by Graeme Shirley
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - (March 26, 2006) - Nine Masters athletes from San Diego County journeyed to Boston for the USA Masters Track & Field Indoor Championships March 24-26. Six returned as National Champions, with a total of 16 gold medals, a World Record, and an American Record.
78-year-old Bud Held's World Record in the Pole Vault (2.90 meters, 9 feet 6¼ inches) for men 75-79 was one of the top performances of the meet, as it took down Hall of Famer Carol Johnston's 1988 mark by 8 cm.
Nadine O'Connor, already the indoor World Record holder in the 200 meters and Pole Vault, not only won those two events again, but added an American Record in the 60 meter hurdles (10.72 seconds), shattering Christel Donley's former mark by 1.66 seconds.
92-year-old Leland McPhie won all seven of the events he entered. In the long jump and triple jump it was a battle of 92-year-olds, as McPhie bested 2005 Athlete of the Year for 90-94 year old men, Max Springer, in both horizontal jumps. Of the 14 American Indoor Records in the 90-94 age group, McPhie and Springer own 10 of them.
Susan Dent and Rita Hanscom were also double gold medalists, while Jolene Steigerwalt won the 3000 meter Race Walk for the third consecutive year.