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Rain Aside, 28 State Records Fall
Cool, overcast, windy and rainy, the 2010 Maryland Senior Olympics track and field meet Aug. 14-15 at Howard Community College nonetheless became a remarkable weekend. While participation for a National Senior Games qualifying year was down and a 75-minute rainstorm delay on Sunday caused a loss of some competitors, a remarkable 28 state and three national records were established.

If you count the open-registered out-of-state athletes, 35 state records were broken.

Alison Suckling was in her own world in breaking three long-time MSO running records.
For pure speed, the meet belonged to tall, methodical runner Alison Suckling, 55, of Arnold. She set three state 55-59 age group records—1,500- and 800-meter runs, and 400-meter dash—that had been on the MSO record books a combined 58 years. Also consider she posted the 1,500 and 400 times against a strong headwind track officials measured at greater than 2 mps.

Suckling, who anxiously paced about the track and parking lot before her 1,500-meter run, took off at the gun and quickly went into cruise for a 5:40.49 time, obliterating Joanne Mallet's 1990 mark of 6:09.64. Suckling's time would have also set a National Senior Games age group record. A bit later, she recorded a 1:14.63 in the 400, nudging Elly McComas' 1994 MSO mark of 1:15.50.

Sunday, with awful weather surrounding the area, Suckling made it quick and easy in the 800, running a smooth 2:55.39 that topped Rachel Nielsen's 1988 record of 3:01.27.

By then, attention had turned to MSO legend Wally Dashiell, 87, of Stevensville. She entered the meet already holding 11 state records in the 85-89 age group; she departed with eight new or extended marks, including a National Masters record of 12 feet, 4.50 inches in the triple jump and a 12-pound weight throw of 19-04-75, which bettered her 2008 state mark by 2 feet 9.

That's what really turned heads at this year's meet. Mrs. Dashiell keeps getting better! Six of her records this year were extensions of her previous records in the age group.

Having a grand time and bouncing around the meet, Mrs. Dashiell unknowingly struck a terrific pose after the 200-meter dash with another state legend, Audrey Lary, of Frederick. On Saturday, Mrs. Lary, 76, set a National Masters mark of 34-05.50 in the weight throw. While she won six gold medals and easily qualified for the 2011 National Senior Games, Mrs. Lary did not improve on her MSO sprint records in the 100, 200 and 400 dashes. We're pretty sure she'll be in top form by next year's Nationals in Houston.

Gary Barlow's long jump landing form is derived from the "Karate Kid" remake.
The weather conditions no doubt affected the running events as just three marks fell for ages 70-and-below. Top billing goes to Oscar Peyton, 58, of Accokeek, who battled the headwinds for a 11.89 100-meter record, tipping his old mark of 12.02. Likewise, Alby Williams, 70, of Bethesda clocked a 1:06.04 in the 400, ending the 19-year mark of 1:10.00 by Edward Matthews Jr.

The majority of records were, indeed, set in the field events. Larry Rosen of Bethesda upped his own discus record in 50-54 to 155-0, and Sharon Good, 78, also improved her weight throw mark by over 10 feet to 48-02.

Donna Barrett of Glenarden had another nice Maryland Games in women's 50-54, improving her hammer throw and shot put marks. In the same age group, Shirley Geisbert of Charlotte Hall set records in javelin and discus and was part of some great competitions among the younger ladies, including Laurie Boyer, 52, of Laytonsville, who captured the 100, 200, recreation walk, long jump and softball throw gold medals.

The most amazing scene of the meet was the shot putters refusing to come off the field during the torrential rains that interrupted play Sunday afternoon. The shot putters endured nature's warm bath to complete their event before running for cover and huddling with the masses waiting out the downpour.

* Complete 2010 MSO Track and Field Results.

2010 Track and Field Records
New Maryland Senior Olympic records set at this year's meet:

M55 100-Meter Dash—
Oscar Peyton, 58, Accokeek, 11.89. Old record: Oscar Peyton, 12.02, 2008.

M70 400-Meter Dash—Alby Williams, 70, Bethesda, 1:06.04. Old record: Edward Matthews Jr., 1:10.00, 1991.

Record-setter Alby Williams looks back for the competition as if to say, "where is everyone?"
M65 Hammer Throw—James Pearce, 65, Columbia, 114-11. Old record: Adolph Kuegler, 103-06.00, 2006.

M70 Hammer Throw—Adolph Kuegler, 73, Parkton, 115-0. Old record: Adolph Kuegler, 114-6.98, 2008.

M75 Hammer Throw—Gerald Snyder, 75, Parkton, 83-0. Old record: Robert Leishear, 60-11, 2006.

M80 Hammer Throw—Darrell Dempster, 81, Annapolis, 70-10. Old record: William Bergen, 69-10, 2009.

