TRACK & FIELD: Sierra Gold athletes shine at National Masters Track and Field Championships | TheUnion.com

TRACK & FIELD: Sierra Gold athletes shine at National Masters Track and Field Championships

It's good to go home.

Competing in front of friends and family in her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, distance runner Inka Mims, of the local Sierra Gold Masters Track and Field team, shined with two first place medals and a second place medal at the 2017 USATF National Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships over the weekend.

"It was nice doing it in my hometown with family there," said Mims, who was competing in her first Outdoor Masters National Championship.

Mims, 57, was one of three Sierra Gold team members to compete at the Masters National Championships, joining Kathy Slouber, 66, and Stephan Adelman, 50.

Competing in the women's 55-60 age group, Mims won the 10,000-meter run and the 5,000-meter run and took second in the 1,500. Mims started with the 5,000 on Thursday, finishing in a time of 20 minutes, 42.83 seconds — more than 4 minutes faster than the second place finisher. In Saturday's 10,000 event, Mims notched a time of 43:29.78 to win by more than a minute. In the Sunday's 1,500, Mims finished in a time of 5:39.21, a little more than 10 seconds behind the first place finisher.

"Inka had an extraordinary meet," Sierra Gold coach Clyde Lehman said. "I was really impressed by her performance."

The key to Mims' success in Baton Rouge? Being able to adapt to the hot, humid climate.

"Probably not getting psyched out by the humidity," Mims said was of high importance. "I knew it was coming. I think that scared way some of the distance runners. I'm not really acclimated to the humidity anymore, but psychologically I knew it could be done."

Adelman won a pair of first place medals in throwing events. He dominated the men's 50-54 AG hammer throw with a distance of 171-feet, 3-inches. His winning throw was twice as long as the second place finisher. Adelman also won the 50-54 weight throw with a heave of 17.74 meters.

"He will be one of the best in the world," said Lehman, "He's an extraordinary athlete."

Slouber was busy with four events, competing in the shot put, weight throw, discus and javelin in the women's 60-64 division. Slouber took third place in the weight throw (7.58 meters) and fourth place in the shot put (24-5 3/4), javelin (48-8) and discus (63-2).

"Really proud of her," said Lehman. "She competes really well. She is one of the hardest working athletes on the team and really commits herself."

Despite having a fraction of their team competing, the scores from Mims, Adelman and Slouber were good enough to place Sierra Gold 24th out of 109 teams competing at the event.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.