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Historic 50th annual USATF Masters Outdoor Championships to feature 900 athletes at LSU

Date: 
07/07/2017 - 12:50

dix.jpg(USATF) - (Baton Rouge, LA) -- The historic 50th Annual USA Track & Field National Masters Championships will be held at LSU July 13-16, with 900 of the best USA athletes 30-101 years old.  Among the entrants are 40 reigning world champions, Olympians, a dozen recent world record setters, 87 defending national champions, and many Baton Rouge area and Louisiana stars.  Below are just some of the potential stars.

HISTORIC 50THANNUAL USA TRACK & FIELD NATIONAL MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIP IN BATON ROUGE AT LSU JULY 13-16 FEATURES 900 BEST USA ATHLETES 30-101 YEARS OLD (Yes 101!), WORLD CHAMPIONS, OLYMPIANS, WORLD RECORD HOLDERS, BATON ROUGE & LA STARS

101-YEAR OLD BATON ROUGE STAR JULIA HAWKINS—OLDEST WOMAN EVER COMPETING—PLUS SEVERAL 90’S ENTERED, A FEATURE OF MEET, PROVE LIFETIME FITNESS; WALTER DIX, 3RDTO USAIN BOLT IN 100 & 200 AT 2008 BEIJING OLYMPICS, SET TO RUN FIRST MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIP AS M30

Among the athletes is a 101 year-old Baton Rouge star, the oldest woman ever competing in a national masters championship, Julia Hawkins, who set a world 100+ age record in the 100 meters. At the other end of the masters age spectrum is Olympic great Walter Dix (M31, Coral Spring FL), third to Usain Bolt in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in both the 100 and 200 meters.  He’s entered in Baton Rouge in the M30 100 and 200 in his first masters championship. Three other Olympians are also competing: Rich Kenah (Sidney 2000), Atlanta, 46, in the 800 in Baton Rouge; Amy Begley (Beijing 2008), Atlanta, Georgia, age 39--entered in the 800, 1500, 5000, 10,000, long jump, discus, and shot; and Howard Lindsay  New York, NY, age 53 -- entered in the 100 dash and long jump., Competed for Antigua and Barbuta 1984 (Los Angeles), 1988 (Seoul), and 1996 (Atlanta).

Several 90 year-olds are entered including 99-year-old former Army and Air Force pilot Orville Rogers from Dallas, Texas who though in the “older” 95-99 group, will be racing the “younger” 90-94 group’s Dixon Hemphill (92), from Fairfax Station, Virginia.  92 year-old Mary Norckauer, another Baton Rouge star, is registered for 12 events. And Olympic “family”: Dr. William Bell, 95, Jonesboro, Ark, in the pole vault (current world record holder in 90-94) and father of Olympic pole vaulter Earl Bell. The 90’s and 100’s will be a unique feature of the meet.

Another area star:  Kevin Castille, Lafayette, LA 45, with the 14:11.09 WR he ran on June 9 in Nashville for 5000 meters -- average 4:33.9 per mile. Yet another Lafayette, LA star is Delmon McNabb, M71, 1968 NCAA champion in the javelin (and his event here), who held the national high school record before Terry Bradshaw.

Also competing are Hollywood, television, movie, and music performers, including Nolan Shaheed, 67 of Pasadena, California, national and world champion distance runner and jazz great who’s played lead for Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder. On the female side of the 65+, distance star Sabra Harvey of Houston has become a world’s best and record setter.

Twelve athletes who broke world age group records in the last two years are entered, as well as fifty winners of USA Age Group Athletes of the Year awards. Among them: Sprinter Bill Collins, 66, Houston, TX, recovering from life-threatening Guillain Barre syndrome but still setting world records, overall 2016 USA Male Athlete of the Year—a model of masters lifetime inspiration. 875 athletes will be defending their national titles. Among them: legend Bob Lida of Wichita, KS, who set two world marks in the M80 200 and 400 at Daegu, South Korea World Masters Championships in March. Joy Upshaw:  Lafayette, California, age 56.  Entered in the 100 and 200 dashes, 80 hurdles, 300 hurdles, long jump, and triple jump, she won both hurdles and the long jump at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Perth, Australia last year, and indoors at the March, 2017 USATF Masters Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, NM, set a world mark in the 60m hurdles.

At least three truly outstanding female throwers are in the meet including Myrle Mensey, 68, of St. Louis, the 65-69 world record holder in the throws pentathlon; Neni Lewis, 57, Queens, NY, Masters Hall of Famer, who retains at least 12 age group world marks; and Carol Finsrud, 60, Lockhart, Texas, another Masters Hall of Famer who has set discus records for five consecutive age groups ─W35, W40, W45, W50, and W55. (Gloria Krug, 86, New Oxford, PA, who holds 10 American outdoors records is entered but may be injured.)

Spectators and credentialed media will be admitted free. The meet is at Bernie Moore Track Stadium, 1 North Stadium Dr, Baton Rouge, LA 70802.  The meet runs early morning (8AM) through all day Thursday through Sunday.

The detailed schedule is http://www.usatf.org/Events---Calendar/2017/USATF-Masters-Ou...

For detailed information on entrants and logistics see http://www.usatf.org/Events---Calendar/2017/USATF-Masters-Ou....

Media also note:  for home towns of competitors see https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_nIrTE7JUbmwGBxLbVRY...

Many thanks for invaluable information for this release to USATF Masters Awards Co-Chairs Mary Trotto and Rachel Guest, long-time meet announcer Peter Taylor, Eric Engemann, President and CEO of SportsBR, MTF Vice-Chair Jerry Bookin-Weiner and MTF Chair Rex Harvey.

For overall masters media and onsite athlete interviews or information in Baton Rouge, and for onsite media credentials (may be obtained at the track from Bob or Eric), contact USATF Masters Media Director Bob Weiner weinerpublic@comcast.net 202-306-1200.

For meet social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, please feed or contact USATF Masters Social Media Coordinator Sandy Lee Triolo at email: usatfmasterstrack@gmail.com.  For meet photography in Baton Rouge, many thanks to (and contact) superb masters T&F independent photographer David Albo at davidalbo442@gmail.com.  

Please contact Ashley Mitchell at ashley.mitchell@usatf.org for national office media assistance.

Click here for full event preview, including detailed athlete info and records.

Contributed by Bob Weiner

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