Gayle Hefley, WInston Kenton

Introduction - explains how the records are organized, as well as other aspects of the data.

Synopsis - summary of the past year

Age Graded Analysis - best age-graded performances of the year

Millard (Jack) Crook
Kansas Records Statistician
Mulvane, KS

web page: Gene Wee

2009 Age-Graded/Masters Performances

As a reminder since it has been two years since we provided a Master Best Performances analysis, I need mention that the World Masters Athletes organization has developed & published factors for every age from 8 to 100, most of them based on actual historical data  These factors are related to what an elite runner would run for each distance. An elite time is treated as 100% and then each age is a percentage of that. For example, a 46 year old male should be able to run a 5K at 92.11% of what an elite runner could run, while a 13 year old should run about the same at 92.16%.  Comparable values for females are slightly easier at 90.53% and 93.37%

For 2009 you would think that this year’s Kansas Men’s Master award should go to Thom Wilkins of Conway Springs. After all, he recorded two of the top four overall grades plus led two different distances and tacked on one 2nd place to boot. His grade was not so great in the 4 mile event, but he still managed to top that event. So what’s the beef? Well, the shorter races seem to always produce the best grades for a good master runner because the age grading tables are biased by history. Speed deteriorates quicker than endurance when you age, and maybe it’s partly due to wear and tear on the old body. And that points to another aspect that seems to allow some master runners to perform better than others, and that’s what some call the “late start syndrome”.

Your Statistician can personally attest to that fact. After college, I never bothered to run again, let alone race, until I was over 50. I was 54 when I ran my first road race and I always did better in the short events.

Paul Heitzman of Eudora is another example. He didn’t start racing seriously until his 50’s.  And he’s the last master to grade better than 90% in Kansas, and in the two mile of course.  Paul also ran longer races, but his grades in those events were never as good as his 2 mile and 5K grades.  Thom is also a “late starter”.  But some might say that my analysis sounds like “sour grapes”, but that’s not true.  I don’t want to begrudge Thom’s performances at all, because he works at it and deserves what he has achieved.  And Paul had that same work ethic. And I also want to mention that Thom had better rankings in 2008 than in 2009, 3 first places and a 2nd; but unfortunately it never got published. Also, just for comparison, I checked the master women’s grades this year; they only achieved seven grades over 80% in 2009, and all were in the 2 mile & 5K events.

Anyway, let’s look at the “distance” specialists.  Here, 55 year old Steve Riley of Lawrence barely noses out Keith Long of Beaumont.  Steve topped the 10K, 10 mile, and Marathon events.  Keith led only the 8K distance, but recorded 2nd bests in the 4 mile, 10 mile and Half Marathon.  However, neither Steve nor Keith came close to the grading turned in by Dennis Smithhisler at the Wichita Half Marathon this year –just a fraction under 87%.  And of course his 1:12.55 time smashed the 45-49 age record for that distance, a record that was held by guess who?  Steve Riley. Too bad Dennis didn’t run more races during the year.   

And another “by the way” comment that I really think is significant.  In the table below, you will only find one out-of-stater on the list, and that is Raul Carrizalez of Evans, Colorado, -2nd place ­ in the 10K.  Raul ran the new course that was certified this year in Garden City, and at age 48, he finished 4th overall. WOW!  But I think he ran so well because he was trying to keep up with his 28 year old son who only beat him by 34 seconds.

EVENT NO. 1  MALE Grade   NO. 2   MALE Grade
2 MILE Kevin Miller 86.45%   Thom Wilkins 86.37%
5 K Thom  Wilkins 85.32   Gayle  Van Durme      84.44
4 MILE Thom  Wilkins 82.55   Keith  Long                 81.79
8 K Keith  Long                 79.38   Tom  Snook 74.98
10 K Steve  Riley                 83.04   Raul  Carrizalez           82.95
12 K Brian  Daldorph 75.12   Ken  Johnson 70.57
15 K No Races in 2009        
10 MILE Steve  Riley 82.96   Keith  Long 82.01
HALF Dennis  Smithhisler 86.99   Keith  Long 80.88
MARATHON Steve  Riley  80.81   Dann  Fisher 79.82

On the female side of the ledger, Deb Torneden of Wichita was easily  the “speed demon” for the year.  She had the top three gradings for the ladies, but they were all in the 2 mile.  The 4th and 5th best grades were in the 5K by two excellent Kansas City metro runners, Cindy Cameron and Kathleen Johnson.  Johnson also picked up a 2nd in the 10K as well. 

But two Wichita gals, Barbara Holzman and Trudy Calloway, pretty well dominated the rest of the events. Barbara topped the 8K, 10 mile and Half Marathon, while Trudy took the 4 mile, both 1st & 2nd and added a 2nd in the 10 mile.  But the best long distance grade was by Derby resident Holly Alexander with a good 78.89% in the River Run 10K; unfortunately injuries left her on the sideline for most of the rest of the season, or she would have given Trudy and Barbara a lot of competition.  Basically, Sedgwick county runners dominated the placings for the year, except for the two K.C. runners and Topekan Marla Rhoden’s second in the Marathon.

EVENT NO. 1  FEMALE Grade   NO. 2   FEMALE Grade
2  MILE Deb  Torneden 88.76%   Deb  Torneden 87.11%
5 K Cindy  Cameron 84.32   Kathleen Johnson 83.20
4 MILE Trudy  Calloway 75.08   Trudy  Calloway 74.60
8 K Barbara  Holzman     73.92   Beth  Rogers  71.39
10 K Holly Alexander 78.89   Kathleen Johnson 78.47
12 K No entries        
15 K No entries        
10 MILE Barbara  Holzman 74.14   Trudy  Calloway 74.01
HALF Barbara  Holzman 75.67   Sheryl  Drevo 74.77
MARATHON Molly  Lavacek 75.70   Marla  Rhoden 71.24

Sub-master grades were very poor this year with Paul Hefferon’s 86.9% leading the men while Melissa Todd graded only 84.4% to lead the women.  However the teen-age gradings were better than usual, led by 14 year old Kaelyn Balch of Wichita with a fine 10K grade of 86.6%, complementing her state record of 36.36 for the 13-15 age group.  And as far as I know, only Melissa ran a faster female time in Kansas this year than Kaelyn. AMAZING!

12 & Under Nick May 80.9% Allison Topham  79.4%
13 – 15 Bryant Keirns 78.9  Kaelyn  Balch 86.6
16 – 19 Eric Gruenbacher 84.1  Clifton  Avery  82.2
  copyright - 2010