kamloops world masters usa press coverage

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MARCH 3,2010


    Shaheed finds rhythm in athletics (Photos: Shaheed playing trumpet; Mark Cleary holding cross-country team gold medal)


    They seem worlds apart, music and sport.

    For U.S. athlete Nolan Shaheed, however,

    middle-distance running and jazz trumpet

    both passions of his life are more similar

    than different, sharing traits that complement

    each other, allowing him to succeed brilliantly

    at both.

    The Pasadena-based runner and professional

    musician is competing in the World Masters

    Indoor Athletic Championships in Kamloops, in

    the 800- and 1,500-metre events.

    Both running and music demand hard work,

    discipline, determination and perseverance, the

    slimly built 60-year-old


    There is no cheating

    the physical training required to run 800- and 1,500-metre races at near all-out speeds. Running requires long and at times lonely hours on the road or track, building the endurance that will allow for race day‟s speed.

    Likewise for music. Shaheed practises his instrument at least four hours a day and that often feels as though it isn‟t enough, he added.

    U.S. athlete Mark “You‟re alone in your room. No one can hear it, no one can appreciate it,” he said. Cleary shows his “You have to do it. Both have the same amount of boredom and tediousness. You gold after his three-

    have to put in the miles, no one is watching you.” man team won the

    men’s age 50-54

    eight-kilometer Both pursuits also give tremendous reward, Shaheed said. cross-country run.

    His musical resume reads like a who‟s who of American jazz and soul. He has played with Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Duke Ellington, Phoebe Snow, Natalie Cole, Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross, to name just a few. They are highlights of his career, moments as grand as his best on the track, he said, of which there have been many as well.

    Just weeks ago, Shaheed set a world record for his age class in the indoor mile, covering the distance in four minutes 57.06 seconds. The effort also garnered the honour of USA Track and Field athlete of the week. He hopes to set two more world records in the coming days. He wants to best the current 800-metre record by running less than 2:14, and the 1,500 metre in 4:36 or less.

    He easily qualified in the 800 metres Tuesday, winning his heat by sprinting past the field from behind in the last 100 metres. The 800-metre race is scheduled for today, while the 1,500 metres goes Friday. If he runs over the current records, he will feel what he always feels when he hits his stride when he is

    giving his best on the track or with a trumpet in hand.

    “Joy is measured by emotions. I get the same emotions whether it‟s running or playing,” he said.

    “When you set a world record, you know that no one has ever done better than you. That‟s a great honour. But you also know someone will beat that. The thrill, the ecstasy, is in doing something no one else has ever done, but it‟s humbling to know it can go away in the next race.

    “It‟s the same with music. When I step out on the stage, I try to make magic. But there is always someone

    who will come by and play it better. Always.”

    If he doesn‟t break the record — if he doesn‟t win — so be it, he adds, so long as he knows he did his best.

    And he will keep running, because it pays dividends well beyond the investment required. “Running helps my music, it helps my trumpet playing,” he said. “And it keeps me healthy.


MARCH 3, 2010

    Raschker masterful on the track (PHOTO)


Philippa Raschker is the closest thing to a superstar masters athletics has.

    Raschker, a 63-year-old tax accountant from Marietta, Ga., won her first event of the World Masters Indoor Athletics Championships Monday at the Tournament Capital Centre.

    Raschker captured gold in the women‟s 60-64 pentathlon, comprised of the

    60-metre hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800m. She finished

    first in four of the five events, and was third in the shot put.

    But winning is nothing new to Raschker. She came into the this week‟s meet

    as the defending indoor champion in nine events the 60m, 60m hurdles,

    200m, 400m, high jump, long jump, triple jump, pole vault and pentathlon.

    She‟s basically the best-known masters athlete in the world and has been

    featured in Sports Illustrated‟s Faces in the Crowd section at least four times.

    She loves the attention, because it‟s also attention for masters athletics,

    which can sometimes be looked over in the grand scheme of things.

    “Any publicity . . . it is so important to our program,” said Raschker, who was

    born in Hamburg, Germany, but moved Stateside when she was in her 20s.

    “The media is very incredible for us.”

    Raschker‟s accomplishments on the track have garnered her plenty of

    recognition she twice has been a finalist for the Sullivan Award, which is

    given annually to the U.S.‟s top amateur athlete. In 2003, she was in the top five but lost to swimmer Michael Phelps and, in 2008, she was runner-up to Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow.

    “That was extremely meaningful for me,” said Raschker, the first masters athlete to ever be a finalist for the award. “When you go for the Sullivan Award, you are basically 20, 25 years old. Here I was, close to 60 and

    all the sports are involved.”

    Heading into this meet, Raschker held 64 world records, and has broken more than 200 world and U.S. records since turning 50.

