244 Team USA athletes, age 35-90+, are headed to Perth, Australia, to compete in the World Masters Athletics Championships October 26-November 6.
The USA team includes 16 returning world champions and 20 national age group champions. Team USA will joins over 4000 athletes and 90 countries.
Among women on the team, Hall of Famers Kathy Martin (65) in distances, Joy Upshaw (55) in hurdles and jumps, and Jeanne Daprano (80) in sprints and middle distances (first woman 70+ to break 7 in mile) are set to assault world age records and go for gold in their new divisions.
Among men, Australian native now competing as USA star, Roger Pierce (72), is excited to return to race for sprint medals on home turf. Bill Collins (65) continues his inspirational recovery, a remarkable story, from life threatening Guillain-Barre syndrome, once again setting world marks and now competing in a new age group. Gary Patton (70), double 2011 Sacramento Worlds winner, will attempt a triple in his new age division.
Throwers Ralph Fruguglietti (61), last year’s WMA Lyon winner, again does the discus; and Carol Finsrud (59), American record holder and past Olympic Trials qualifier, is competing in five throws events.
The team also includes two competitors in their 90’s: Dixon Hemphill (91) in five events, and Shirley Dietderich (90) in four.
Last year, at the World Masters Athletics (WMA) Outdoor Championships in Lyon, France, Team USA won 57 golds and 160 medals overall. The American team set six world records, four individual and two relays.
This year’s Team USA, making the 30-hour, 11,000+ mile (from NYC) flight “down under,” again expects to be among the top contenders both for individual and relay titles, as well as for Gold and overall medal counts by country. Athletes will display lifetime fitness and health regardless of age as the world’s best masters track and field athletes. Events include the full range of runs, jumps, and throws.
The delegation and team will be headed by outgoing USA Masters Track and Field Chair Gary Snyder, who oversaw team arrangements and coordinated liaison with WMA and USATF, including sponsored team uniforms from USATF and Nike.
Other USA representatives to the WMA General Assembly include long-time USA international experts and leaders Rex Harvey and Carroll Deweese. Competition team managers are Phil Greenwald (Stadia) and Mary Rosado (non-stadia).