2013 BC Seniors Games Re-cap: #Kamloops – August 20-24, 2013

September 4, 2013

The 26th annual BC Seniors Games were hosted by Kamloops, from August 20-24.  The 2013 Games included 25 sports which were held in various venues around the city.  Track and field was held at Hillside Stadium on the campus of Thompson Rivers University.  The 10Km run and 10Km walk were held on MacArthur Island on the North Shore.  A strong contingent of 221 athletes over the age of 55 registered to compete in track and field.  The weather conditions were great with hot, sunny conditions for the first two days and then the weather cooled off for the last two days.  

The schedule was changed slightly from earlier years, with track events scheduled all day Wednesday and with no track events scheduled on Saturday morning.  More time was given for the throwing events and this allowed the throwing events to run much smoother than the year before.  A few athletes had conflicts with scheduling but mainly because the athlete entered numerous (jumping throwing and track) events.  Hurdles events, sprint and intermediate, were included for the first time.  The events in the men’s pentathlon were changed to include the 200m and discus, replacing the 100m and shot put.  With the changes, the mens’ pentathlon now conforms to WMA, CMA and BCA standards.  

Overall, the track and field meet was very successful.  The athletes commented about the “first-class” facilities and wished that their own communities could have something similar.  The Kamloops Track and Field Club, their organizers, officials and volunteers did an excellent job.  There were also about a dozen officials from BC Athletics who travelled to Kamloops to assist.

The athletes responded by setting many records; 61 BC Seniors Games, 24 BC Athletics, 10 Canadian and 3 World records.  All three world records were set by 76 year-old Christa Bortignon who competes in the 75-79 age category.  She set new world standards in the 100M (15.82), 400M (1:19.53) and 80M Hurdles (17.44).  The old world records were 15.91, 1:22.39 and 17.71.  Christa has now broken outdoor world records in 6 different events this year.

Ninety-year-old Harry Thompson broke 2 Canadian records in the M90 200M (51.88) and 800M (5:07.40).  This gives Harry five Canadian outdoor records this year.  Bakhshish Dhillon broke the M75 Canadian record in the Weight pentathlon (3455 points) and BC records in the Hammer (34.97m) and Weight (13.83m).  Cheryl Closkey broke the Canadian record in the W65 Weight (11.68m) and a BC record in the Weight pentathlon.  Victor Njume now holds Canadian javelin records in 3 different age groups after breaking the M70 Javelin record (44.30m).  Barry Adams ran an excellent 1500m on his way to breaking the M70 Canadian record in the Pentathlon (2919 points).  The team of Urith Hayley, Lori Graham, Elaine Whidden and Marie Johnson broke the Canadian W55 4x100M record (1:05.53).

BC records were broken by Kathy Brand in the W70 Hammer (25.80m) and Weight (9.76m), Margaret Rhebergen W55 Triple jump (8.51m), Betsy Rollins W60 Triple jump (7.85m), Daphne Sullivan W60 Sprint hurdles (17.14), Lynn Thompson M70 Sprint hurdles (18.98), Keith Taylor M80 High jump (1.15m), Joe Giegerich M80 Pole vault (1.82m), Karl Drahorad M85 Javelin (18.70m), Marg Radcliff W70 Weight pentathlon (3246 points) and Ken Townsend M65 Weight pentathlon (3146 points).

There are too many BC Seniors Games records to mention all of them.  However, Marek Glowacki, Harry Thompson and Christa Bortignon each set 5 new BC Seniors Games records.  

Olga Kotelko who turns 95 next year, won 11 gold medals.  Harnek Toor M65, also won 11 medals but only 4 of those were gold.

Next year the Games will be hosted by Langley from September 9-13.



Law a track champ at BC Senior Games #BCSeniorsGames @TheProgress #Chilliwack

August 29, 2013

August 28, 2013

CHILLIWACK PROGRESS – Chilliwack athletes produced 33 individual and 21 team medals at the 2013 BC Senior Games, held August 20-24 in Kamloops.

Silvia Law was a big winner, reeling in five medals in track and field.

Competing in the women’s 80-84 division, she won gold in the weight throw, silver in discus and bronze in shot-put, pentathlon, javelin and hammer throw. Fellow track athlete Jim McIsaac (men’s 55-59) won silver in discus and shot-put.

Full article: http://www.theprogress.com/sports/221543881.html

Seniors golden at games #BCSeniorsGames @pgfreepress #PrinceGeorge

August 29, 2013

August 29, 2013

PRINCE GEORGE FREE PRESS – Prince George Track and Field Club (PGTFC) members did most of the local gold mining at the BC Seniors Games, held last week in Kamloops.

Prince George athletes picked up 30 golds over the five days, with 20 of them coming in track and field. The Zone 9 North Central team, which includes Prince George, won 124 medals in total, including 52 gold, 43 silver and 29 bronze.

