FALSE START #4 by David E. Ortman

[September 1999 National Masters News Reprinted by Permission]


There are four good things that can happen at a Track & Field Meet. I mentioned three of them in my July Column:

  1. Finish
  2. PR
  3. Win
The fourth good thing that can happen is setting a meet record.

Setting a meet record is one of those little perks. It is a bonus over and above winning an event. Some of us have spouses who think we are crazy for running around in our underwear and are tired of polishing another box full of medals. Nothing beats returning to announce to the household, "Honey, I set another Meet Record!"

The first three good things are within your control, but the fourth is not. Strangely enough, for many masters' meets, including those at the national and world levels, there are no meet records.

For example, at WAVA-Buffalo ('95) the meet program included the defending champions, but no meet records. The WAVA website contains a link to WAVA records. This page (WAVA Regional Records) displays the six WAVA regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America). However, only the Europe link is active and it only displays European Veteran Records noted in 1997 or 1998, not WAVA World regional meet records. However, there is hope. Bill McIlwaine has compiled the WAVA North & Central American & Caribbean World Regional Meet Records and Rex Harvy says that they will be posted on the WAVA website in the near future.

There does not appear to be a listing of meet records for the USAT&F National Masters Championships. Some of the USAT&F Regional Masters Championships keep meet records - the Northwest Regional meet records go back to 1983 and are included in the meet program each year. But none of these are posted on the Internet where you could compare WAVA World Regional or USAT&F Regional meet records.

Track & field meets rely on a large crew of volunteers (bless each and every one) so the task of updating meet records and including them in a meet program is just one more unpaid task. But there is no reason that some of the rest of us can't pitch in. Since the 1998 World Masters Games in Eugene, OR were the fourth of its kind, I offered to compile the track & field results into meet records. I was told that past World Masters Games left something to be desired in terms of officiating and standards. So I have compiled only the 1998 results as World Masters Games meet records.

One barrier is that while meet results are published in National Masters News, they are not readily accessible in electronic format which means that results have to be reentered by hand. Is it too much to think that the East, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, Mid-America and West Regional Championship meet records are already in someone's computer and could easily be posted on the Internet for comparison purposes?

Meet records should be posted on an official USAT&F Masters or WAVA website. In the meantime, I've posted the 1998 World Masters Games meet records, as well as the USAT&F Northwest Regional Championship Meet Records on my website .

If you have Regional Championship results in electronic format, please send them to me at: deortman@msn.com . Or if they are already posted on a site send me the Website link.

As my Father use to say after listening to Beatles music, "Records are made to be broken!"

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