• Thomas Mims, Sports Writer

Versailles athletes compete at National Masters Meet

Versailles residents Charles and Catherine Bishop were among seven athletes representing Kentucky at the 2019 USA Track and Field (USATF) Masters Outdoor Championships held at Iowa State University from July 11 to 14. The Bishops were among more than 900 athletes ages 30 to 96 years of age who competed at the university’s Cyclone Sports Complex. Three of the entrants, including former triple jump world record holder Willie Banks, have represented the United States in one or more Olympic Games. USATF is the national governing body for track and field, long-distance running, and race walking in the United States. USATF Masters encompasses its over-30 division whose competitors exemplify lifelong fitness and competitive spirit. Masters athletes at the 2019 championship set seven new age-group world records and 13 new American records during the four-day meet. More than 25 track and field skills were highlighted during the competition including jumps, throws, shorter sprints, longer runs, and racewalk events at various distances up to 10,000 meters. Both Charles and Catherine are multi-event competitors. Charles entered the pentathlon, finishing in fifth place with a combined score of 1473 for the long jump, discus throw, javelin throw, 200-meter dash, and 1500-meter run. He also finished in seventh place in the pole vault competition and in 10th place in the age-group 1500-meter run that was contested separately from the pentathlon. Catherine earned a silver second-place medal in the 200-meter dash, a bronze third-place medal in the triple jump, fourth-place ribbons in the high jump and shot put, and a sixth-place ribbon in the 12-pound weight throw. She also competed in the hammer throw event, finishing in eighth place. Membership in USATF is open to all amateur athletes of any age, from elementary school students to the over-30 Masters participants. “You don’t have to be a skilled athlete to begin,” Catherine explained. “It helps if someone can give you enough coaching to get you started, but you will also build skills as you compete and find what works for you. At 70 years old, I don’t jump or throw the way the high school kids do, but I really enjoy what I can do.”

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