by Graeme Shirley
ORONO, Maine - (August 13, 2002) - Six San Diego USATF members who traveled across the country to the 2002 Masters National Track & Field Championships for athletes over 40 years old returned as National Champions. The six brought back a total of nine individual gold medals.
Gerry Davidson led the way with 3 victories in the women's age 80-84 division, beating Louise Adams in races at 400 meters (2:03.62), 1500 meters (8:47.34), and 5000 meters (33:45.08).
Lynn Naftel defended her national championship at 800 meters (2:58.69), and added a victory at 400 meters (68.89) in the women's age 55-59 division. She also medaled in the 100m (14.60) and 200m (29.63). In the 300 meter hurdles, Naftel broke the listed American record (59.82) by more than 6½ seconds with her 53.37. Unfortunately, the incomparable Phil Raschker took more than ten seconds off by running 49.14.
Terry Cannon won the pole vault for the fourth consecutive year in the men's age 60-64 division with a clearance of 3.50 meters (11' 5¾").
Thomas Meyer, last year's winner of the age 45-49 division, moved into the 50-54 division and won the 6 kg hammer throw with a toss of 45.61 meters (149'-8").
Ed Oleata won the pentathlon (long jump, javelin throw, 200 meters, discus throw, and 1500 meter run) for the men's age 65-69 division with a very good total of 3734 points.
Joni Shirley followed up her indoor championship world record mile for women age 55-59 with a victory in the 1500m (5:25.80).
Jolene Steigerwalt captured the 10 kilometer walk in 1:05:12.
The Masters Track and Field committee also conducts championships for athletes 30 to 39 years old. Kettrell Berry completed a sweep of four years of the 400 meter dash (53.15), got his third win in four years in the 200 meter dash (22.28), and added a victory at 100 meters (11.25). The only race that Berry did not win in the last four championships was a narrow loss to Hank Warrington (21.63-21.68) in the 200 meter final in 2000 in Eugene, Oregon. (His dive at the tape in that race led to a spectacular fall across the finish line.) Berry turns 40 in December, and will make his Masters debut in 2003.
For more information on the 2002 Championships, visit the Orono results page. For more information on other Masters Track & Field Championships, visit the Masters Calendar page.