    She was always a pretty good athlete, but really has found a niche in masters track and field, where she expanded her field of events.

    “When I was back in Germany, I just did the 100 and 200 (metres),” she said. “I got bored — I guess it‟s a

    sprinter‟s mentality, I can‟t go for miles so I need to have something going on.

    “So I added this event and that event and, all of a sudden, I find myself doing nine or 10 events.”

    She absolutely loves it, and has no plans to stop.

    “What is really helpful is that we are breaking it down into five-year age groups, so you‟re always reaching for

    something new,” Raschker said. “It‟s extremely helpful to have this goal out there and to not get complacent about it.

    “I can‟t wait to turn 65 — that‟s my next big goal . . . I‟ll have new records to break.”

    The championships continue through Saturday at the TCC.


MARCH 3,2010

    Dreams don't just happen, Masters author says


    A high school phys-ed teacher once told Trish Porter she'd never be any

    good at high jumping.

    At the time diagnosed as a hyper and dyslexic child Porter couldn't

    jump her own height. Now a Masters athlete competing in Kamloops, the

    middle-aged, self-described “shuttle mom” from Albuquerque, N.M. can

    jump 10 inches higher.

    Behind that measurement stands a former Olympian high jumper, an eight-

    time U.S. Masters champion and a three-time World Masters champion who

    yearns for more. She's already broken the world record four times in her

    Masters age category.

    “I would like to break the American record and maybe the world indoor

    (record) here,” she said at Hillside Stadium track Tuesday.

    What took Porter from an overweight adolescent lacking confidence to

    Olympic heights and back down again, only to come back, phoenix-like, Keith Anderson/ years later is the subject of her newly published book, Rekindle Your The Daily News Dreams (Bridge-Logos Foundation, 2010). TRISH Porter, an Olympian,

    U.S. national and World “It really encourages women and gives them the tools to successfully live Masters high-jump their dreams,” she explained. champion, is the author of

    Rekindle Your Dreams. She'll A lot of women worry about spending too much time on themselves, away try to better her own world from family or career obligations. Porter tailors her advice to suit women at record in Kamloops. or approaching middle age, whether or not they're athletes. Her focus is competitive sport but her advice is universally applicable.

    “So one day they don't wake up and say, „Who am I and what have I done' and go A-wall and leave their


    Back in the 1980s, Porter competed in high jump at the University of Oregon but gained weight and opted to switch to heptathlon. Placing second in high jump, she astonished herself by qualifying for the 1988 U.S. Olympic team and competed in Seoul. Although she didn't make the finals and felt she'd let down her country,

    she met her future husband, a runner, at the Games. He encouraged her on through the years. Fast forward to 1994. Feeling confident, Porter was tempted to show her abilities on a trampoline. She wasn't

    prepared and fell head first.

    “When I landed, I had that feeling of, „Can I wiggle my fingers and toes?' ”

    She could but the injury to multiple ligaments in her neck required years of therapy. Not until her youngest was a year old did it occur to her, through a friend's example, that she might compete again. That was her introduction to the Masters. Not only could she come back, she could return to achieve heights greater than she had dreamed.

    “The Masters are really for anybody, I believe, 35 on up to 100 competing. I would say the majority of these

    people never competed when they were younger. It is for people of all ages who come together because of a common bond: We're here because we love it.”

    Achieving is more than a case of mind over matter, more than a determination to excel, she noted. The narrative of her book is punctuated by practical advice, including the need to develop specific plans of action and to routinely visualize and verbalize goals.

    “How do you get somewhere if you don't know where you're going? It is simple but it works. What you think is how you will become. Visualizing and thinking about it is the first step in reaching your goal.”

    Porter will sign copies of her book today, noon to 2 p.m. in the TRU Gym.


MARCH 2,2010


    Masters notes: Falconer wins gold for Kamloops


    The 2010 World Masters Indoor Athletics championships started Monday morning at precisely 8:45, and not long after, Canadian Erin Bevans had won the first gold medal.

    Bevans, who hails from Port Moody, B.C., won the men‟s 35-39 javelin (800 grams) category. His throw of

    61.77 metres was good enough to take gold in the first event of the championships.

    All three of the men who made the podium in that event are from Canada Sharaz Shaikh of Mississauga,

    Ont., was second after a throw of 49.79m, while Kier Wilson of Sherwood Park, Alta., took bronze with a chuck of 44.47m.

    Shortly after Bevans won his medal, William Falconer won Kamloops‟ first medal of the championships.

    Falconer, 89, was the lone competitor and therefore finished first in the men‟s 85-89 discus. His golden

    throw sailed 12.10m.

    Among the other Kamloops medalists Monday were Kathy Brand, 67, whose throw of 18.29m left her third in the women‟s 65-69 javelin, and 50-year-old Melinda Williamson, who was third in the women‟s 50-54 8km

    cross-country run.

