Year in Review – NCCWMA Championships
The 2017 NCCWMA Championships were held August 11th through 13th in Toronto, Ontario, CAN.Bolstered by an organizational tour de force, the North America-Central America- Caribbean Regional Championship furnished a dynamic summary of world-class masters competition.Nearly 1000 athletes representing 26 countries, including most North American countries, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil the UK, India and Ireland, assembled at York University’s Lions Stadium, previous venue of the Pan American Games and future host to the 2019 NCCWMA Championships and the 2020 WMA World Championships.
“We were approached by the NCCWMA in April to see if we could combine their meet with ours – leaving our three-day schedule intact. Given the prospect of having no regional championships, we agreed to bail them [Mexico venue] out, as it seemed to be a modest impact on our existing event. Things were going according to plan until the entries really started coming in later in June. We realized that this was going to be much bigger than any meet in NCC history, and our history.” said LOC director Doug Smith.
“Besides attempting to put on an outstanding meet for the athletes, we wanted to spare no expense to make the officials experience one where they wouldn’t hesitate to come back for TO2020. All in all, we were very proud of the meet, as people seemed to enjoy it – as reflected in the social media comments” Smith said.
US Hall of Famer, Kathryn Martin (W65), fashioned a pair of mesmerizing WR performances at 1500m and the 2000m Steeplechase. The gifted Canadian sprinter/jumper Carol LaFayette-Boyd(W75) attained three world records (100m, 200m, LJ). US records were set by Bob Lida in the 200m and 400m and by Joy Upshaw in the 80m hurdles.
“I’m excited, I’m under 15 seconds,” said the personable Lafayette-Boyd following her 14.96 clocking on the straightway, producing a staggering 106% age-grade performance. “I haven’t done that for a long time, that’s nice. My training leading up to this meet has been unbelievable,” she added, in giving kudos to Canadian World Championship team coach Carla Nicholls, who was in London while Lafayette-Boyd was taking care of business in Toronto. “She’s been something else, working me out like the young girls.”
Fresh off notable triumphs at the USATF Masters Nationals in Baton Rouge, Lida scored a pair of world age group leading times at 200 and 400m (29.10/62.10); his late season fitness unquestioned. “A lot of people don’t get to do this,” he said. “And it’s fun to run against other countries. In masters you tend to run into the same people all of the time, here there is an opportunity to compete against fresh faces.”
Excerpts from Ken Castro’s excellent article in the current issue of National Masters News – subscribe now to get the current issue.
Photos by Rob Jerome – Thank you to Rob and all the other photographers who support Masters Athletes through your excellent work.