Albuquerque locals look to make their mark at USA Indoor Masters Championships
INDIANAPOLIS – More than 800 of the nation’s finest masters athletes, many of whom from the greater Albuquerque area, will compete March 4-6 at the 2011 USA Indoor Masters Track and Field Championships at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, N.M.
The event features 77 reigning World Indoor champions, 34 current World Outdoor champions and numerous Olympians, who will compete in ages ranging from 35-96 in a remarkable display of speed, strength, and endurance for all ages. Track events will range from 60 meters to 3,000 meters, while field events will include the full range of indoor jumps and throws. Athletes with local ties to the Albuquerque area competing at the championships include:
1. Trish (Patricia) Porter (W45) of Albuquerque, who tied for eighth in the high jump in the Seoul Olympics in 1988 as University of Oregon alumna Trish King. She is married to 1984 and 1988 10 km Olympian Pat Porter. In Albuquerque she’s slated to compete in the shot put, high jump, long jump and 60m hurdles.
2. Paul Economides (M65) has lived in Albuquerque since 1978. He is entered in the shot, weight throw and super weight-throw. He holds the American m65 weight pentathlon and discus records. He also holds the M65 World record for the throws pentathlon. He won the M60 weight throw at the 2007 World Masters Championship in Riccione Italy.
3. Brad Winters (M55), is entered in and is am M50 indoor national championship winner of the pole vault. He serves as a city councilman in Albuquerque and is one of the persons responsible for bringing the indoor track to Albuquerque and finding/providing the facility.
4. Lisa Valle (W40), middle distance runner and Masters record holder and champion. She won Women’s exhibition 1,500 at last year’s Senior Indoor Championships in Albuquerque. Valle, who resides in Albuquerque, won three gold medals at the Lahti worlds, is the world outdoor record holder in W40 steeplechase.
5. Jamie Cook, a masters weight thrower, is one of the driving forces for the indoor facility.
6. Dan Holton, 42, of Chicago, Ill., was a two-time; U.S. Masters Outdoor champion (M35) and four-time U.S. Masters Indoor champion (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010), World Indoor Champion (2006) and World Indoor Runner-up (2010).
7. James Koch (Santa Fe) has been a winner in Senior Olympics and USATF events. He is a regent at the University of New Mexico, and is very active in New Mexico politics.
8. Dennis Diaz (Las Cruces) is capable of winning the M55 shot put (former NMSU weight thrower-has won several Sr. Olympic events). He is a pastor and runs several community ministries in Las Cruces.
9. Teddy Mitchell (M35) Men’s 800m, Mile, 3,000m, formerly ran for the University of Arkansas.
10. Linda Laktasic (W50) 800m, Mile – Laktasic was the first Macalester female athlete to receive All-America honors, earning that distinction three times in cross country and three more times in track. In cross country, Laktasic placed 12th nationally in 1980 and 1981, and in 1983 she finished fourth. As a senior, she joined with teammate Julia Kirtland to place first and second at the NCAA Central Regionals. Her best national finishes were a pair of third-place efforts in track and field, both at 10,000 meters. She also produced a fifth-place national finish in the 5,000m run. Following graduation, Laktasic quickly became a nationally competitive marathoner, winning the elite Houston Marathon in 1998 and qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials twice. Laktasic received an MBA from the University of New Mexico in 1991.
11. Colleen Burns (W60) entered in the sprints (60M, 200M, 400M) as well as the Mile, is from near Albuquerque. She was at the National Senior Games in Palo Alto two years ago… ran the 5 km and 10 km road events there.
12. David Salazar (M60) athlete who lives in Cedar Crest, N.M., a town about 30 miles outside of Albuquerque. He’s entered in the 400m, the 800m and the mile.
13. Matthew Duncan (M60) – Men’s Mile
14. Francoise Barnes (W60) – Women’s Mile