Hundreds of athletes over 30, the oldest among them more than 90, raced, leaped, and threw at Langley’s McLeod Athletic Park over the weekend for the 48th Annual Canadian Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Among the top finishers was Shane Wiebe, the 53-year-old head coach of the track and field, as well as cross country teams at Langley’s Trinity Western University.
Competing in the 50- to 54-year-old division, Wiebe – a former national-level decathlete before he became a coach – took first in six events: throws pentathlon, hammer, shot put, discus, javelin, and 25-lb-weight throw.
“This was my third national championship and it was great to finish off the summer in our home facility,” Wiebe shared.
“I had a number of personal best performances, which is always something an athlete hopes for at a meet like this. With a record number of participants, the meet was well organized, well officiated, and you can’t beat the kind of camaraderie that develops amongst the participants. It’s a special experience that I hope to continue for many more years,” he told the Langley Advance Times.
Myrtle Acton from Sooke set two new world records on the first day of the competition, in both hammer throw and shot put, for women aged 90 to 94.
She threw a hammer 20.47 metres, beating the old record of 19.62, and then managed 6.58 metres in the shot put, besting the old record of 6.39.
Acton credited growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan for giving her the strength demonstrated in her chosen events.
She’s been competing since she was in her 60s, starting with the B.C. Seniors Games in 1993 in Cranbrook, she said, and has competed in all but two of those ever since.
Also competing was Louise Nesterenko of Calgary, who didn’t set a world record, but was on a comeback journey in her chosen sport, competing in the discus, hammer throw, javelin, weight throw, and shot put.
“I’ve had three strokes,” she explained.
The strokes left her blind in her right eye and lacking some mobility on her right side.
“I used to compete before the strokes, but now I’m starting again,” she said, noting she competed in the 70-74 age category.
Her best outing was in the weight throw, where she took 20th spot with a distance of 5.8 metres.
Hosted by the Greyhounds Masters Track and Field Club, the masters ran from Friday, Aug. 11 to Sunday, Aug. 13 at McLeod.
Events included hurdles, discus, pole vault, long and high jumps, steeplechase and relays, race walking, and 100 and 200 metre dash events, among other track and field staples.
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