World Records Fall at Senior Games in Palo Alto

Track and field produced three world records and three American records.

Kathy Torgersen, 65, sounds a lot younger when she describes how she weight trains, cycles, swims and runs six days a week, two hours each day. Last Sunday, she tested her mettle at the California State Championships Senior Games as a track-and-field runner.

“It’s just a wonderful, inspirational feeling to be with people of your age doing absolutely phenomenal things. It’s age defying,” she said.

On Sunday, a 73-year-old woman came in just behind her in the 400-meter run, she said. “That is just phenomenal,” said Torgerson, who finished the race in less than one minute and 30 seconds.

Palo Alto won the bid for this year's Bay Area Senior Games, designated as the California State Championships, which for the last six years has been hosted in Pasadena. State championships happen every year. The national championships, which Palo Alto hosted in 2009, occur every two years.

Track and field produced three world records and three American records last weekend, said Anne Cribbs, a 1960 Olympian and president of the California Senior Games.

“We are delighted with the results of the first weekend,” Cribbs said. “In spite of the downpours, all the competitors exhibited great enthusiasm and commitment to their sports they love.”

Dave Hendrickson, 54, competed in water polo at Stanford last Sunday. He had played the sport since college. The camaraderie he gets from playing water polo and competing in the senior games ranks as highly important to him, he said.

“As you get older, you find that activities are good for your health,” he said. “To be active is one of the top three priorities in my life. I can’t say enough for the organizing committee, for the volunteers, for my competitors. We really get a lot out of it. It’s really kind of wonderful.”

This year’s games will attract about 1,900 athletes to the area, more than double the number of athletes who competed last year, Cribbs said. The organization expanded to a full program of 24 sports this year, adding rugby, feats of strength and volleyball.

Funding for the games came from athlete registration fees and some local sponsorships, Cribbs said. When Palo Alto hosted the 2009 national championships, the city made a one-time monetary contribution. The did not fund the games this year.

Athletes will continue to compete full throttle through to this weekend. The games began last Saturday and will end this Sunday.

Remaining Events—2011 Bay Area Senior Games Schedule


Lawn Bowling at , Embarcadero Road, 9 a.m. start


Lawn Bowling at , Embarcadero Road, 9 a.m. start


Badminton at California Badminton Academy, Fremont, 8 a.m. start

Bowling at , 4329 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 11 a.m. start

Cycling Time Trials at Canada Road/Highway 92, 7:30 a.m. start

Racquetball at Page Mill Road 9 a.m. start

Softball at Twin Creeks, Sunnyvale, 9 a.m. start

Tennis at Rinconada Courts Palo Alto, 9 a.m. start

Volleyball at city of Palo Alto's 4000 Middlefield Rd., 9 a.m. start


Bowling at , 4329 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 1 p.m. start

Cycling Road Race at Canada Road/Highway 92, San Mateo, 7:30 a.m. start

Community Walk, 8:30 a.m. start (Nelson Road, Pac-10 Plaza)

Horseshoes, Half Moon Bay, 400 Wavecrest Rd., 9 a.m. start

Racquetball at 755 Page Mill Rd., 9 a.m. start

Race Walk 5 K, Stanford Pac 10 Plaza, 9:30 a.m. start

Road Race, Stanford Run Course, Nelson Drive, Pac 10 Plaza, 8:30 a.m. start

Softball, Twin Creeks Facility, Sunnyvale, 9 a.m. start

Admission to watch all sports is free and open to the public, with the exception of softball at Twin Creeks, where an entry fee will be charged for spectators.

 Schedule subject to change.

See bayareaseniorgames.org for updates.

Terry and Mary April 05, 2011 at 11:36 PM
Are entrants required to be 50 still, or is there a 40+ age group now?
Susan Hong April 06, 2011 at 05:41 AM
The games are for 50+. As an added note, Don Pellmann, 95, broke three new world records in the 95+ age category. Pellmann finished the 100-meter dash in 24.14 seconds.
Tim Lee October 20, 2012 at 01:07 AM
This is my first notice of entrance into Senior competition in Track and Field. I intend to win the world record for the fastest time in the 40 meter run in age group 68, 69, 70. I just turned 68 in October 2012. I was, and have always been a fast runner and want you to know that I ran against (practiced with) a man who ran against the fastest man in the world, Bob Hayes 1962 as he signed on with the Dallas Cowboys as a pass receiver. My classmate and track team mate James Garrett won all titles as the fastest 100, 220, 440 yr dash runner in the State of South Carolina 1961 and 62 and because of his records set in our state, he was invited to a Florida State event where Bob Hayes was the head liner in the 100, the 220 and 440. During our High School team practice I ran against Garrett, as he was called, all the time. So, like I said, "I ran against a man who ran against the fastest man in the world". Anyone who ever saw him run wish they could see him run again. It was a beautiful sight to see. Beautyislife321@ aol.com Please send record holder time in the 40 meter run. Tim Lee
Beatrice Karnes October 20, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Good luck to you, Tim!!


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