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Posted: August 3, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Hanscom wins three gold medals at World Masters Championships

INDIANAPOLIS - U.S. Masters great Rita Hanscom was victorious in the W55 age-group pole vault Monday and has now won three gold medals at the 2009 World Masters Athletics Championships in Lahti, Finland.

The Championships feature athletes from all over the world ranging in age from 30-95+ in an impressive display of speed, strength, and endurance for all ages. Track events range from 100 meters to 10,000 meters, while field events include the full range of jumps and throws. The Championships will continue through Sunday, August 8.

Hanscom's best clearance of 2.70 meters/8 feet, 10.25 inches earlier today in the pole vault tied her for the top spot with Sue Yeomans of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, who cleared the identical height. Hanscom totaled fewer misses during the competition and was declared the winner.

Hanscom competed in the 300m hurdles Saturday for only the second time in her career and won the gold medal in 53.25 seconds. Marcela Pacrita of Romania was the runner-up in 55.21, with Belgium's Jocelyne Pater third in 55.86.

In the W55 heptathlon, Hanscom blew away the competition by amassing 6,382 points, which is a new heptathlon world age-group record. Grania Leaping Rabbit of Germany was the runner-up totaling 4,501 points, with Portugal's Helena Maria Pires De Carvalhofinishing third with 4,314 points.

In other news from combined events competition, Emil Pawlik finished the M70 decathlon 1,500 meters in a downpour, but held on to win the competition with 7,814 points. Pawlik's winning margin over runner-up Willi Klaus of Germany was 110 points. Bill Murray set an American record in the M55 decathlon with his total of 8,087 points, which easily bettered runner-up Klaus Peter Neuendorf of Germany's total of 7,179 points.

In the 100m prelims in Lahti, Renee Henderson posted an American record in the W45 age group with her time of 12.10 seconds. Her performance shattered the previous standard by masters all-time great Phil Raschker of 12.50 from 1995. Henderson went on to win the gold medal, clocking 12.22 in the final.

U.S. medalists from the 2009 World Masters Championships include:

July 28
W50 8 km Cross Country
Carmen Ayala-Troncoso (GOLD) 29.10

July 29
W80 5000 m Race Walk
Miriam Gordon (SILVER) 42:42.62 
Athanasia Thomas (BRONZE) 44:22.13

M80 5000 m Race Walk
William Moremen (GOLD) 34:03.21

M75 5000 m Race Walk
Jack Bray (GOLD) 31:45.30
Carlos Acosta (SILVER) 32:38.30 
Alfred Du Bois (BRONZE) 32:39.14

W55 5000 m Race Walk
Marianne Martino (BRONZE) 28:49.74


July 30
W50 High Jump
Martha Mendenhall (GOLD) 1.52m/4-11.75

M55 Pole Vault
William Murray (SILVER) 3.85m/12-7.5

W50 Weight
Carol Finsrud (BRONZE) 14.84m /48-8.25

M80 Shot Put
Arnie Gaynor (SILVER) 13.38/43-10.75

W35 Triple Jump
Ruthlyn Greenfield-Webster (BRONZE) 10.76 m/35-3.75 (+2.7w)

M75 Long Jump
Dick Richards United States (GOLD) 4.57m/15-0

August 1

M60 Pole Vault
Matti Kilpelainen (BRONZE) 3.70/12-1.5

W80 100 m
Sumi Onodera-Leonard (BRONZE) 21.47 (-2.0w)