M50 Discus—Lawrence Rosen, 51, Bethesda, 155-0. Old record: Larry Rosen, 144-09.00, 2009.

M85 Softball Throw—Edward Murphy, 86, Rockville, 116-02.00. Old record: John Ely, 110-03.00, 1994.

M85 Football Throw—Edward Murphy, 86, Rockville, 85-09.00. Old record: Herbert Sauber, 78-09.00, 2009.

W85 100-Meter Dash—
Wally Dashiell, 87, Stevensville, 31.99. Old record: Elizabeth Dow, 32.62, 1997.

W85 200-Meter Dash—Wally Dashiell, 87, Stevensville, 116-02.00. Old record: Newly established mark.

W55 400-Meter Dash—Alison Suckling, 55, Arnold, 1:14.63. Old record: Elly McComas, 1:15.50, 1994.

Donna Barrett set new records in hammer throw and shot put, so it was only natural we had a photo of her in discus.
W55 800-Meter Dash—Alison Suckling, 55, Arnold, 2:55.39. Old record: Rachel Nielson, 3:01.27, 1988.

W55 1,500-Meter Run—Alison Suckling, 55, Arnold, 5:40.49. Old record: Joanne Mallet, 6:09.64, 1990.

W85 1,500-Meter Run—Wally Dashiell, 87, Stevensville, 13:54.18. Old record: Wally Dashiell, 18:56.71, 2008

W70 1,500-Race Walk—Lois Dicker, 71, Silver Spring, 9:27.07. Old record: Alberta Tompkins, 10:51.00, 1993.

W50 Hammer Throw—Donna Barrett, 54, Glenarden, 74-02.00. Old record: Donna Barrett, 68-09.30, 2008.

W75 Hammer Throw—Sharon Good, 78, Silver Spring, 48-02.00. Old record: Sharon Good, 38-01.88, 2008.

W85 Hammer Throw—Wally Dashiell, 87, Stevensville, 47-02.00. Old record: Wally Dashiell, 41-05.35, 2008.

W75 Weight Throw—Audrey Lary, 76, Frederick, 34-05.50. Old record: Sharon Good, 18-09.63, 2008.

W85 Weight Throw—Wally Dashiell, 87, Stevensville, 19-04.75. Old record: Wally Dashiell, 16-09.61, 2008.

W85 Standing Long Jump—Wally Dashiell, 87, Stevensville, 3-03.75. Old record: Wally Dashiell, 3-03.17, 2008.

Shirley Geisbert has her javelin perfectly targeted for a new MSO record.
W50 Discus—Shirley Geisbert, 54, Charlotte Hall, 81-00.00. Old record: Donna Barrett, 73-04.90, 2008.

W50 Shot Put—Donna Barrett, 54, Glenarden, 31-09.50. Old record: Donna Barrett, 26-08.92, 2008.

W85 Shot Put—Veronica Clark, 85, Baltimore, 14-10.00. Old record: Elizabeth Dow, 14-04.00, 1997.

W50 Javelin—Shirley Geisbert, 54, Charlotte Hall, 69-04. Old record: Diane Harahush, 66-02.00, 1999.

W85 Triple Jump—Wally Dashiell, 87, Stevensville, 12-04.50. Old record: Wally Dashiell, 9-03.50, 2008, 2009.

W85 Football Throw—Wally Dashiell, 87, Stevensville, 30-05.00. Old record: Wally Dashiell, 25-06.00, 2008.

Fallen, but Standing
The following out-of-state competitors broke MSO records, but because they are not current or former Maryland residents and competiting to qualify for the National Senior Games, the existing state records remain standing:

* M65 Discus—Larry Pratt, 69, Newark Del., 146-08. Standing record: Edward McComas, 130-09.50, 2000.

* M50 Standing Long Jump—Charles Lemon, 50, Beaver Falls, Pa., 8-10. Standing record: Chuckie Arons, 8-08, 2003.

* W85 Javelin—Charlie Pistorino, 87, McLean, Va., 63-01. Standing record: Charlie Irwin, 55-10.00, 2003.

* M50 Weight Throw—David Belhumeur, 54, Cumberland, R.I., 38-10.25. Standing record: Keith Mathis, 31-04.00, 2006.

* M60 Weight Throw—Ken Moss, 54, Leesburg, Va., 60-04.00. Standing record: Jerry Bookin-Weiner, 50-08.53, 2008.

* W65 Hammer Throw—Cindy Arbelbide, 61, Front Royal, Va., 92-05.00. Standing record: Nancy Berger, 24-01.79, 2008.

* W60 Weight Throw—Cindy Arbelbide, 61, Front Royal, Va., 36-09.75. Standing record: Evelyn Wright, 26-07.00, 1999.

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