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Sacramento Gears Up for Pair of Major Masters Meets

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Date: 
07/16/2010 - 10:16

usam_logo.gif2010 USA Masters Championships at Sacramento State
leads into 2011 World Masters Athletics Championships

The latest in a long-running series of national-championship events gets
underway July 22 with the USA Masters Track & Field Championships at
Hornet Stadium on the Sacramento State campus.

A near-record field of 1,415 athletes, ranging in age from 30 to 96, will
compete for national age-group titles from July 22-25. Competition will
begin each day at 7 a.m.

Since 1995, the Sacramento Sports Commission has brought nine national
championship track and field events to California’s capital: the 1995 USA
Outdoor Championships, the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Track & Field
Trials, four NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships, the 2001 National
Junior Olympics, and now, the 2010 USA Masters.

The 2010 USA Masters Championships has more participants than either the
Olympic Trials or the NCAA Championships did during their Sacramento
runs.

Sacramento will again be at the center of masters track and field next
summer during the World Masters Athletics (WMA) Outdoor Track & Field
Championships. The WMA Championships haven’t been held in the United
States since 1995.

“We’re excited to welcome the country’s best masters athletes to
Sacramento,” said John McCasey, executive director of the Sacramento
Sports Commission and head of the local organizing committee. “We’ve
hosted many national championships events, and we’ll bring the same level
of commitment and technical expertise to this event. We also see the
national event as a way to prepare for next year’s WMA Championships.”
The field for the USA Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships
features quantity and quality. Bill Collins, Rita Hanscom and Phil Raschker
have all received IAAF masters athlete of the year honors in recent seasons,
and they’ll be looking to add to their lengthy list of honors in Sacramento.

Additionally, 11 former Olympians are entered to compete at Hornet
Stadium: Willie Banks, Ed Burke, Tiombé Hurd, James Barrineau, Trish
Porter, Howard Lindsey, Lorna Forde, Henry Andrade, Bud Held, Hank
Klein and Cherrie Sherrard.

Collins, a Houston resident, is considered one of the greatest masters athletes
in history. A collegiate standout at Texas Christian in the 1970s, Collins ran
on the U.S. 400-meer relay team that set a world record at the 1977 World
Cup in Dusseldorf, West Germany. He is entered in the 100, 200 and 400
meters this week in the Men’s 55-59 class.

Hanscom, an attorney from San Diego, won five gold medals at the 2009
WMA Championships in Lahti, Finland. She entered seven events in the
Women’s 55-59 age group.

Raschker, a two-time finalist for the Sullivan Award who lives in Marrieta,
Ga., looks to continue her dominance in the Women’s 60-64 class. Raschker
won 10 medals, including seven golds, at the 2010 WMA Indoor
Championships in Kamloops, British Columba. She is entered in nine events
in Sacramento.

Hurd is making her masters debut at the site of her greatest victory. She set a
U.S. record of 47 feet, 5 inches in winning the triple jump at the 2004
Olympic Trials. She will compete in the Women’s 35-39 age class at Hornet
Stadium.

Banks, a four-time Olympian and former world record in the men’s triple
jump, is entered in the Men’s 55-59 triple jump and high jump. In the high
jump, Banks will be competing against Bruce McBarnette, the U.S. recordholder
at 6-4_.

Other age-group record settlers include Oneithea Lewis (W50 hammer
throw), Linda Cohn (W55 javelin), Nolan Shaheed (M60 800 and 1,500) and
Michael Brown (M 55 javelin).

Shaheed, a Pasadena resident, won every flat race from 800 to 10,000 meters
at last year’s national outdoor championships. He is a renowned trumpeter
who served as musical director for Marvin Gaye and played with the Count
Basie Orchestra.

The Pacific Association of USA Track & Field is partnering with the
Sacramento Sports Commission on this event. In addition to providing its
experience and expertise in meet management, the Pacific Association’s
athletes should figure prominently in a multitude of events and age groups.
Burke, a three-time Olympian in the hammer throw, recently set a M70
world record. Burke, a Bay Area resident, is best known for having carried
the United States flag during the opening ceremonies for the 1984 Olympic
Games in Los Angeles.

A pair of Pacific Association athletes, Joy Upshaw-Margerum and Liz
Palmer, should battle for top honors in the W45 sprints and hurdles.
“It’s so exciting to have the national championship meet here in
Sacramento,” said Palmer, a multiple national champion. “Many of us are
looking forward to next year’s WMA Championships as well.”
Amanda Scotti, a training partner of Palmer’s with the Golden West Track
Club in Sacramento, is the defending champion in the W50 100 and 200
meters.

“Masters track and field is an exciting sport to be involved in, and we hope
that having the national and world championship meets here in Sacramento
will open people’s eyes to the growing level of fitness and athletic ability of
those 30 years and older,” Scotti said. “Lots of us can outrun, out-jump and
out-jump our and out-throw our kids.”

A pair of Hiram Johnson High School graduates will compete in the hurdle
events. Rod Jett, an All-American at Cal in the 1980s whose coaching
helped Jesuit High School win the California state championship this spring,
is one of the leading entrants in the M40 hurdles.

Henry Andrade, a former NCAA champion at SMU, is competing in the
M45 division.

John Mansoor, chief executive of the Pacific Association and the longtime
race director of the California International Marathon, is entered in the M55
10,000 meters.

For more information on the 2010 USA Masters Outdoor Track & Field
Championships, please visit www.usatf.org. For information on the 2011
WMA Championships, visit www.wma2011.com.