W70 High Jump
Christel Donley (TIE-SILVER) 1.12m/3-8

M80 5000 m
Gunnar Linde (SILVER) 26:24.33

M60 Javelin
Juhani Nummela (BRONZE) 48.13m/157-11

W65 Hammer
Georgia L Cutler (BRONZE) 31.48m/103-3

M45 Long Jump
Rick Pruett (GOLD) 5.96m/19-6.75 

W55 Triple Jump
Linda Cohn (SILVER) 9.03m/29-7.5

M85 100 m
Melvin Larsen (BRONZE) 16.74

M50 100 m
Val Barnwell (GOLD) 11.40

W45 100 m
Renee Henderson (GOLD) 12.22

M40 100 m
Robert Thomas (SILVER) 11.24

 August 2

W80 Triple Jump
Johnnye Valien (GOLD) 4.63m/15-2.25

W55 Javelin
Linda Cohn (GOLD) 38.12m/125-1

M70 800m
Sidney Howard (SILVER) 2:29.01

W50 Javelin
Lisa Kinimaka (BRONZE) 35.85m/117-7

W35 400m Hurdles
Latrica Dendy (GOLD) 1:01.19

M50 800 m
Anselm Le Bourne (SILVER) 2:01.40

M55 400 m Hurdles
Thaddeus Wilson (SILVER) 1:06.14

W45 800 m
Loraine Jasper (BRONZE) 2:26.52

M35 400 m Hurdles
Bradley Dittmar (BRONZE) 56.44

W40 800 m
Lisa Valle (GOLD) 2:18.17

M45 400 m Hurdles
Darnell Gatling (GOLD) 56.49

M40 800 m
Neil Fitzgerald (SILVER) 1:57.55

W55 300 m Hurdles
Rita Hanscom (GOLD) 53.25

M35 800 m
Brian Sax (SILVER) 1:59.03

W70 200 m Hurdles
Becky Sisley (BRONZE) 41.08

W55 Heptathlon
Rita Hanscom (GOLD) 6,382pts.

 W70 Heptathlon
 Becky Sisley (GOLD) 6,050pts.
Christel Donley (BRONZE) 5,284pts.

 M55 Decathlon
 William Murray (GOLD) 8,087pts.
M70 Decathlon
Emil Pawlik (GOLD) 7,814pts.

M80 Decathlon
 William Daprano (SILVER) 4,870pts.
August 3
M80 10 km Race Walk
William Moremen (SILVER) 1:10:05

M75 10 km Race Walk
Jack Bray (GOLD) 1:04:47      
Carols Acosta (SILVER) 1:05:43

W80 10 km Race Walk
Miriam Gordon (SILVER) 1:31:31

W65 10 km Race Walk
Jolene Steigerwalt (BRONZE) 1:06:34

W75 10 km Race Walk
Grace Moremen (GOLD) 1:26.50
Clara Elkins (SILVER) 1:31.48

W55 Pole Vault
Rita Hanscom (GOLD) 2.70m/8-10.25 

W70 Javelin
Becky Sisley (SILVER) 26.55m/87-1

W80 Javelin
Johnnye Valien (Silver) 12.61m/41-4.5

M40 High Jump
Karl Hawke (GOLD) 1.87m/6-1.5

M45 High Jump
Thomas Vanzandt (SILVER) 1.78m/5-10

M65 Hammer
Ed Burke (SILVER) 50.41m165-4
George Mathews (BRONZE) 48.49m/159-1
W55 10 km Race Walk
Marianne Martino (BRONZE) 59:18.00

M50 Long Jump
Greg Petrosian (GOLD) 6.32m/20-9

W50 Discus
Carol Finsrud (GOLD) 42.70m/140-1

W80 200 m
Sumi Onodera-Leonard (SILVER) 48:77

M55 Shot Put
Tom Muller (BRONZE) 14.10m/46-3.25

W70 200 m
Jean Daprano (BRONZE) 37.03

M80 Discus
Arnie Gaynor (GOLD) 33.39m/109-6

M50 200 m
Val Barnwell (GOLD) 23.61

W45 200 m
Renee Henderson (GOLD) 25.33

W40 200 m
Charmaine Roberts (BRONZE) 25.90

W35 200 m
Lisa Daley (GOLD) 25.83

For more information on the 2009 World Masters Athletics Championships from Lahti, Finland, 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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