The North Central zone placed seventh in team standings, with Fraser Valley leading the way.

Tom Ukonmaanaho led the way for Prince George, winning six medals in track and field, including four gold. He topped the charts in the men 65-year-old 100 metres, 100 metre hurdles, high jump and pole vault.

Two other PGTFC members won three golds each. Suzanne Sharp won the women 55-59 800m, 10k road race and 5k power walk, while Keith Taylor won the men 80-84 10k road walk, 5k power walk and high jump. Arna Kristian doubled up in the women 75-79 division, winning the hammer throw and pentathlon, with David McGraw also winning a pair of golds in the men 70-74 100m and 200m.

Club president Brian Martinson took the spot in the men 55-59 800 and 1500.

Other gold medals were claimed by Cris MacDonald (women 70-74 triple jump), Ewing McLaren (men 85-89 pentathlon), Linda Meise (women 60-64 high jump), and Dick Voneugen (men 80-84 2k optional power walk).

Full article: http://www.pgfreepress.com/sports/221555651.html

Report from BC Masters Committee – Canadian Masters Track and Field Championships from August 9-12, 2012

August 28, 2012

Courtesy – Harold Morioka 


About 10 Masters athletes from BC participated in the Canadian Masters track and field championships which were held in Saint John, New Brunswick, from August 9-12. This meet also duplicated as the NCCWMA (North, Central and Carribean World Masters Athletics) championships. Over 500 athletes registered for this 4-day meet.

Christa Bortignon broke the W75 Pentathlon record with 4743 points. This was 212 points better than the old record of 4531 points which was held by Leili Kaas from Estonia. Christa also broke her own W75 Canadian records in the 200m (34.81) and 400m (1:25.07), which she set earlier this year. She set a new Canadian record in the 80m hurdles (19.71). Christa also won more gold medals in the 100m, long jump, high jump and triple jump, with results just off her pending Canadian records.

Winning 6 gold medals each were 93 year-old Olga Kotelko and 80 year-old Mae Turek. Sandy Anderson W70 also won 6 medals but not all gold. Cheryl Closkey W60 won 4 medals and Barb Saunders W70 won golds in the 800m and 1500m.

Three men also participated in this meet. Peter Freeman won the gold medal in the M60 400m and 800m while Al Percival, also M60, won the 100m and took silver in the 200m. Barry Adams M70 won silver in the javelin.

BC Masters Track & Field Championships Re-Cap

June 20, 2012

By Harold Morioka  (June 19, 2012)

The 2012 BC Masters Track and Field championships were hosted by the Langley Mustangs Track and Field Club from June 15-17. Held in conjunction with the Pacific Invitational Track and Field meet, the Masters Championships were held at Langley’s McLeod Park. For the first time, a racewalk (3Km) was included in the meet.

For the few events (steeplechase, racewalking, weight throw and men’s hammer) held on Friday evening, weather conditions were good. But on Saturday it was cold with heavy rains falling most of the time. It rained again on Sunday morning and although it stopped raining in the afternoon, it remained cold and windy. A few athletes fell attempting their throws while the runners ran through puddles and against the wind. Despite the difficult conditions, the athletes did very well.

The athletes broke one World Record, six Canadian records and nineteen BC Masters records. One other Canadian and BC record was tied.

Christa Bortignon (W75) broke the most records. Despite running against a -2.8 m/s headwind, she broke the World Record in the 200 metre hurdles (41.70). She also set a Canadian record in the 200 metre sprint (34.93). Christa also bettered the 2011 Canadian records in the triple jump and long jump but she has better Canadian records pending from a meet earlier this year in Raleigh, NC.

Also breaking Canadian records were Lenore Montgomery in the W80 3000 metres (16:47.89), Gabriella Moro in the W65 shot put (9.29m), Rose Hare in the W60 weight throw (12.28m) and Ellie Halcrow in the W65 3000m racewalk (18:47.30). Margaret Rhebergen tied the Canadian record in the W55 high jump (1.30m).

Christa broke the intermediate hurdles world record by the slimest margin possible (0.01 second). Lenore broke the Canadian 3000m record by more than 2 and a half minutes. Gabriela broke her own Canadian shot put record of 9.23m which she set earlier this year. Rose broke her own weight throw record of 12.05m which she set two years ago. Ellie has competed in many BC Seniors Games but this was her first BC Athletics competition. She broke the Canadian 3000m racewalk record by 15.54 seconds. Margaret, despite jumping in the rain, tied her own Canadian and BC high jump record.

