Saturday, August 4, 2018

American Masters T&F and South Carolina Open & Masters Meets

American Masters Track and Field Championships

Having been distracted by life, I did not get to these reports as soon as I should have so memory fades and bits and pieces disappear.

I certainly should have written about the first ever American Masters Classic T&F, held at Durham County Stadium on April 14th, since it was hosted by Piedmont Pacers Track Club. Kevin Gobble and other Pacers put the event together and worked it as well as competing. This was quite an endeavor. Most of the usual track events except hurdles, pole vault, and I think hammer were available to compete in. Race events ran the gamut from 100m to 10,000m. About 250 folks registered, many local to NC but some from Maryland, W. Va.,  Canada,  and the Atlanta Track Club.

Willis, Jacobs, Wilton,Szymkoski, Staab

The field events were held in the area above and to the side of the track. There seemed to be a lot of men competing in those field events. Every time I went up there from the track (not a good idea to try to fit in both field and track in a one day event), folks were still sitting around waiting their turn. It was a warm day. This was the first outdoor track event of the season for me and perhaps for many others as well. (Turned out to be my best outdoor 400m of the year at 1:41.20, sigh)

Rick Pack, a Piedmont Pacer in his 30s ran the 100 (12.82) through the 800 {2:28.83) in his usual fast times. I often wonder how people run this range since they differ so much in training. But I guess if you have it, you have it! Some love track dust. Becky Bowman was just starting back from an injury (not quite recovered) but did her usual 100 (14.6), 200, and 400 (1:25.47). We even had Barbara Knight Warren from WVa., the legend, competing. I am surprised at the traveling track folks are willing to do just to compete.

Rick Pack

Barbara Knight Warren

This was a successful meet with no major glitches. Hopefully, it will become an annual event I liked that it was early in the season because there are so few Outdoor Meets in the area.

South Carolina Open and Masters Track Classic June 9

I debated between doing the South Carolina event at Furman U. Greenville SC, a 5 hour drive, or the SouthEast Region Masters Championships in Birmingham, AL. I was not sure what the participation might be at SEM, so I chose the South Carolina event. Good choice.

The drive was not too bad. I met Ann Carter there and we had dinner (and wine) the night before. She had transported hurdles, which it turned out they did not need after all. My biggest problem with the Meet was finding it! Ann had told me which way to go, but WAZE sent me a different way so I had a hell (yes, hell) of a time finding the entrance to Furman (WAZE kept sending me on odd ball roads which bordered Furman but no entrance. ) So, anyway, I get there and now I cannot find the track. No signs at all. I stopped at this one building which was an athletic something, open, but no one inside. Outside, another car pulled up looking for the baseball field, just as baffled as I was. They had a tournament to play (I encountered other baseball players searching as well) Furman needs more signage! I finally got pointed the right way by a fellow jogging wearing a Furman sweatshirt. Else, I would still be roaming, cursing up a storm. The track was nice, once I found it. (The baseball fields were right behind the track.)

Many of the NC track folk I know were there: Rick Pack, Becky Bowman, Jane Barnes, Lane Wilton, Anne Sluder, Melanie Walker, Nicole Kelly. Atlanta Track Club folks, Jeanne Daprano and Terry Ozell took the trek to SC., It was a hot day. The track distances went from 50m up to 800m then the mile and 3000m. In the beginning, there was a delay for the start of the track events. I recall putting the spikes on then taking them off, going to get water and having to run back to put the spikes on because they were going to start. I like the 50m except that it is not enough of a distance for me to build enough speed. Becky Bowman did it in 7.71 and Jane Barnes (next AG up) in 8.2. I slogged in in 9.89.

Terry Ozell

30 and up men 100m start

I watched Rick Pack run a very fast 400 (56.57) while waiting to do discus. 

Rick Pack -- beautiful form!

I caught a glimpse of Anne Sluder doing 80 short hurdles (13.09), and Lane Wilton running the 800 (2:47.63). I missed all of Ann Carter's jumping events etc because I was either on the track or waiting for discus. There was a huge delay getting to discus. I think it was the weight throws that preceded discus. Lots of men throwing. I believe they put a Hold on the throwing in one of the cages while a track event was ongoing since it was adjacent to the track. Discus got started quite late so any conflict I had been worried about was non existent. The event officials had said not to worry any way since they would fit me in. By the time I got to discus my throws were short, though I got some tips from Patricia Clemmons I could not put them adequately in practice.

It was a long day by the time I got home (fortunately missing the rain.)

Daprano and crone at end of day

Crone and Rick Pack

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