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Posted: March 21, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Records, Benoit Samuelson win highlight Day 1 of USA Masters Indoor Champs

LANDOVER, Md. - Four world records and two American records, including Joan Benoit Samuelson's W50 American record in the Bob Fine Memorial 3,000m, highlighted day one of competition at the 2009 USA Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships at Prince George's Sports and Learning Center in Landover, Md.

Despite not having raced on an indoor track since setting the W45 American record in the 3,000m in 2003, Joan Benoit Samuelson (Freeport, Maine) dominated the W50 3,000m and won in an age-division American record 10 minutes 22.69 seconds. Following Benoit Samuelson across the line was the W55 winner Kathryn Martin (Northport, N.Y.) in 10:59.36. It was Martin's American record of 10:23.84 from 2004 that Benoit Samuelson broke.

In the final race on the track for the day, Charlie Kern (Elmhurst, Ill.) set an age-division American record in winning the M35 3,000m in 8:37.90. Kern led the race wire-to-wire, easily outdistancing runner-up Kareem Lanier of TNT Racing, who finished in 9:23.08.

William Murray (Birmingham, Ala.) led the M55 pentathlon from start to finish, with individual wins in the first four events, to win with a world record 4,384 points. Murray began with a 9.41 in the 60m, leapt 5.28m/17-4 in the long jump, then tossed the shot put 12.21m/40-0.75 and cleared 1.68m/5-6 in the high jump. Heading into the final event with a 321 point lead, Murray finished third in the 1,000m in 3:24.98 to clinch the title and the world record. Runner-up David Ortman's (Seattle, Wash.) 4,126 points also bettered the previous record of 4,103 set by the Netherland's Glenn Gentle in 2007.

Emil Pawlik (Jackson, Miss.) set the M70 world record in the pentathlon, scoring 4,316 points after wins in every individual event. He ran 10.39 in the 60m, had a mark of 4.51m/14-9.75 in the long jump, threw 11.15m/36-7 in the shot put, cleared 1.39m4-6.75 in the high jump and ran 4:22.80 in the 1,000m. The previous record of 4,254 was set by Norway's Knut Skramstad in 2008.

In the M75 pentathlon, Robert Hewitt (Gresham, Ore.) set an age-division world record with 4,437 points after winning every individual event. The previous world record of 4,419 was set in 2008 by Pavel Tosnar of the Czech Republic.

George Matthews (Hayden Lakes, Idaho) broke the existing American record in the M65 weight throw with his heave of 19.11m/62-8.5. The previous record of 16.93m/55-6 was set in 2008 by Robert Cahners who finished as the runner-up today with 16.62m/54-6.5.

Bob Ward (Dallas, Texas) decimated the field in winning the M75 weight throw in a world record 16.85m/55-3.5. Runner-up Edgar Holmes finished nearly 10 feet back with 13.87m/45-6.5. The previous record of 16.84m/55-3 was set by Finland's Seppo Salanto in 2007.

Leland McPhie of So Cal Track won his first event of the competition, the M95 weight throw, with a toss of 6.57 meters/21 feet 6.75 inches.

A brief chat with 1984 Olympic marathon gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson after hr win in the 3,000m:

"After the Olympic Trials I said I wouldn't do any more competitive marathons. So I set my sights on other shorter distances like the mile. I want to see what I can get my mile down to so I think a 3k is a good place to start. I think I can get pretty close to 5 (minutes).

"Until Tuesday, I hadn't done a track workout since the 2003 Masters Indoor Championships (when she set the W45 3,000m AR). So after my 14 mile run, I went to my alma mater and did four 400s on their indoor track. I should have gotten onto the track a lot sooner. I wasn't expecting the turns here to be so tight, my left hip buckled off the start.

On todays race: "I felt strong today but I didn't feel fast. I feel better at 51, almost 52, than I did in my late 40s.

"I was thinking that 10:30 was a realistic goal. I wanted to get that record but it was a little to close for me. I had a lot left over but I do need to do some speed work. I knew after that first mile that I would need to negative split to get the record."

On why she is still running: (I run) to keep fit in my 50's and beyond, and because it's fun. It's a passion and a desire to stay fit. There is no finish line."

For more information and complete results from the 2009 USA Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships, visit

About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.

For more information on USATF, visit

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