Other local medalists in the men‟s 8km race included Lewis Butcher (gold, 75-59), Richard Brewster (silver, 45-

    49), Jason Ladyman (bronze, 35-39) and Anders Ganstal (bronze, 40-44).

    Full results can be found at

    While most of the action is centred around the Tournament Capital Centre, the medal ceremonies are held inside TRU‟s Campus Activity Centre.

    The ceremonies, which are held on the same day as the finals, are held in the CAC‟s atrium area.

    There were at least two world records broken Monday.

    American Christel Donley set an indoor record in the women‟s 75-79 60m hurdles with a time of 14.22.

    Another American, Aaron Thigpen, broke the men‟s 45-49 60m record Monday, finishing in a time of 7.02


    The media co-ordinator for the championships is Tracy Watson, a former Daily News sports reporter, who is in charge of keeping all the media folks happy.

    The American masters team also brought its media chair, Bob Weiner. Weiner also is scheduled to compete in the 800m, 1,500m and 3,000m, but may have to miss due to his duties as media chair. Weiner worked at the White House during the Bill Clinton administration as a communications director for several committees. His Washington, D.C.-based business, Robert Weiner Associates (RWA), works out of an office situated at 1750 Pennsylvania Ave., which is less than two blocks away from the White House. Link:

MARCH 3, 2010


    Ogla has great day at Masters event


    The World Masters Indoor Athletics Championships‟ oldest competitor had a great day Tuesday, for a couple of reasons.

    For starters, Olga Kotleko won the discus in her age group, throwing 12.99 metres.

    Just as important, however, it was Olga‟s birthday. The West Vancouver resident, who has been competing in masters track and field events for more than 14 years, turned 91.

    She is competing in 11 events in the games.

“This is my life,” she said. “I‟m here to set records.”

    Kotleko, who says she has won 600 gold medals at masters events, swore the athlete‟s oath during Sunday‟s opening ceremonies.

    “It was an honour to be chosen,” she said.

    The medal race has begun in earnest.

    After nearly two days of competition, Canada stood atop the medal count podium although not by much. By late Tuesday, Team Canada‟s athletes had accumulated 35 medals — 11 gold, 10 silver and 14 bronze. Team

    USA, by comparison, had 31 medals, with 14 gold, 10 silver and seven bronze.

    You are able to view standings and results at

    Local runner Ken Crockett, a construction worker who is featured in a series of advertisements promoting the Kamloops games, had a chance Tuesday to run shoulder-to-shoulder with one of the world‟s best sprinters.

    Crockett, 57, ran in one of the qualifying heats for the M55 200 metres alongside U.S. elite sprinter Bill Collins, 59.

    Collins won the heat, cruising to an easy victory in 25.21 seconds. Collins was an alternate on the U.S. 4x100-metre Olympic team in 1972.

    Crockett held his own, however, and kept close to the lanky Collins. Crockett crossed in second place, in 27.86 seconds.

    Melvin Doherty, another well-known local runner, also competed in the 200 metres, in the M60 category. The finals of the 200m events go today.

    What could be the Games‟ only father-daughter duo competed Tuesday, not together, of course, but in

    different events.

    Tatiana Little, 39, and her father Bill Falconer, 89, were on the field competing in discus and hammer throw, respectively. Both are from Kamloops.

    Falconer has long been active in local track-and-field circles.

    The Games‟ organizational team got glowing early reviews, especially from U.S. team media spokesman Bob

    Weiner, who said the facilities and organization are among the best he‟s ever seen at an event like this.

    Everything flows like “clockwork,” he said, with athletes being given a first-rate experience.

    “We‟re getting what was promised, no doubt. The facilities are incredible. Tracks (in different facilities) vary greatly. This one feels fast and efficient and comfortable,” he said.

    “The quality of the organization is spectacular. The host organizing committee has done an amazing job.”


MARCH 5, 2010


    Masters drug-testing up and running


Officials with the 2010 World Masters Indoor Athletics Championships say the games‟ drug-testing protocols

    are fully underway, with random and “targeted” testing taking place across a wide cross-section of ages and


    The assurance from Stan Perkins, president of World Masters Athletics, comes on the heels of news that one of the U.S.‟s master sprinters, who was registered to compete in the Kamloops games, was suspended for two years on the eve of competition after being tested for banned substances.

    Val Barnwell was touted by the U.S. team as a “star to watch” at these games. He competes in the M50 category of the 60-mand 200-metre dashes and won gold in both those events, as well as in a team relay, at the 2009 World Master Outdoor Championships in Lahti, Finland, in August. It was at those games the sprinter was randomly tested. His urine samples came up positive for banned testosterone.

