Fort Wayne resident, Gary Hunter, to compete in world championships


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News release from the USA Masters Indoor Track Championships:

World, U.S., & Local Stars Set For Winston-Salem USA Masters Track Indoor Championships March 20-22 At JDL Fast Track
City Becomes First Ever To Host Back-to-Back Outdoor And Indoor National Championships

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., (March 11, 2015) /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — World, U.S., and local masters track and field stars are coming to Winston-Salem for the USA Track & Field Indoor National Masters Championships March 20-22 at the JDL Fast Track, 2505 Empire Dr., Winston-Salem, NC 27103. Finals run all day, from 8AM-4:30PM Friday, 8AM-5PM Saturday, and 7AM-3:15PM Sunday. Spectators are free and welcome.

More than forty reigning world champions, and world, U.S., and local record holders, are among the 900 entrants competing for USA championships and medals in five-year age groups from 30 to 97 years old, one of the largest fields ever assembled. Events include the full range of races, jumps, and throws.

Winston-Salem, following last summer’s successful outdoor meet, becomes the first city ever to host back-to back outdoor and indoor national championships. It won the bid in a vote at the USA Track & Field national convention because of its outstanding facilities and organization, according to meet officials.

Masters track and field emphasizes lifetime fitness and health through training and competition. The Winston-Salem meet includes world and national class competitors but is open to all (the entry deadline is now closed so that heats can be set up).

Masters have life stories beyond the track, and competitors include a world class jazz trumpeter, TV stars, movie actors, and a top auto racer. Nolan Shaheed, M65, from Pasadena, CA, played lead trumpet for Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Count Basie, and recently performed on the Voice, the Emmys, and American Idol – and is a world champion middle distance runner. Damien Leake, M60 sprinter, is known for his performances in “Serpico” and “Apocalypse Now.” Bruce McBarnette, world champion high jump, M55, includes “West Wing,” “Homicide,” and “Pelican Brief” among his credits. Charles Allie, M65, is a top Corvette stock car racer and world champion sprinter, named the world’s top masters track athlete in 2013 for winning the 100, 200, and 400 at the 2013 world masters championships.

Among women on the track, Jeanne Daprano, Fayetteville GA, now 78, was the first woman 70+, and also the first woman 75+, to break 7 minutes for the mile. Kathy Martin, F60, Northport, Long Island, is the first woman over 60 in history to break 6 minutes for the mile indoors, and holds many world distance age records. Irene Obera, 81, Fremont CA, and last year’s Jesse Owens Masters Athlete of the Year, set four world records in sprints and hurdles last summer at outdoor nationals, and set six world records during the year. Flo Meiler, W80, recently set world marks in the pole vault and pentathlon.

In addition to many expected world and national individual records in a range of age groups, one of the highlights will be the relays where a team of four 90+ year-olds, from the Potomac Valley Track Club, could establish world records by being the first-ever 90’s relay team in history in indoor track. They could do so in three events, 4×200, 4×400, 4×800. The team will pick four specialists for each event from their five on the 90’s team–Roy Englert, Charles Boyle, Dixon Hemphill, Orville Rogers (97, the team’s oldest competitor), and Charles Ross. A team has set records outdoors last summer but never in indoor track history. It will be fun to watch.

55-59 age group
Gary Hunter: Fort Wayne, Indiana: The holder of the world M50 outdoor record in the pole vault at a stupefying 4.75 meters (15 feet, 7 inches), Gary set an M55 American indoor mark in 2013 at 4.31 meters (14 feet, 1 ¾ inches). He also has the American outdoor record for M55 at 4.36 meters. Back in 2011, Gary took the gold at the outdoor worlds in Sacramento, and he is a member of the USATF Masters Hall of Fame. He will confine his athletic activities to the pole vault in Winston-Salem.



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