Breaking BC Masters records were: Juliette Christie W50 3000m, Lynette Baldock W65 3000m, Jeanette Van Den Bulk W35 400m hurdles, Nancy Craig W45 pole vault, Sandy Anderson W70 weight throw, Dave McDonald M55 weight throw, Les Robson M85 triple jump, Dmitry Babenko M35 3000m racewalk, Gerald Dragomir M60 3000m racewalk and Nardene Hammond W40 3000m racewalk.

Jeannette would have had another BC record in the 200m sprint but the wind was +2.1 m/s, just over the allowable limit of +2.0 m/s. She just missed a Canadian record in the 400m hurdles but she did break the Canadian record just a week earlier, running the event in 1:03.53.

There were several positive comments regarding the newly designed BC Athletics Championship medals. Special “thank you’s” go to our dedicated officials and volunteers who always do an excellent job.

NCCWMA & CMA Championships (Aug 9-12, 2012) Saint John, New Brunswick

March 16, 2012

2012 North/Central American/Caribbean & Canadian Masters Track & Field Championships in Saint John, New Brunswick 

Less than 5 Months to go!

This masters track and field competition is a regional international event recognized by World Masters Athletics and the Canadian Championships for 2012. The event is open to athletes of age 30 and up. There are no qualification requirements other than your age and is a unique opportunity to compete in some different events against international and national competitors.

Meet information and registration located at: http://www.nccwma2012.com/


Records and Medals for Christa

August 9, 2011

Courtesy of Harold Morioka 

Competing at the USA National Masters track and field championships, 74-year old Christa Bortignon set 5 more Canadian Masters records and won 8 gold medals. The four-day meet from August 4-7 was held in Berea, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. Christa broke W70-74 Canadian records in the 100m (16.16), long jump (3.47m) and 80m Hurdles (20.76) and set new records in the 200m Hurdles (43.71) and Pentathlon (3348 points). She bettered her pending Canadian records in the 100m and long jump which she broke earlier this year. Christa won four gold medals in the above events, except for the 80m hurdles which was part of the pentathlon. Christa added gold medals in the 200m, 400m, high jump and triple jump.
Next week, from August 17-20, Christa will be competing in the BC Seniors Games in Trail. In September she plans to compete in the European Masters Games in Lignano, Italy and in October, in the World Huntsman Games in St. George, Utah.

BC’s Golden Girls and Guys in Sacramento

July 18, 2011

A large contingent of BC masters made the trip to California to compete in the World Masters Athletics Championships over the past 10 days. Collectively they brought back almost half of all medals won by Canadian athletes, a total of 19 Gold, 6 Silver, and 11 Bronze.

Leading the way was ageless Olga Kotelko, who at 92 continues to show you are never too old to compete. Keeping a schedule that most younger athletes would find challenging, Olga won gold in the 100m, 200m, Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump, Shot, Discus, Javelin, Hammer, Weight Throw, and the Weight Pentathlon.

In the W80 age group, Lenore Montgomery won gold over 800m and 5000m. In the same age group, Ruth Carrier was another double gold medalist, in the 5k and 10k race walks. And on the M80 side, Rainer Sillantau won silver and bronze in the Javelin and Shot respectively, while Gordon Chalmers won bronze in the Triple Jump.

Down in the 75-79 age group, Andy Aadmi won gold in the 300m hurdles, and also picked up bronze in the 200m and 400m flat. And Myrtle Acton won a pair of bronze medals in the Javelin and Weight Pentathlon competitions.

Christa Bortignon was a multi-medalist in the W70 age group, winning gold in the Triple Jump, silver in the 100m and the Heptathlon, and bronze in the 400m and Long Jump. Sandy Anderson was a silver medalist in the High Jump. In the same age group on the men’s side, Marek Glowacki won gold in the Shot.

A bronze medal went to Marg Radcliffe in the High Jump in the W65 age group. And John Hawkins also won silver in the High Jump in the M60 age group.

Completing the list of BC medalists were youngsters Erin Bevans (M40) with gold in the Javelin, and Nardene Hammond (W35) with silver in the 20k race walk, and bronze in the 10k and 5k walks.

All results have still to be studied, but it is likely several BC, Canadian, and possibly World records are hidden in these performances and more.

All Canadian results can be found here: http://www.flashresults.com/2011_Meets/outdoor/07-06-wma/result_by_country.pdf

And results from all events can be found here for the men  and here for the women.


May 20, 2011

Christa Bortignon, age 74, won 5 gold medals and broke 2 Canadian records at the Hayward Classic track and field meet in Eugene, Oregon.  Competing at historic Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, Christa won W70 gold medals in the 100m, 200m, long jump, triple jump and high jump.  She broke her own Canadian records in the triple jump (7.76m) and long jump (3.42m).  Her triple jump is the best W70 jump in the world this year and she should be the favourite to win the W70 gold medal at the upcoming World Masters Athletics (WMA) Championships in Sacramento in July.

