World Masters Athletics Day 6 Roundup

of Pacific Association Athletes' Performances

by Bob Burns

Irene Obera came to Sacramento owning 22 gold medals from previous editions of visits to the World Masters Athletics Outdoor Championships.

Technically, she owns only a few of them, and probably doesn’t know where they are. She gives them away as fast as she wins them.

Obera, the 77-year-old legend from Fremont, tacked on another gold medal to her legacy Tuesday when she glided to victory in the women’s 75-79 200-meter dash in the WMA Championships at Hornet Stadium.

“Shoot,” Obera said when she looked at the scoreboard and saw her winning time of 34.82 seconds, leaving her a stride or two behind the women’s 75-79 world record of 34.40.

“Oh well, at least I got another American record,” Obera said.

Obera set a U.S. W75 record of 35.26 in winning the 200 at the 2010 USA Masters Championships in Sacramento. A year later, on the same track, she carved a half-second off that time for another U.S. 75-79 best.

Two days earlier, Obera won the W75 100 meters, setting another American record with her time of 16.09. She set the previous record of 16.26 last year in Sacramento. Obera said prior to these WMA Championships that she would retire to devote her energies to tennis and bowling.

“I still say this is my final meet, but the girls are trying to get me to stick around until I’m 80,” Obera said.

Joy Upshaw is certainly glad she stuck around until she turned 50, because she’s having the best WMA meet of her career. Two days after winning the W50 100-meter final, the Lafayette resident raced to a 26.54-second victory in Tuesday’s 200 final.

Below, Joy Upshaw wins the 200 meter final. (Click here for enlargement.)

Joy Margerum 2011 WMA 100 meters

Upshaw will compete in two more finals on Friday – the 80-meter hurdles and the long jump. She’s excited that her father and sister are coming to Sacramento to watch. Monte Upshaw broke Jesse Owens’ national high school record in the long jump in the 1950s, and sister Grace Upshaw was a two-time Olympian in the long jump.

In the M55 200 final, Roseville’s Kevin Morning moved up a spot from his bronze-medal finish in the 100, claiming the silver medal with a time of 24.58. Oscar Peyton, the 100-meter winner from Maryland, won in 24.17.

“Oscar let me get in front of him early in the race,” Morning said. “I was waiting for him to make his move, and he did.”

In the W75 10-kilometer road race walk in Sacramento’s Land Park, Mill Valley resident Shirley Dockstader won the gold medal with a time of one hour, 15 minutes and 36.43 seconds.

In other top PAUSAT performances Tuesday:

  • James Beckett of Vacaville finished fourth in the M70 10k road race walk;
  • Richard Hansen of Oakland finished fourth in the M85 race walk;
  • Diana Rossman of San Jose was fourth in the W40 walk;
  • Paul Mendell of Sacramento placed sixth in the W60 walking event;
  • Randy Watson of Martinez placed fifth in the M50 shot put;
  • Maria Worthage of San Mateo placed fifth in the W45 pole vault;
  • Dan Lloyd of San Jose was sixth in the M55 shot put;
  • Hank Konen of Reno placed sixth in the M60 hammer throw.
For complete results, see wma2011.com.