MASTERS TRACK & FIELD: Sierra Gold athletes earn 15 national championships | TheUnion.com

MASTERS TRACK & FIELD: Sierra Gold athletes earn 15 national championships

With an opportunity to compete on a national stage, Sierra Gold shined.

The Nevada County based track and field team made its way to Spokane, Washington over the weekend for the 2018 USATF National Masters Track & Field Championships where it placed second as a team and its athletes earned 15 individual national championships.

"The team just did incredibly, incredibly well," Sierra Gold coach Clyde Lehman said. "They came together as a team, as a unit, and the performances were just off the charts. We were hoping for a top-10 finish and to finish second and be on the podium and get a really nice trophy was just outstanding."

Earning three individual national championships was Sierra Gold athlete Irene Obera. Competing in the women's 80-84 age group, Obera took first place in the 100-meter, 200m and the long jump.

Also earning three national championships was Betts Stroh, winning the 100m, 200m and long jump in the women's 85-89 age group.

"Our 80 year olds did an amazing job," Lehman said. "Those athletes were just phenomenal with the number of events they won."

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Steve Adelman impressed in the throwing events with national championship efforts in the men's 50-54 hammer throw and weight throw.

Also throwing their way to national titles was Richard Harrison and Durelle Schimek. Harrison won the men's 45-49 shot put, and Schimek won the national championship in the women's 50-54 javelin.

Robert Thurman leaped to a national championship by winning the men's 60-64 long jump.

In distance running events, Sierra Gold's Makie Ohler, Lynne Hurrell and Robert King all earned national titles. King won a pair, taking the top spot in the men's 75-79 5,000m and 10,000m. Hurell, competing in the women's 80-84 age group, won the 5,000m. Ohler won her national championship in the women's 55-59 10,000m.

Sierra Gold athletes Bob Arnds, Patti Baker, James Beckett, Bob Blackburn, John Darlington, Richard Hotchkiss, Gordon Keller, Bob King, Dan King, Bobby Klemann, Brian Mayberry, John McNamee, Inka Mims, Michael Nevins, Roger Parnell, George Patterson Sr., and Kathy Slouber all competed at the National Championships, earning multiple podium finishes to Sierra Gold's tally and contributing to the team's overall score.

As a team, Sierra Gold scored 326 points and finished second behind only So Cal Track Club. There were 108 teams and more than 1,000 athletes competing at the event which was held at Eastern Washington University.

"It's so gratifying when individuals come together and become a real team," said Lehman, who credited fellow coaches Steve Conrad and Richard Hotchkiss with getting the team prepared. "This group has always supported and cheered for each other, and on the very first day they started seeing what it's like to be a team and started to see what they could accomplish."

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

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