The master at work

March 31, 2011

By Sean Kolenko, North Shore Outlook

For many people in their 70s, it’s a time of relaxation, of putting their feet up and smelling a proverbial flower or two.

But not West Vancouver’s Christa Bortignon. The 74-year-old is busy winning gold medals at track and field meets across the continent, and setting a few Canadian records along the way.

Bortignon just returned from the Canadian Masters Indoor Track and Field Championships in Kamloops, held on March 19 and 20, where she won gold medals in the 60, 200 and 400 metre races, the 4×200 relay and the long jump, triple jump and the shot put. Her only silver medal at the event came in the high jump. She repeated her Canadian records in the triple jump, long jump and 60 metre sprint.

An impressive haul for any length of time  — let alone a weekend stretch — but March has been a particularly busy period for the athlete. From March 4 to 6, Bortignon was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she competed in the American Masters Indoor Track and Field Championships. Bortignon came home with seven medals and six Canadian records in the pentathlon, 60 and 200 metre races, 60 metre hurdles and the long and triple jumps. She was the only competitor from B.C. and one five Canadian women and five Canuck men.

Read more: http://www.bclocalnews.com/sports/118939474.html

Masters return to TCC

March 17, 2011

By Marty Hastings, Kamloops This Week

It won’t be on the same scale as the 2010 IAAF World Masters Championships, but the Canadian Indoor Masters Athletic Championships will still showcase some outstanding athleticism.

The competition, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, and Sunday, March 20, at the Tournament Capital Centre, will feature about 200 athletes competing in jumps, vaults, throws, hurdles and races.

Kamloops Track and Field Club president Judy Armstrong said the success of last year’s world championships — which featured about 1,400 athletes — led the club to believe that hosting the Canadian masters was a no-brainer.

“We had felt that because we had an indoor facilty and we just came off a world championship that it would be exciting to host it,” Armstrong said.

Read more: http://www.bclocalnews.com/sports/118183324.html

BC Athletics 2009 Masters Female Track & Field Athlete of the Year featured in the NY Times

November 26, 2010

BC Athletics 2009 Female Masters Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Olga Kotelko  is featured in an article from the NY Times – “The Incredible Flying Nonagenarian”

Read it for yourself: http://nyti.ms/em6xRt  

Huntsman World Senior Games

October 13, 2010

By Harold Morioka

A few BC athletes competed in track and field at the Huntsman World Senior Games.  The Games are held annually in St. George, Utah for athletes aged 50 and over, and track and field was scheduled for October 4-6.  The weather conditions were extremely poor with rain, gusting winds and lightning.  Most of the events scheduled for Monday was postponed to Tuesday due to the poor weather, including lightning strikes near the track. 

Medal winners were:

*  Christa Bortignon    W70             – 4 golds in the triple jump, long jump, high jump and 200m. Christa pulled a groin muscle during the 200m and withdrew from the 100m
*  Norm Lesage          M80             – 2 golds in the 50m and 200m. Norm pulled a muscle while leading the 100m and did not finish.
*  Marg Radcliffe       W65             – 2 golds in the javelin and high jump, and 2 bronzes in the 50m and 100m
*  Les East             M70             – gold in triple jump, silver in discus and bronze in long jump
*  Mike Townley         M65             – silver in triple jump
*  Michael Mullaley     M65             – 3 silvers in 800m, 1500m and 3000m

Results here: http://www.seniorgames.net/results/2010/track/

BC Inductees into the CMAA Hall of Fame 2010

August 19, 2010

Citations for BC athletes recently inducted into the Canadian Masters Athletics Hall of Fame.

Sverre Hietanen

Now 90 years old, Sverre can look back to a long career as a middle and long distance runner. The Norwegian native was based in BC for most of that career, though he did travel widely, starting with the First WAVA meet in Toronto in 1975, where he won gold and silver medals. He especially remembers his marathon races in the ’77, ’79 and ’81 WAVA meets, and his sub-3-hours race in Boston in 1979 (by 36 seconds!) by 1985 Sverre held 39 BC records – 17 track and 22 road – at distances from one mile to the marathon, a distance he completed 50 times. Quadruple bypass surgery in 2000 didn’t prevent him from remaining active, with daily walks and polar bear swims. BC athletes particularly appreciate his many years of officiating at local track meets. He was BC’s Masters athlete of the year 3 times, and BC Athletics’ Masters athlete of the year at least six times.

Lenore Marvin

Lenore’s birthplace was Winnipeg, where her running career started with a decision to run the Manitoba Marathon to mark her 60th birthday, in June 1980. She went on to excel in six age categories, from W60 to W90, at distances from 800 metres to the marathon. One outstanding performance was her win in the W60 10,000M in the North, Central and Caribbean Regional championships in 1982, smashing the Canadian Record with a 48:45 At the Regional meet in Kamloops 18 years later she again won the 10,000m, this time in W80. By that time she was living in BC, winning countless medals in both running and powerwalking events at BC Seniors Games from 2002 to 2007. This past May she won the W90 category in the Vancouver Sun Run. In 1982 she was named the Manitoba Woman Runner of the Year.