    Perkins said the WMA notified the U.S. Athletic Track Federation as per protocol when the positive results were noted several weeks after the 2009 games ended. Barnwell was temporarily suspended from competition by USATF pending appeal.

    Barnwell availed himself of all his appeal options. The last of those, a two-day hearing, was held late last week. The USATF upheld the suspension, leaving Barnwell unable to compete in Kamloops.

    “My reaction is disappointment more than anything else,” said Perkins, who also served on the WMA anti-

    doping committee for 10 years. “People want to be the best. Sometimes they do the wrong thing.”

    Perkins would not say how many athletes will be tested in Kamloops, but said firmly the testing regimen is meaningful. Some athletes are randomly selected, while others are being chosen from specific sports. Results from the testing won‟t be known for weeks, however. While testing in major international events like the Olympics is done almost immediately, the cost of such testing would be prohibitive. It costs roughly $500 per test, Perkins noted.

    Perkins said the cost must also be balanced against the risk masters athletes will use banned substances to enhance their performances.

    Most masters athletes participate for their health, he said, adding that fewer than 10 masters athletes have been found using illegal performance enhancing drugs at WMA competitions.

    Is it possible others in Kamloops are competing illegally?

    “I would hope not, but I would never say no. We can‟t say. Nothing indicates anything adverse is happening here,” Perkins said.

    Bob Weiner, a U.S. masters athlete and the former spokesman for the White House‟s national drug policy office, said Barnwell wasn‟t the first masters athlete to be busted for drugs nor will he be the last.

    Speaking personally, Weiner who was adamant he doesn‟t speak for the U.S. team on this issue — added

    the sport is doing all it can to create a “no-doping” environment.

    “The sport is insistent on no cheating,” he said.

    He said the motivation to win is strong enough even in masters sports that some turn to drugs to

    increase their chances on the track or field. It‟s a poor strategy that steals both physical and emotional health.

    “There is no money in master track, there is only your own satisfaction. What respect is left if you have cheated to gain your result? There is no respect,” said Weiner.

    “(Cheating) is worse than if you had not competed at all.

    “I‟m not disappointed we are busting people. The dirty athletes are far fewer than what the public perception is.”


MARCH 1, 2010

Let the new games begin!


    As one international sporting event came to an end another began Sunday as the World Masters Indoor Athletic Championship 2010 got underway at the Tournament Capital Centre.

    A crowd of several hundred people was still feeling the buzz of Canada's record setting performance in the 2010 Winter Olympics as they gave the Canadian athletes a roaring round of applause during the event's opening ceremony.

    The Canadians were the last in a line of 1,400 athletes from 61 countries who paraded into the TCC. Each contingent was led by a school student carrying the country's name high on a placard. “We're sorry about your hockey team,” emcee Hugh McLellan said as the U.S. team marched in. The crowd greeted them with a cheer.

    Dignitaries throughout the night fired friendly shots at the U.S. athletes. Tk'emlups Indian Band Chief Shane Gottfriedson, who wore a Team Canada jersey, started early as he welcomed the world to Shuswap territory. “What a good day it is today, is it not?” he said, referring to the Olympic win and start of the World Masters. “I hope each of you (athletes) has a good time.”

    Mayor Peter Milobar spoke about the TCC, calling it a unique facility for a city the size of Kamloops. He said it was built to fulfill a community vision of sport and active living.

    “You will be surprised at what a city the size of Kamloops can pull off,” he said. The World Masters is the first international event hosted at the TCC.

    World Masters Association president Stan Perkins said this is the fourth indoor track and field championship. Each time, the number of countries from the southern hemisphere increases.

    “I believe we will see more and more southern athletes come from countries with no indoor facilities and snow,” he said. “They will come for the competition, and for the friendship they can make with other athletes

    at one time from around the world.”

    He thanked Kamloops and everyone involved in organizing the event for their courage in putting it on, said Perkins.

    Prior to the ceremony: Australian athlete Ranell Hobson said the World Masters is the first time she has competed indoors.

    She will run in the 60-metre and 200-metre races and compete in the long jump. A saving grace is she's been practicing through the Australian summer and is used to the warm indoor temperatures, said Hobson. “I think it will be interesting,” she said.

    Jouko Nikula of Finland said this is his third World Masters and Kamloops has captured the energy and excitement of previous events.

    He expects to have a good time and is enjoying his first visit to Canada,” said Nikula.

    Kamloops North-Thompson MLA Terry Lake and MP Cathy McLeod also attended the ceremony. The event included a performance of A Meeting of the Waters, which depicts the history of the city through dance and music.


March 5, 2010

    Tulsa Runner Wins Gold At World Masters A Tulsa runner has won a gold medal in Canada.

    Fifty-one-year-old Jeff Lindsay, an anesthesiologist at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, ran the 800

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