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1976 Olympian Hart sets world record at U.S. Masters


Larry Hart, a 1976 Olympian from Los Angeles, set a world record for the men’s age 70-74 division in the weight throw, highlighting a stellar number of accomplishments, including five American records as of late Friday on the first day of U.S.Track and Field Masters Indoor Championships at Albuquerque Convention Center.

It was the first day of the three-day meet. Over 600 athletes from ages 30 to 99 are competing this weekend. The meet concludes Sunday.

Hart broke the previous Men’s age 70 (M70) record with a throw of 21.08 meters/69½ feet. During his performance Friday, he beat former rival Ed Burke’s world mark in the weight throw.

Hart has been among the best weight throwers in the U.S. for the past five years, but this was his first appearance at a national championship. The U.S. Military Academy graduate was also 1975 Pan American Games gold medalist in the hammer throw.

Also, Gloria Krug (New Oxford, Pa.) set two American records in the women’s 85-89 long jump and shot put. Krug, 85, threw 6.72m/22-¾ and jumped 1.51m/4-11½ in her impressive display of athleticism.

Krug’s records marked her third and fourth career in American indoor; she also boasts 10 American outdoor records.

Even though she set the American records, Krug said, “Jumping is not my thing. I do it to keep my knees active so I can throw. … I feel good.”

She also plans to compete in the shot put, weight throw, the super weight and the triple jump.

In the 400 meters, two American records were broken across men’s and women’s groups. Bob Lida (Wichita, Kan.) crushed the M80 division  in 1:13.34. Lorraine Jasper (Birchrunville, Pa.) broke the W55 American record in 1:06.79 in a fast-paced final.

Former Masters of the Year honoree Kathy Martin (Northport, N.Y.) celebrated moving to a new age group by not only winning the W65 3,000 meters. She also by setting a new American record in 11 minutes, 53.32 seconds.

Martin battled on the track against W55 winner Mary Swan and runner-up Laura Bruess for the overall lead. Martin began the at the race front, maintaining her dominance for most of the 15-lap run.

Swan and Bruess made a pass toward the end, finishing just ahead of Martin in 11:49.67 and 11:52.18, respectively.

Martin is a past overall Masters Athlete of the year who won four golds at the World Games in Perth. She was the first 60-plus woman to run a mile under six minutes.

Also, Quenton “Doug” Torbert (Redlands, California), coming off his gold at the 2016 WMA Outdoors in M60, won the shot put in 15.33m as part of the 65-70 age group.

Also of note, the meet’s oldest competitor, 99-year-old Orville Rogers (Dallas, Texas), made his 2017 masters championship debut in the M95 400m dash, finishing in 4:08.88. He has three events to go.

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