TRACK AND FIELD: Sierra Gold runs down Indoor National Championships
Sierra Gold continues to prove it is one of the top Masters track and field teams in the nation.
The local team had eight athletes head to Winston-Salem, North Carolina in early March to compete at the USATF Masters Indoor National Championships, where they tallied 13 first place finishes, 20 top-three finishes and took eighth in the nation as a team.
Leading the team was Irene Obera, who earned six National Championships. Competing in the women’s 85-89 age group, Obera won the 60-meter race, 200m, 400m, long jump, triple jump and high jump. Obera also took second in the shot put, and joined fellow Sierra Gold member Lynne Hurrell as well as two others to set the world record in the 4×200 relay.
Hurrell showed off her running prowess as she earned first place medals in the 800m and mile events. She also was third in the 400m. Hurrell has won National Championships in outdoor track, indoor track and cross country as well as gold medals in two different World Championships.
Sierra Gold member Jim Beckett impressed in the men’s 80-84 age group, placing first in the 3,000m, taking second in the mile and 400m, and grabbing third in the 800m.
Richard Hotchkiss won a pair of National Championships in the throwing events, winning the weight throw and super weight throw in the men’s 80-84 age group.
Distance runner Makie Ohler won a National title in the women’s 55-59 3,000m, and also placed fourth in the mile and fifth in the 800m. In the 3,000m race, Ohler edged out the second place finisher by less than a second. Ohler has won indoor and outdoor National Championships as well as a World Marathon Championship.
Bryan Mayberry also competed for Sierra Gold and placed second in the men’s 55-59 800m.
Despite nagging injuries, Bob Thurman earned a National Championship in the men’s 55-59 long jump, beating the second place finisher by .02 meters. Thurman was also fifth in the 400m.
Drue Mathies, Competing in the men’s 70-74 age group, ran four competitive races to finish fifth in the 400m, sixth in the 3,000m, ninth in the mile and 11th in the 800m.
Sierra Gold members are now gearing up for the World Masters Indoor Championships later this week in Torun, Poland. Team members Kathy Slouber , Durelle Schimek , Obera, Bryan Mayberry, Richard Hotchkiss, and Coach Alan Kolling will all be representing the local team at the event.
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