Maurice Tarrant

Since the start of Maurice Tarrant’s running career as a master in the late 80s, he has broken more than 50 Canadian records, most of them in races on Vancouver Island. The average age-grading for these records has been 90%, with a high of 93%. He did travel to the WAVA/WMA meets in Eugene and Buffalo, where he won gold and bronze medals; and to the World Masters Games in Edmonton, where he won three golds in the M75 category. But it’s for a series of races held each year on the Island that he can claim a unique accomplishment. The Island Races Series comprises eight races from 5K to the Half, and Maurice has won his age category EVERY YEAR since 1988. No wonder he’s the most revered runner on the Island. But Maurice doesn’t just run. Every spring he coaches a training group for the Victoria 10k. He’s coordinated the course marshalls for the Royal Victoria Mara-thon for many years, and directed his club’s race in the Island Series.

Diane Palmason

Although Diane Palmason wasn’t there, she heard about the first World Masters Championships in 1975, was inspired by the concept of races for masters, and started running. The following year she ran her first event: the National Capital Marathon. Since then she has broken Canadian records in every age group from W40 to W70, and at every distance, track and road, from 100 metres to 80K. In 2003 she broke seven CRs, from 100m to the marathon, within five months. She hasn’t counted all the CRs, but she does remember the nine World records – from 400m to 10,000m. Two of those records, the W65 400m and 800m, still stand. In 1987, at 49, she tried a multi-event: 10K, 100m, 400m, a mile, and a marathon in one day. Her combined effort won the women masters category. This was The Ultimate Runner, a term that could de-scribe her career. Although she has been relatively free of running injuries, overall health challenges may now end her competitive career. However she will always be a runner. If she were asked “why?”, she might paraphrase the poem “Song of the Runner”: “I run because I like it through the broad, bright land”.

Ken Richardson

Ken Richardson was very much the “father” of Masters athletics in British Columbia. He joined the Canadian masters movement in 1973, then organized the first Canadian Masters Track & Field Championships in Richmond in 1974. He assumed the role of Chair of the BC Masters Committee. He and his wife Lily remained active and then honourary members of the committee until his death in 2002. When the CMAA was transferred to BC in 1981, Ken became the first president. During his tenure the Canadian championships were again held in Richmond, in 1981 and 1984. He led the group that won the bid to host the IGAL international masters road race championships. This 1984 event was highly successful, leaving a financial legacy for BC masters. During all these years he was also training and racing, especially in the marathon. In the WAVA championships in Christchurch in 1981 he completed this distance for the 43rd time. He founded a running club in Maple Ridge that is still active today, just one of Ken’s many contributions to sport in BC.

Invitation to host 2010 CMAA 10km Road Race Championship

April 5, 2010

The Canadian Masters Athletic Association invites applications to host their 2010 10km Road Race Championship. 

The  preference is to conduct  the CMAA race in conjunction with an established, existing 10 km  race. 

Interested race directors should contact John Powell at john.jes@sympatico.ca or 905-791-3184.

World Masters Indoor Championships – Day 6 Highlights

March 6, 2010

The 2010 WMA World Masters Indoor Athletics Championships came to a close Saturday after a sixth straight day of amazing and inspirational competition at the Tournament Capital Centre.

Over and over, Kamloops spectators have commented about what positive role models the 1,400 athletes who gathered here have been — not just to the youth who have come out to watch, but to the adults in the crowd as well. Every athlete who took part has been inspirational just by having the courage to get out there, and by having the commitment to live active, healthy lifestyles.

Even more inspirational are those who not only get out and do it, but do it well.

There have been several multi-medal winning athletes this week. Several have stood atop the podium on more than one occasion.

Olga Kotelko of West Vancouver, B.C., finished her week with 10 gold medals and eight world records in the women’s 90 age group. On Saturday, Kotelko chose not to compete in the 400m Dash. Instead, she concentrated on the 4x200m relay — which she and teammates Louise Sorensen, Hildegaard Buschhaus and Leona Smith won in a newly established world-record time of 4:15.33.

Horst Albrecht of Germany also had a golden week, winning seven times in the M85 age group. The final victory came Saturday when he won the Triple Jump with a leap of 6.46m.

Phil Raschker led the American team with seven gold, two silver and one bronze in the W60 age group. She capped her week Saturday with a championship run in the 400m, crossing the line in 75.60. Then, she joined Joan McMullan, Mary Trotto and Brenda Matthews in winning bronze in the 4x200m relay in a time of 2:19.67.

