Submitted by Masters Correspondent, Mike Matteson
2013 USA MASTERS THROWS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The weekend of August 3-4th proved to be outstanding in every way for throwers competing in the 2013 USA Masters Throws Championships, held at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois.
Both days were warm and sunny, and throwers aged 30 to 86 showed up primed for action.
Hosted and run beautifully by Sue Hallen and Ruth Welding, one hundred seventy-seven throwers produced a total of 14 American records in the three events: THROWS PENTATHLON (hammer, shot put, discus, javelin, weight throw), ULTRAWEIGHT PENTATHLON (weight, superweight, super-superweight, and 2 ultraweights), and the SUPERWEIGHT THROW (age-graded individual throwing event). To clarify the ULTRAWEIGHT PENTATHLON, for example, a 60 year-old man throws the following weights: 20, 44, 56, 98, 200 lbs. These weights vary by age and sex.
Saturday’s THROWS PENTATHLON saw incredible distances. Neni Lewis, W-50, threw the Hammer 50.35 meters. Myrle Mensey, W-60, hit 17.78 meters in the 12 lb Weight Throw.
On the men’s side, Mark Landa, M-40 hurled the Javelin 51.40 meters. Ron McConell, M-50, hit 55.53 meters with the 700 gram Javelin. George Matthews, M-70 threw the Hammer and Weight 46.99 and 18.15 meters, respectively.
Sunday’s Ultraweight Pentathlon got off to a fast start as Joseph Benoit, M-55, set an American record in the 25 lb Weight Throw at 19.01 meters on his first throw. Neni Lewis, W-50, hurled the 25 lb Superweight 10.95 meters. Mark Landa, tossed the 56 pounder 11.04 meters, and George Matthews, M-70, donned his Superman cape, hitting 10.58 meters with the 35 pounder. Mark Landa, M-40, topped his class swinging the 300 lb ultraweight an astonishing 1.61 meters.
Salutes are in order to our seven octogenerian throwers – one woman and six men.
Amid all the outstanding performances, Myrle Mensey and John Goldhammer stand out. Myrle broke her own record in the 12 lb Weight Throw by over a meter, with 17.78m, missing the world record by 6 cm. She also set point records in both the THROWS PENTATHLON and the ULTRAWEIGHT PENTATHLON with 4447 and 5188 points, respectively. Myrle is looking ahead to next year’s National meet as a 65 year old.
Goldhammer, a multiple world champion thrower, dominated the THROWS PENTATHLON by winning all five events, culminating with a 21.12m throw in the 20 lb weight. His 4708 point total lands just 19 points shy of the American record, held by the legendary Tom Gage. That would also rank him #1 in the world for 2012 (2013 rankings are still being tabulated).
The thrill of competing with some of the best throwers in the world, including those who have carved their names in Track & Field history – Mensey, Lewis, Goldhammer, Cedrone, Matthews, Muller, Landa and many more – is equalled only by the grace and humility of this group. The principle of Sportsmanship, with its many facets, is the brilliant light that shone down on each of the throwing sectors. It is an honor to be a part of this noble sport and to throw beside its gentle warriors.
* Special thanks to the great crew of USATF officials who donated their time and performed professionally throughout this meet.