OSHKOSH, Wis. - Many of the world's premier masters (age 30+) athletes, and several of Wisconsin's finest, will be at their best at the 2009 USA Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships, contested July 9-12 at the University of Oshkosh. Some 200 of the roughly 1,000 athletes expected in Oshkosh also are entered in the World Masters (WMA) Championships in Lahti, Finland, July 28-August 20. This weekend's competition will help them prepare for the world stage.
Top stars slated for Oshkosh include former IAAF World Masters Athlete of the Year Bill Collins of Houston, fresh off the publication of his book "The Ageless Athletic Spirit." He will try to continue his string of national outdoor triples. He's entered in the M55 100, 200 and 400 meters, and he holds world records in the 100 and 200.
Becky Sisley, former women's athletic director at the University of Oregon, comes to Oshkosh in the wake of a tremendous debut in the 70-74 age group. Since turning 70 on May 10, she has broken world records in the W70 pole vault and heptathlon and American records in the javelin, 80-meter hurdles and a new event: the 200-meter hurdles.
Northern California's Jim Sorensen, a schoolteacher who two years ago set M40 world records in the 800m (1:50.34) and 1500m (3:44.06) and lowered the American mile record to 4:04.98, will be competing in his first masters nationals. He's entered in M40 events from the 800 to 10,000m.
103 entrants are from Wisconsin. Competitors will include John Zupanc, UW-Oshkosh Head Men's Track and Field and Cross Country Coach, just named NCAA DIII Track and Field Coach of the Year. He has won six national titles as a coach at UW-Oshkosh -- four in cross country and two in track and field, including the 2009 national indoor and outdoor titles. Zupanc will be competing in the 55-59 steeplechase and 10,000m, personally demonstrating masters track's mission of a lifetime of ongoing fitness regardless of age.
Other top Wisconsin entrants include:
Marilyn Gundermann (Madison), age 76, tore up the track last year at the outdoor nationals as she won the 100 in 17.94 (American record for this age group is 16.87) and the 200. She will run the 100 and 200 this year as well.
Lois Gilmore (Janesville), a cancer survivor, the American record holder for W75 (women 75-79) in the 10,000 run, and the USA Track & Field national masters athlete of the year for 2007.
Margaret Kaufman (Madison), age 66. This historian and novelist was second in the long jump at last year's outdoor nationals and took third in the 200. Margaret is entered in the 100, 200, and long jump.
Robert Zahn (Grafton). Robert, age 55, finished third in both the 1995 and 1999 world outdoor masters 110-meter hurdles. In addition, he was third in the 2006 world indoor masters in the 60m hurdles. He will contest the 100 hurdles and high jump at Oshkosh.
Jeff Kingstad (Winchester). Jeff, age 56, is the American indoor record holder in the pole vault for men 55-59 with a clearance of 4.12 meters/13 feet, 6.25 inches. He will vault at Oshkosh as well.
Mike DeWitt (Kenosha). Mike, age 58, is the coach at Wisconsin-Parkside, coaches race walking and race walks himself. He finished third in the outdoor nationals last year in both race walks (5,000, 10,000) and will be in those events this year.
Alfred Dubois (West Allis). Always one of the top masters race walkers, Alfred, age 77, finished second last year at national outdoors in both race walks and will compete in those events this year.
Bill Jankovich (Racine). A longtime professor at Carthage College in Kenosha, Bill (now 75) has been a nominee for the Masters Hall of Fame. He has entered the 100, 400, 80 hurdles, 300 hurdles, high jump, pole vault, discus and javelin at Oshkosh.
James Michaels (Oconomowoc). James, age 52, finished fourth last year at nationals with an excellent 11.93 in the 100. He will run the 100 and 200 at Oshkosh and will also put the shot.
John Rose (Plover). Now 43, John has entered the shot put and discus at Oshkosh. Last year at nationals he put the shot 44 feet, 5.47 inches.
Wes Shaughnessy (Madison). Age 30, an NCAA DIII All-American in the 1500 in 2001 and 2001; Drake Relays Champion
Michael Draheim (Menasha). Age 32, was the 4x800 Drake Relays champ in 2000
Wisconsin list as well as much information in the release compiled by Peter Taylor, National Masters and Oshkosh Meet announcer and Media Committee Member).
For more information on the 2009 USA Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships, including schedule of events and a complete listing of entrants, visit USATF.org.
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 USATF.org