Marie Kay of Australia finished with five gold medals in the W50, the last one coming Saturday when she won the 400m in a time of 62.96. Fellow countryman Peter Crombie took home three medals in the M65, two gold and one silver — the latter coming when he was second in the 400m with a time of 62.36.

Ugo Sansonetti of Italy set his second world record of the meet when he captured gold in the M90 400m Dash. Sansonetti crossed the line in 1:46.78, bettering the time of 1:48.33 set by Herbert Liedtke of Sweden. Sansonetti also set a world record in winning the 200m earlier this week.

Nolan Shaheed of the United States just missed setting a world record in the M60 1,500m. Shaheed easily won the race with a time of 4:36.92. That was just four-tenths off the 4:36.52 owned by Raymond Zembri of France.

For Great Britain’s William Gentleman, the true victory was actually making it to the start line. Gentleman won gold medals this week in M70 Hammer and Weight Throw. The latter came Saturday, when he threw 16.68m. This was Gentleman’s first competition after suffering a stroke.

Be sure to check the full event results and the final medal count, both available on the homepage of the www.kamloops2010masters.com website.

World Masters Indoor Championships – Day 5 Highlights

March 5, 2010

The women threw their weight around Friday — and they were rewarded with world records at the 2010 WMA World Masters Indoor Athletics Championships.

Ulrike Engelhardt of Germany set a new standard in the women’s 50 age group of the Weight Throw. Engelhardt threw 15.59 metres, which was better than the mark of 15.42m held by Vanessa Hilliard of the United States.

Engelhardt was one of four women who broke world records in the Weight Throw on Friday.

Galina Kovalenskaya of Russia threw 10.25m to win the W75 age group. Kaija Jortikka of Finland was the previous record holder at 9.54m.

Rachel Hanssens of Belgium captured her fifth gold medal of the meet and her second world record when she won the W80 Weight Throw with a toss of 8.01m — nearly a metre better than Canadian Olga Kotelko’s previous mark of 7.06m. Hanssens also set a record in winning the Shot Put (7.15m) on Wednesday, and also won gold in the Javelin, Discus and Hammer Throw.

Kotelko might have lost a record Friday, but she gained two more — one in winning the W90 Weight Throw with a toss of 6.32m (American Betty Jarvis had the old mark of 5.45m), and another by winning the Triple Jump with a leap of 4.14m. There hadn’t been a W90 record in the Triple before, so Kotelko’s mark is new on the books.

That brings Kotelko’s total thus far this week to nine gold medals and seven world records, with one more day of competition remaining.

Some of the biggest cheers of the day were reserved for John Altendorf of the United States when he twice broke his own world record in the M60 Pole Vault.

Altendorf entered the day with the record of 4.00m. He bettered that at 4.02m, and then bettered it once more with a final leap of 4.05m. Altendorf’s gold helped the mighty U.S. machine to a team-leading 240 medals — 105 gold, 78 silver and 57 bronze.

Canada is close behind at 210 medals, including 70 gold, 76 silver and 64 bronze. Germany (38 gold, 25 silver, 31 bronze, 94 total), Australia (18 gold, 13 silver, 16 bronze, 47 total) and Great Britain (16 gold, 24 silver, 13 bronze, 53 total) round out the top five.

The Aussies were glad to see teammate Heather Carr win her second gold medal of the meet when she captured the W60 division of the 10K Race Walk on Friday. Carr crossed the finish line with a time of 56 minutes 17.1 seconds. Earlier this week she won the W60 3,000m Race Walk in a world-record time of 15:54.75.

After Friday’s race, Carr went directly to the Kamloops Airport to begin the return trip home to Melbourne — a sad journey, as she is going home for the funeral of her mother, who died on Feb. 25, the eve of Carr’s trip to Kamloops.

Also of note in the 10K Race Walk was Janice McCaffrey of Canada, a three-time Olympian (1992, 1996, 2000) and Commonwealth Games medallist. She won gold in the W50 age group with a time of 55:24.2.

Five days of competition at these championships are now in the books. The meet will wrap up Saturday with a full slate of events, including the Half-Marathon and 4x200m relays, and will be followed by closing ceremonies featuring the Kamloops Rube Band at about 4:30 p.m.

Complete results here: http://www.kamloops2010masters.com/Results/index.htm

World Masters Indoor Championships – Day 4 Highlights

March 4, 2010
Germany is celebrating some multi-medal performances at these 2010 WMA World Masters Indoor Athletics Championships.
Horst Albrecht is leading the team with five gold medals in the men’s 85 age group. On Thursday, he won the Long Jump with a leap of 2.77 metres. That, on top of earlier victorious performances in the 60m Dash, the 200m, the Indoor Pentathlon and the 3,000m Race Walk. Albrecht will try to add to his golden haul when he competes in the 60m Hurdles on Friday and the Triple Jump on Saturday.

