World Masters Athletics Day 9 Roundup

of Pacific Association Athletes' Performances

by Bob Burns

Joy Upshaw WMA 80M Hurdles

Rebounding from a second-place finish in the long jump the day before, Joy Upshaw (far left above) claimed her third gold medal at the World Masters Athletics (WMA) Championships with an American-record win in Saturday’s W50 final of the 80-meter hurdles.

Upshaw, a 50-year-old from Lafayette, won the hurdles in 12.19 seconds, well in front of the previous U.S. record holder, Liz Palmer. Palmer, the Folsom resident who set the American record of 12.44 last summer, was second Saturday in 12.46.

“I was so excited,” said Upshaw, who previously won gold medals in the 100 and 200 meters. “I was trying to focus on my own racing, but it was nice to have Liz there in a competitive race.”

If not for a headwind of 1.9 meters per second at Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium, Upshaw might have challenged or beaten the W50 world record of 12.08, set by Switzerland’s Christine Muller in 2009.

In Friday’s W50 long jump final, Upshaw finished second to Australia’s Marie Kay. Joy’s father, Monte, a former national high school record holder in the event, and her sister, Grace, a two-time Olympian, came up from the Bay Area to watch the long jump final. Kay jumped 17-21⁄4 to Upshaw’s 16-103⁄4.

The WMA Championships conclude Sunday with an early-morning marathon, steeplechase finals and a full menu of relay competition at Sacramento State.

While Upshaw was winning her third gold medal of the WMA Championships, fellow Pacific Association athlete Ed Burke (below) picked up his second win with a solid win in the M70 hammer throw.

Ed Burke WMA Hammer

Burke, a three-time Olympian from Los Gatos who holds the M70 world record at 193-8, won Saturday’s final with a throw of 180-10. Burke had knee surgery earlier this year, but he demonstrated enough of his old magic to also win the WMA weight throw on July 8.

Four more world age-group records were set on Saturday, bringing the total of world records broken during the July 6-17 event to 23.

John Altendorf, of Corvallis, Ore., set a world record in the men’s 65 to 69 pole vault, clearing 12 feet, 71⁄4 inches. Patricia Peterson, of Albany, N.Y., set a W85 record in the 400 meters of 2 minutes, 7.79 seconds.

Andrew Jamieson of Australia set a M65 record in the 20-kilometer road race walk event at Land Park, clocking 1 hour, 42 minutes and 56.80 seconds, and another Australian, Anne Stobaus, set a record in the W70 400 meters with her 1:16.53 clocking.

In other top Pacific Association performances Saturday:

  • Sharlet Lackey Gilbert of Richmond placed second in the W60 400 meters in 1:11.42.
  • William Ballantine of Carmichael finished second in the M85 400 in 1:54.94.
  • Fei-Mei Chou of Sunnyvale won a silver medal in the W75 400, clocking 1:50.67.
  • Ronald Bolling of Richmond placed second in the M55 100 hurdles in 15.83.
  • Larry Barnum of Reno was third in the M65 400 in 1:00.41.
  • Bruce Hotaling (Rohnert Park), Arthur Ribbel (Novato) and Gary Wuest (Sacramento) finished 6-7-8 in the M65 pole vault.
  • David Swanson of Santa Rosa finished fourth in the M45 high jump.
  • Randy Hixon of Sausalito placed fifth in the M60 pole vault.

For complete results, see wma2011.com.