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Featured Masters Athletes

Catherine Radle Hopes for Pole Vault World Record

April 2020

As one of the leaders of Atlanta Track Club's Masters Team, Catherine Radle has helped the Club win national titles while introducing numerous women to the world of Masters track and field. Get to know a bit more about Catherine by checking out the Q&A below.

How did you first become interested in running and track and field?

I didn't run until I moved to Georgia and met my husband (Sid Davis). I was living in New Hampshire and was on the World Championship fencing team for four years, but I never ran growing up outside of playing sports. He took me out with other runners. I was out of my element a lot, but I have always been someone who likes to do something new. He signed me up for a race, which was a 10k and that was the first time I ran. That was maybe 6-7 years ago. It was one of Atlanta Track Club's races during the fall. I ran right beside him and he kept telling me to keep on running. So I did!

What about the sport interests you now?

For my 71st birthday, Sid gave me pole vault lessons. It was my first time doing that event. I never even saw the event in person before then and now it is my favorite sport. I practice pole vaulting three nights each week. That's what I really love to do.

What is your role with the Atlanta Track Club Masters Team?

This is my third year as the age group coordinator of the women's 70+ LDR team. I'm not a runner, but we pulled together some people, a few who had never run before, and we won some National Championship titles in 2018 and '19. We have 10 women on the team right now and we're always recruiting more to join the team (sign up here).

What advice do you have for people who are new to competing at the masters level?

First of all, I tell them about the Track Club and all the opportunities they offer. Then we have an honest conversation about our age. We talk about injuries and how to avoid those. We talk about how to train and I share my training techniques, which are pretty robust.

Have you been able to recruit new pole vaulters?

Absolutely, there are some women who pole vault during competitions so we can earn some points. I was able to connect them with some help from Pole Vault Atlanta, which is who I train with. It is really hard learning a sport like pole vaulting when you're in your 70s and it's frustrating when you can't do what the kids do, but you just keep trying. There's nothing you can't do if you try. To me, you don't know your potential until you try it. You have to adjust your attitude and build the confidence to do what you want to by training consistently. But never say never as far as challenges go.I'm in a good position to be a mentor to young people and let them see that when they hit 70 they don't have to spend all their time in a rocking chair.

What are you currently training for?

I was really bummed that this track and field season is cancelled because I was ready. There are records to be broken right now. I haven't broken any yet, but that's a goal. I think the current women's 70+ indoor world record is 6' 9" and I'm at 6' 2". I've got a ways to go, but that's my goal. My husband and I do some real serious training every day. We're good partners we help each other get to our goals.

USATF Southeast Region Masters Indoor Championships

January 2020

Atlanta Track Club Masters Elite Track & Field team made the trek to Winston-Salem, NC last month to compete at the USATF Southeast Region Masters Indoor Championships at JDL Fast Track. Winning over 20 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze medals for the team were both seasoned masters and those new to the team. Of note were performances by M60+ Tom Fraker, who swept gold in the shot put (12.79m), weight throw (19.18m) and super weight throw (8.98m). M75+ Cook Holliday topped the triple jump (6.34m), high jump (J1.10m) and pole vault (2.15m). Multiple medal colors were won by Ridley Holder; gold in the 60m (8.75), silver in the 200m (31.30) and bronze in the shot put (10.30m). For the women, Trenice Dubow won the mile race walk (10:55.35) and 800m (3:43.85). World-ranked Catherine Radle continued to stand above the W75+ crowd with gold in both the pole vault (1.60m) and high jump (1.00m).

During the USATF Cross Country Championships at California's Mission Bay Park on January 18, our long distance Masters athletes tackled the 8K and finished with two teams earning bronze. The M50+ guys were Brad Slavens (31:33), Gary Droze (32:06), Lester Dragstedt (33:13), Jeff Haushalter (33:34) and Matthew Whitis (34:51). The M70+ team was Jerry Learned (39:23), Dave Glass (40:36) and Andrew Sherwood (56:45) - the latter now 80 but dropping down to help our two 70+ stalwarts fill out the team.

During Atlanta Track Club races so far this year, at the Resolution Run Mile, Kirk Larson was the overall top Age-Grader at 82.0%. On the women's side, Kelly Walsh was the overall winner and top age-grader (78.9%), with Terry Ozell closed behind at 76.7%, and capturing the age-grading award, as Kelly got the overall winner prize.