Incidentally, Harry Thompson of Powell River, B.C., twice finished behind Albrecht to claim silver in the 60m and 200m races, but won gold in the 800m. Thompson will try to duplicate that winning performance in the 400m and 1,500m, both Saturday.

Meanwhile, Christiane Wippersteg has won four medals for the German team. Wippersteg won silver medals in the W80 Shot Put, Javelin and Discus — she was runner-up to Rachel Hanssens of Belgium in all three. On Thursday, Wippersteg finally struck gold when she won the High Jump with a leap of 0.85m.

The Australians also have something to cheer about — in particular, the four gold medals thus far won by Marie Kay in the W50 age group. Kay has been victorious in the 200m, Long Jump and Indoor Pentathlon — the latter with a world record-setting total of 4,906 points. On Thursday, she nearly had another record in the High Jump, but couldn’t reach 1.56m and had to settle for a winning leap of 1.50m. Kay will try for a fifth gold medal when the 400m preliminaries open Friday.

As events were winding down Thursday, the United States led the medal standings with 193, including 82 gold. Canada had 175 medals (59 gold), followed by Germany’s 79 (33 gold) and Australia’s 39 (15 gold).

To no one’s surprise, Olga Kotelko of West Vancouver, B.C., established two more world records Thursday. The 91-year-old continues to blaze new territory; she’s often the only one in her age group, so her biggest motivation is setting new records.

Kotelko leaped 0.75 metres and added another gold medal to her collection in the W90 high jump. There hadn’t been a WMA indoor record in that discipline before; in fact, Kotelko owns the W85 mark of 0.89m. Kotelko also won the W90 Hammer Throw with a toss of 13.92m. That bettered the 13.13m of Ruth Frith of Australia.

Kotelko now has won seven gold medals and set five world records thus far this week.

While medals are lovely souvenirs, having fun is the main goal of most competitors at these championships. Take, for instance, the Crockett brothers of British Columbia.

Ken Crockett of Kamloops is competing in 10 events in the M55 age group. The 57-year-old is joined here this week by his two brothers — Dan, 63, who hails from Kelowna, and Steve, 55, who lives in the family’s hometown of Keremeos.

Dan is competing in four events in the M60 age group. He made the finals in the 60m and 800m races, and is still to compete in the 400m and 4x200m relays. Steve entered two events in the M55 age group — the 60m and the Long Jump.

In fact, sibling bragging rights were on the line when Ken and Steve went head-to-head Thursday afternoon in the Long Jump. Ken came out on top, finishing fourth with a leap of 4.66m. Steve was right behind in fifth after jumping 4.49m. Jouko Nikula of Finland had the winning jump of 5.68m.

“He said he was going to beat me, but I said no way,” Ken said of little brother Steve, with a laugh.

Ken, by the way, finished eighth in the Discus on Thursday with a throw of 26.64m, and qualified sixth in the 400m after crossing the line in 61.70. That final goes Saturday.

Complete results here: http://www.kamloops2010masters.com/Results/index.htm

World Masters Indoor Championships – Day 3 Highlights

March 3, 2010
It was a record-setting day at the 2010 WMA World Masters Indoor Athletics Championships as six new world records were established Wednesday at the Tournament Capital Centre.

Heather Carr of Australia won the women’s 60 age group of the 3,000-metre Race Walk with a time of 15 minutes 54.75 seconds. That bettered the old standard of 15:59.53, held by Waltraud Seiler of Germany.

Ugo Sansonetti of Italy set a new record in the M90 200m Dash when he finished in 41.13 seconds, bettering the mark of 41.64, held by Herbert Liedtke of Sweden.

Rachel Hanssens of Belgium threw a record 7.15m en route to gold in the W80 Shot Put. That was further than the old mark of 6.80m, thrown by Christiane Wippersteg of Germany.

Zdenka Kirsch of Germany won the W80 3,000m in a record time 19:07.34. That shattered the mark of 19:34.94 held by Judith Kazdan of Canada.

And Canadian Olga Kotelko continued her winning ways Wednesday with two more gold medals in the W90 age group, both in record-setting fashion. Kotelko won the Shot Put with a 4.90m result — the old mark of 4.73m was held by Gabre Gabric of Italy. Kotelko also established a new record in winning the 200m Dash in a time of 60.72 seconds — the first time an indoor record has been set in that age group.

Kotelko, from West Vancouver, now has won five gold medals and has set three world records at these championships. She won 11 golds and set eight world records in August in Lahti, Finland, at the 2009 WMA World Masters Outdoor Athletics Championships.

