Friday, February 17, 2017

USATF Masters National Indoor Championships '17 - day one meet report

M55 USATF National Indoor Champion - 55.92

Mission accomplished.  4th consecutive National 400m Title ('15 outdoor, '16 indoor and outdoor)
I wanted to win with a time under 56 and I did.   About the same time I won with in '16 outdoor Nationals (55.93) and close to the time I ran 5 yrs ago when I won my first National Indoor Title in '12 (55.90).   However, 0.70 slower than I ran last year (55.22) - which was a season best.

Unfortunately, our World Record attempt in the 4x200m relay won't happen because Don is not 100% and Oscar is sick.   And, to avoid risk of injury, I'm not racing in the 60m this year since I'm going to Daegu for the World Championships.  So, instead of running 7 races like last year, I'm only running 3:  the 200m semis and finals are tomorrow and Sunday.

The Race
Home stretch - last 50m
 As top seed, I got lane 4 which is a good lane, although I prefer lane 5 on this banked Mondo.  Warming up, I felt a bit stiff and sore in the feet (after having been in spikes 4 days in a row and taken 2 days off), but I started warming up way early, nearly 2 hrs before the race.  I did a good warmup running several fast ~70m sprints after stretching.  20 min before the race, I just relaxed.

I got out of the blocks well but James in front of me, got a slow start and I took the lead immediately.  I never saw anyone after I entered the back stretch.   I hit my 200m split really close to where I wanted, about 26.25, (shooting for 26.0).   James made a move on the back stretch and I could hear his foot steps ... he seemed close.  As I was about to enter the final stretch I glanced over my shoulder to see if he was there, but I was alone.   15m out, Peter Taylor said, "And Yelverton will win it."  It was a relief.  Very happy to be under 56 again.

Nice to join up again with my Masters track family.  Chatted with Ben, Jim, Sonya, George, John C., Marcus, Sue, Robert, Bill C., Jack, Dave, Rob, Francois, Emma, Lorraine, and many others.

M55 400m medalists - with Jim and David
I saw Bill Collins and said... "did I see you walking with a limp?"  He said , "Yes".... George quickly interjected, "until the gun goes off!"

I saw Orville Rogers - age 99, the meet's oldest competitor, and I got him to stand for a photo with me.

99 yr old athlete - Orville Rogers
It was great to be here.  200m semis tomorrow.   I'm wondering if Don will be able to bring it, having a slight ham injury.  Karl Smith, the Jamaican Olympian will be here but running exhibition.  He beat me by 0.4 at outdoor nationals and will probably win here, although his results are unofficial as this is a USA Championship meet.

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