Contact: Mark Winitz
Pacific Association/USATF Communications Manager
Tel: (650) 948-0618 Direct
Mobile: (650) 799-3319


SAN MATEO, Calif. – June 30, 2007 – Approximately 200 masters athletes (ages 35 and over) competed at the Pacific Association/USA Track & Field Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships at College of San Mateo on June 30. On a sunny day, air conditioned by the San Francisco Bay Area’s natural breezes, CSM’s beautiful hilltop track overlooking the bay hosted a full slate of track and field events. Athletes and USATF clubs from throughout California and northwestern Nevada participated.

Among many fine performances, in the men’s 100-meter sprint, Aaron Thigpen (Brentwood, Calif.) recorded a win in 10,78 seconds, topping the men’s age 40-44 age group. Thigpen is the U.S. 100-meter record holder in this age group. He set the standard of 10.60 earlier this year. Thigpen also won the 200 meter race in 23.26.

“I’ve been off for six weeks with Achilles tendon problems, just running on the grass, so I’m happy with today,” Thigpen said. “I’m focusing on the worlds (World Masters Athletics Championships, Italy) in September.”

Liz Palmer, 46, from Folsom, Calif. topped her W45-49 age group in the 100 meters (13.09), 200 meters (28.39), 80 meter hurdles (13.00), and shot put (7.66 meters/25-1.75 feet) while tuning up for the upcoming pentathlon competition at the USA Masters Outdoor Championships (Orono, Maine, August 2-5). Palmer will be seeking her fourth consecutive national age group title in the five-event pentathlon.

“I’m really happy with my performances today,” said Palmer, who competes for the Sacramento-based Golden West Track Club. “I appreciate competition so much more as an older athlete because it’s harder. You appreciate your fellow competitors more because you know they’re all working hard,”

Former University of California-Berkeley All-American Rod Jett won the M40-44 110 meter hurdles in 14.10 in a masters personal best.

“I haven’t had a race in two months so I was a little rusty,” Jett said. “By [USA Masters] nationals I hope to be in better form. I’d like to get the [M44] record [of 13.73 held by David Ashford].”

In the men’s 10,000 meter race, Joshua Rayman, 38, visiting from New York City, won in 35:19.10 and recorded a one second personal best on the track 18 years after he ran his previous PR for Williams College (Mass.). Rayman attended Tamalpais High School in Marin County.

Rayman was just one illustration at this event that advancing age does not necessarily translate to decreased performance in athletics, The oldest male and female competitors in the meet were KK Slaughter, 88, who competed at 100 meters (29.96), and Lynette Lucess, 79, who competed in the 400 meters (1:57.16), 800 meters (4:51.50), and 1,500 meters (10.06.03).

In the companion open competition, Travis Nutter, age 32, of Danville, Calif. won the men’s hammer throw in 72.40 meters/237-6 feet after placing fourth at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships in Indianapolis the previous week.

“I didn’t throw very well at nationals, so I just wanted to get in a good competition and sort out my technical [mechanics],” Nutter said.

In team competition, the Golden West Track Club won both the men’s and women’s masters meet titles.

“It was a fantastic day, lots of great competition with many full events, and a really big hammer throw competition,” said Meet Director Joy Upshaw-Margerum.

Full results for the Pacific Association/USATF Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships are available at www.recordtiming.com and www.pausatf.org.

The Pacific Association is the largest member association of USA Track & Field (USATF). We serve northern California and northwestern Nevada. USATF is the National Governing Body for track and field, long distance running, and race walking in the United States. For more information about the Pacific Association, visit our Web site at www.pausatf.org.

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