Halfway through these championships, the United States holds a slim lead in the medal count. The U.S. has won 69 gold, 46 silver and 37 bronze for a total of 152. Canada is next with 144 — 48 gold, 57 silver and 39 bronze.

Germany is third with 63 medals (26 gold, 14 silver and 23 bronze). That’s followed by Great Britain, whose 10 gold, 15 silver and 12 bronze gives them 37.

Sonia Armitage was one of those helping Great Britain’s cause Wednesday. She won the 800 metres in the W45 age group, crossing the line in 2:26.26 seconds. Armitage edged Renee Belanger of North Vancouver, who finished in 2:27.62.

It was a golden homecoming of sorts for Armitage. She was born in Merritt, about 45 minutes south of Kamloops, and she lived her first four years in Kamloops before her family moved to Scotland. She will try to claim another medal for Great Britain on Saturday, when she competes in the 1,500m.

Complete results here: http://www.kamloops2010masters.com/Results/index.htm

World Masters Indoor Championships – Day 2 Highlights

March 2, 2010
Olga Kotelko of Canada celebrated her 91st birthday in style on Tuesday — by winning two gold medals at the 2010 WMA World Masters Indoor Athletics Championships.
Kotelko, who hails from West Vancouver, B.C., threw 12.99 metres in the women’s 90 age group of the Discus competition. She is the oldest female competitor at these championships, and had no one to contest her. Her distance fell short of the WMA record for the age group of 13.92m — Kotelko’s own mark, set at the WMA Outdoor Championships in Lahti, Finland, in August.

Kotelko did, however, set a new WMA standard in the 60m Dash when she crossed the line in 15.14 seconds, shattering the old mark of 31.20 held by Grace Foster of the United States. Kotelko will be competing in 11 events in Kamloops; she opened the championships with a gold medal in Javelin on Monday. She won 11 golds and set eight world records in Lahti.

As competition wound down Tuesday, and with just the M80 Pentathlon’s High Jump event still ongoing late in the evening, the United States and Canada were tied with 71 medals apiece. The Americans led the gold medal count with 30, and added 25 silver and 16 bronze. The Canadians, meanwhile, had 24 gold, 25 silver and 22 bronze.

Christopher Bates of the United States set a world record Tuesday in the M45 Indoor Pentathlon. Bates scored 4,110 points to win gold, bettering the old WMA standard of 4,062 held by Jean-Luc Duez of France.

A small correction from Day 1: American Aaron Thigpen tied the WMA record for the M45 60m Dash when he ran 7.02 seconds in the semifinal. Thigpen now shares that record with fellow American Stan Whitley.

Incorrect information in the results system had the record as 7.08. As a result, it was reported that Thigpen had twice broken the record — once in the preliminaries, when he ran 7.05, and then again in the semifinals when he ran 7.02.

On Tuesday, Thigpen won the 60m final with a time of 7.10.

While records are certainly celebrated, they aren’t the be-all, end-all in Masters Athletics.

Take, for instance, the father-and-daughter tandem of Bill Falconer and Tatiana Little of the host city Kamloops.

Little is a longtime coach at the Kamloops Track and Field Club — she and husband Norm helped guide a team of Masters athletes prior to these championships. Little competed Tuesday in the W35 Discus, finishing fifth with a throw of 27.01m.

She was more proud, though, that her dad won a pair of medals Tuesday, bringing his meet total to three thus far. Falconer won a silver medal with a throw of 13.31m in the M85 Hammer Throw. Paul Nobbe of Germany won the gold with a heave of 26.46m. Falconer then took bronze in the M85 60m Dash, crossing the line in 15.25. The winner was Horst Albrecht of Germany, who ran 11.16. Falconer also claimed gold Monday in the M85 Discus.

And then there’s Ralph Bergland of Moose Jaw, Sask., the only blind athlete at these championships. Accompanied by his guide, 16-year-old Cody Welscher of Moose Jaw, Bergland, 84, finished fifth in his heat in the M80 60m dash with a time of 17.11 seconds. On Monday, Bergland won a bronze medal in the M80 Discus, and he is still to compete in Shot Put and Javelin.

Bergland was born with the genetic eye disease retinitis pigmentosa, and by the time he was 35 he was completely blind. It didn’t stop him, though. Bergland took up track and field, and went on to win bronze medals in the 100 Metres and Shot Put in the M75 division at the 2005 World Masters Games in Edmonton. He also is a five-time Canadian power-lifting champion.

He decided not to allow his lack of vision to impair him in 1949, after breaking a leg and spending more than two months in hospital.

“You know, when there’s other people lying around with broken bones and broken hips and broken this and that, I began to think, hey, life is not so bad after all,” Bergland says. “So I said, ‘Forget my disability. I’m gonna lick ya!’ And I went out and did my thing.”

Complete results here: http://www.kamloops2010masters.com/Results/index.htm