures in the 50's and steady rain and wind hampered athletes in pursuit of specific time goals.

Vered won her first Junior championship after a race-long battle with eventual silver medalist Tina Peters of Yellow Springs, Ohio. The two walked together for 4000 meters, when Vered began to slowly pull away. Her time of 26:37.77 was a personal best by eight seconds. Both will represent the U.S. in the annual junior race walk match against Canada in August. Vered led her Walk USA Club to the team gold medals over the Maine Racewalkers, with third-placer Jenna Monahan (Holbrook, N.Y.) and sixth-placer Allison Snochowski (Fair Lawn, N.J.) sharing the team effort.

Pollinger, the two time Junior champion at 10,000 meters, led from the gun and was never challenged as he covered the distance in 22:10.55. He will be part of the U.S. team competing in the Pan American Junior Championships at the end of the month.

Twin brothers Roberto and Ricardo Vergara of Edinburg, Tex., took the silver and bronze medals, and teamed with fourth-placer Adrien Jaime (MacAllen, Tex.) to win the team title over the Maine Racewalkers.

The championship races took part following a week-long Junior National Race Walk Camp held by the USATF Racewalking Committee and the Maine association of USATF at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine.

With all three Junior National Race Walk Championships (3,000m, 5000m & 10,000m) completed, the winners come from a short list and limited geography. Zachary Pollinger (NJ Striders) swept all the men's titles. On the women's side, three WalkUSA athletes each took a turn on the podium with Jenna Monahan (3,000m), Dana Vered (5,000m) and Maria Michta (10,000m) winning their respective races. Pollinger and Vered live in northern New Jersey, while Monahan and Michta are from the same high school on Long Island, N.Y. All four athletes live within 90 miles of each other.

For more information on the 2005 USA National Junior 5,000m Race Walk Championships, including the complete results, visit

Pawlik leads record smashers at USATF Masters Deca/Hep Championships

Emil Pawlik, 66, added to his legend July 2-3 by setting a world M65 decathlon record of 7.839 points, toppling the old record of 7,754 points by Knut Skramstad of Norway set July 2, 2003, at the WMA world championships in Puerto Rico. Pawlik set the mark at the USATF Masters National Decathlon and Heptathlon Championships at Mayfield High School Stadium in Mayfield, Ohio.

Other record setters over the weekend included retired Ohio Highway Patrolman Fred Hirsimaki, 80, of Findlay, Ohio, who obliterated the old M80 world record of 4977 points set on July 29, 1999, by Takuro Miura of Japan by scoring 6,802 points. Also, Christel Donley, 70, of Colorado Springs, Colo., easily broke the existing 70-74 world record of 5,449 points by Isabel Hofmeyr of South Africa set July 29, 1999, in Gateshead, England. Christel's score was 6029 points.

A new American Record was set by 70-year-old Phil Shipp of Sedona, Ariz., who totaled the highest score of the championship with 8,086 points to well exceed the 7,524 points of former Olympian and former American record holder Richmond (Boo) Morcom set July 23, 1991.A total of 33 men and five women competed in the two-day affair consisting of the 100 meters, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 meters, high hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500 meter for men. The women's event consists of the hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 meters, long jump, javelin and 800 meters. The points awarded are age-graded and can be compared to each other, and to points scored by any national and international combined-events athlete.


Friday's edition of News & Notes should have stated that with his time of 8:12.65 in the steeplechase at the Golden Gala meet, Daniel Lincoln became the fastest American in 10 years, not 19 years. Mark Croghan ran 8:10.43 in Nice, France, 1995.