Henry James Led All Performers at the 2009 Washington State Senior Games’ Track Meet | fullcirclepictures.info

Let there be no doubt about who was the star in the Track & Field venue at the 2009 Washington State Senior Games. Henry James literally knocked the socks off of his 50-54 age-group competition in the 400 and 800-meter runs, clocking 55.17 for the 400, and 2:03.55 in the 800.James electrified onlookers with his performance, smashing Bob Prather’s 2:11.11 mark in the 800 to set a new Senior Games record. Last year James set the record in the 400 with a 54.83 clocking.James, who lives in Bellingham, is a late bloomer. He apparently was middle distance runner who attracted little attention while running for Everett High School. He graduated from Western Washington University in Bellingham with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Computer Science and Business Administration, but did not compete in college.He began running again in 2001, thinking he would try a marathon, and joined a training group where he met and made some friends. One of his friends pointed out to him that he had some foot speed. He stopped training for a few years and then started again last year. This year was his second effort in seniors’ competition.James said he knew he was rounding into shape at the right time as he ran the 800 in 2:16 three weeks ago, followed that up with a 2:07 a week ago and then unleashed his 2:03.55 record-setter at this year’s Games in Tumwater (WA).In chatting with Henry James after his performance, he was effusive about the camaraderie he has experienced being around older runners who just cannot give up the sport they love.Charles Brocato (65-69 age group) of Gig Harbor had a great day as he went triple gold, turning in some great times while winning the 50 (7.62), 100 (13.68) and 200 (29.14).Among the men, the other best times of the day were recorded by David Ortman (50-54) of Seattle in the 50 (6.74), Steve Worley (55-59) of Salem (OR) in the 100 (13.27), Steve Joyner (55-59) of Bremerton in the 200 (27.06), and Ray Prentice (50-54) of Normandy Park in the 1,500 (4:39.64).Among the women, best times of the day were recorded by Lynne Clewell (65-69) of Seattle in the 50 (8.75) and 100 (17.07), Shannon Houlihan (50-54) of Olympia in the 200 (36.79), and Susan Hasselgrave (50-54) of Vashon in the 400 (1.29.44), 800 (3:21.39) and 1,500 (7:41.6). Both Clewell and Hasselgrave went triple gold as Clewell also won the 200 in her age-group.Joyce Trader (70-74) of Seattle also went triple-gold, winning the 50, 100 and 200.Best times in the 5,000 (5K) were recorded by Rand Iversen (60-64) of Elma (20:00-6:27 per mile) and Jacqueline Jordan (55-59) of Bellevue (24:03-7.45), and in the 10,000 (10K) by Russ Otani (50-54) of Lynnwood (39:56-6:26) and Karen Schoessel (55-59) of Olympia (46:46-7:33). Jordan also was triple gold after winning the 400 and 800 in her age-group.Among the men jumpers, best leaps of the day were recorded by Steve Worley (55-59) of Salem (OR) in the Long Jump (16-04), Richard Neidhardt of Olympia (50-54) in the Triple Jump (30-04.25), Dan Cole (60-64) of Olympia in the High Jump (4-11.75), and Louis Baucom of La Center and William Shugart of Seattle (both 50-54) in the Pole Vault (13-0).Among the women throwers, best efforts of the day included Jennifer Hogan (50-54) of Tacoma in the Discus (65-0), Hogan again in the Javelin (63-02), and Hogan again in the Shot Put (25-10.50)-and yes, Hogan went triple gold, and Susan Hinz (60-64) of Pullman in the Weight Throw (33-07).Fran Melzer (70-74) had two outstanding throws of 60-05 (60-feet-5-inches) in the Discus and 32-11 in the women’s Weight Throw; she won both events in her age-group. Melzer is an Olympia-area track supporter, participator and organizer of the first order. She is also a member of the Diehards Track & Field Club, which is primarily made up of jumpers and throwers but will also accept runners.Debbie Dohrmann (55-59) of Olympia picked up 5 gold medals in the Discus, Javelin, Shot Put, Weight Throw and Superweight Throw. Dohrmann was the iron-woman of the day, having been runner-up in the 50 and 100. She is also a member of the Diehards Club.Among the men throwers, best efforts included absolutely outstanding throws by Peter LaBarge (70-74) of Dallas (TX) in the Discus (134-01), and by Robert Ward (70-74) of Portland (OR) in the Shot Put (46-11)-notice their age, Gary Stenlund (65-69) of Battle Ground in the Javelin (151-0), George Matthews (65-69) of Hayden Lake (ID) in the Weight Throw (60-11.75), and another absolutely outstanding throw by Harvey Lewellen (80-84) of Springfield (OR) in the Superweight Throw (32-01.25).If you think seniors are an easy mark, I would not suggest trying to beat up aging Harvey Lewellen; he just might throw his attacker several feet though the air, and then slap them silly for even thinking about attacking him.Copyright © 2009 Ed Bagley