There was some fast running last night in Northfield and it wasn't by the college kids. Two Masters men's relay teams led an assault on the record book. One was successful, the other missed by a mere five seconds. 50+ team members Dave Tappe(5:01), Bobby Paxton(5:06.1), Dan Morse(4:59.9), and Brad Givot(5:07.3) ran a new world best for the 4 by 1,600 relay of 20:14.29, breaking the old mark set in 1981 of 20:47.8.
The 60+ age group team of Norm Purrington, Jim Graupner, Thom Weddle, and Paul Lemere ran 23:14.82.
"We talked with (St. Olaf) Coach (Chris) Daymont and asked if she would add a four by 1600 to their program so that we and the 60+ team could take a shot at the records," said Morse. "She graciously added a Masters four by 1600 to the program. We wanted to run under 20, although we might say we ran 19:74. (20:14 is the same as 19:74, it just sounds better to have the minute reference be 19 instead of 20. A few years ago, when I was coaching Roseville XC, a guy ran 17:01 and he really wanted to be under 16. So, I always talked about the day he ran 16:61.)
"This idea was hatched by Bobby Paxton a couple years ago after talking to some guys from the East Coast at a meet in Boston and then seeing the records listed in National Masters News. He knew we were very capable of breaking the record. We were going to try last year, but I had some Achilles problems and the rest of the team said they would rather wait until I could run. We really have our work cut out for us outdoor. A team from Tamalpa ran 19:30ish last fall."
"No one recorded our splits," said Thom Weddle of the 60s team. "A Cardinal sin on our part for not asking someone to do the honors. Without this information it's difficult/impossible to evaluate our individual performances to determine where we 'went astray.' "
The Masters teams are(from left to right): the 50s Brad Givot, Dan Morse, Bobby Paxton, Dave Tappe; the 60s Norm Purrington, Jim Graupner, Thom Weddle, and Paul LeMere. Photo by Thom Weddle