In the Resolution Run 5K, those age grading above a National Class 80% were Ken Youngers (at a World Class 90.0%), Greg Oshust 86.0%, Kirk Larson 85.1%, Mimi Silva at 81.5% (the top female in the race), Mike Anderson (recovering from a cold) at 81.1% and Michele Keane at 80.1%.

In the Jerome Scales Southside 12K, those above 80% were Ken Youngers at a sterling 89.1% on that hilly course, Kirk Larson at 84.7%, Greg Oshust at 84.2%, Jeff Dundas at 83.6%, Mike Anderson at 83.1% and Brad Slavens at 81.0%. Margaret Taylor was the top female age grader among masters with a very nice 78.1%.

2019 Year in Review

2019

During 2019, the Atlanta Track Club Masters Team accomplished something that no other club-at least in recent memory-had ever done. At the USATF Masters Club Grand Prix the team had earned podium finishes in all eight age groups-M40+ through M70+ and W40+ through W70+. Well in the just concluded year, our Masters Team topped that, leaving Pennsylvania's Lehigh University with either first or second place finishes for every division. M60+, W50+, W60+, and W70+ were national champions. M40+, M50+, M70+ and W40+ were second. That isn't just prestige either-although that is a big part of it. It's also winnings of $6,000 for the club.

Podium finishers on the women's side were Jill Braly (1st) and Hiroko Guarnieri (3rd) in W40-44; Missy Shah (2nd) and Laurie Wharton (3rd) in W50-54; Kris Huff (2nd) in W55-59; Patrice Combs (1st), Mimi Silva (2nd) and Cindy Williams (3rd) in W60-64; Kathy Allen (1st) in W65-69; Carol Rhodes (2nd) in W70-74; and Catherine Radle (1st) in W75-79.

On the men's side, Brian Sydow (1st) in M45-49; Lester Dragstedt (3rd) in M55; Ken Youngers (1st) and Mike Anderson (3rd) in M60-64; Kirk Larson (3rd) in M65-69; Jerry Learned (3rd) in M70-74; Andrew Sherwood (3rd) in M75-79; and David Turner (2nd in M80-84).

The team also recorded 4th place finishes from Margaret Taylor, Brent Fields, Gary Droze, Jeff Dundas, Dave Glass and Ed Bligh.

In sum, the 2019 Masters Team exceeded expectations and looks forward to some good efforts and results in 2020.

USATF 5 km Championships

August 18, 2018

Hosted in Atlanta at the Atlanta's Finest 5K, Atlanta Track Club's Masters Team dominated the team competition while picking up a score of national titles and top-five finishes. Laurie Knowles won her first-ever title and was the first woman to cross the line in 17:26. Alan Black finished third in the mens 40-44 age group, while Brent Fields finished second in the 45-49 age group. Betty Lindbergh also won her first-ever national title, as the 93-year old finished in 51:56. View the full results at the link below.

USATF Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships

July 26-29, 2018

ATLANTA – July 31, 2018 – A year after winning the USATF National Masters Track & Field Championship in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Atlanta Track Club’s Masters team traveled to Spokane, Washington to compete in the 2018 Championships this past weekend. Though they were unable to defend their title, the team delivered yet another set of impressive performances. So Cal Track Club took home the team title, but Atlanta Track Club went home with a slew of top-five finishes. Jeanne Daprano, the world record holder in the W70 mile, the W75 400 meters and W75 800 meters had a characteristically phenomenal weekend. She collected three gold medals in the women’s 80-84 division, winning the 1500m, 400m and 800m, while also finishing third in the 100m. Joel Dubow took home a pair of gold medals in the men’s 75-79 division with wins in the 10,000m race walk and the 5,000m race walk. On the field, Tom Fraker Jr. dominated the men’s 60-64 age group with gold medals in the hammer and weight throw competitions, while Sid Davis submitted a standout performance in the men’s 80-84 age group with a 4th place finishes in the hammer and weight throw and a 5th place finish in the discus. In the jumps, Atlanta Track Club also had Catherine Radle win the women’s 70-74 pole vault and Jim Sauers set the American record as he won the 70-74 high jump. Regina Richardson won a silver and bronze in the women’s 50-54 in the triple jump and long, jump, respectively. See below for a full listing of the top performances of the weekend and a link to the full results.

USATF 1 Mile Masters Championships

August 25, 2018

Alan Black won the overall event in 4:43 as Atlanta Track Club put on a strong display throughout the race, including women's 50+, 60+ and 70+ team championships.