TRACK AND FIELD: Sierra Gold athletes shine at World Championships |

TRACK AND FIELD: Sierra Gold athletes shine at World Championships

With a chance to compete against the best masters athletes in the world, five members from Sierra Gold rose to the occasion and shined on the biggest stage their sport has to offer.

Competing at the Masters World Indoor Track and Field Championships held last week in Torun, Poland, Sierra Gold athletes claimed six gold medals, three silvers and multiple top-10 finishes.

Earning a gold medal and the title of world champion was Durelle Schimek. The talented thrower won the women’s 50-54 javelin event with a throw of 37.43 meters, beating out the second place finisher by .67 of a meter.

“She’s a very focused, hard working athlete,” Sierra Gold coach Clyde Lehman said of Schimek. “Once she decides on a goal she stays focused on that goal, and she’s able to do it.”

Schimek, who took silver at last year’s World Championships, adds the 2019 world title to the National Outdoor Championship she won in 2018.

Grabbing the largest haul of medals of the Sierra Gold contingent was Irene Obera, who competes in the women’s 85-89 age group and shined in multiple events. Obera won five golds and three silvers in all, earning the world champion title in the 60-meter run, 200m, long jump, 60m hurdles and 4x200m relay. She set world records in the 60m, 200m and 4x200m relay. Obera took silver in the 400m, shot put, and triple jump.

“She’s just a phenomenal athlete and a wonderful human being, and we’re blessed to have her,” said Lehman.

Sierra Gold throwing coach and competitor Richard Hotchkiss was fifth in both the weight and hammer throws in the men’s 80-84 age group.

“He’s not only one of the best coaches in the country or world, but for him to finish fifth in both those events is really impressive,” Lehman said.

Hotchkiss won National Indoor titles in the weight, and super weight throws in North Carolina earlier this year.

Fellow Sierra Gold thrower Kathy Slouber earned seventh place in both the weight and hammer throws while also placing eighth in the shot put and ninth in the discus in the women’s 65-69 age group.

Also competing for Sierra Gold was Bryan Mayberry (men’s 55-59), who took 8 seconds off his personal record in the 1500m and made a 24-second improvement in the 3000m.

“Those five athletes were absolutely amazing,” said Lehman.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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