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Setting records at age 80

Milwaukies Wayne Sabin is in record form at the 2014 USA Track and Field Masters Indoor Championships


by: PHOTO BY JOHN DENNY - Tossing a 25-pound weight 30 feet is nothing for 80-year-old Wayne Sabin of Milwaukie. Sabin, who works out on a regular basis, won two national titles in the weight events and set a national age-group record in the super-weight throw at the USA Track and Field Masters Indoor Championships, held last month in Boston.An 80-year-old Milwaukie man is making a name for himself in USA Masters Track and Field.

Wayne Sabin travelled to the National Masters Indoor Championships in Boston in mid-March and did himself proud in the throwing events, capturing gold medals for the 80- to 84-year-old age division in the super-weight throw and in the shot put. His winning throw in the super-weight throw set a new national age-group record.

Sabin launched the hammer-like 25-pound super-weight 29-feet, 6-3/4 inches, bettering the old 80-84 age-group indoor mark by over three feet (Val McGann, Boston, 26-0-3/5, 2008).

His winning mark in the shot put was 34 feet, 10 inches.

“This is something I never expected to happen,” Sabin said. “I coached running events all my life and I was a runner in high school and college. I didn’t start throwing until 10 years ago, so I never in my life thought I’d be setting records in the weight events.”

Sabin says that it was a former athlete, Larry Norris, who got him started in Masters Track and Field, and the weight events.

The former athlete and friend was going to compete in a Masters meet at Silverton.

Sabin recalls, “He called me and said, ‘Why don’t you come and watch me?’ I went to the meet to watch him run and there were these old guys throwing the shot and discus, and I said, ‘I can do that.’”

Sabin has been competing in the throwing events in Masters Track and Field ever since.

He won gold at the national level for the first time last summer, while competing in the Masters Outdoor Nationals in Lyle, Illinois, winning the throws pentathlon, which includes five events — the shot pot, weight throw, discus, javelin and hammer.

He won the outdoor weight pentathlon in the 80-84 age division with a point total of 3,802. His marks were 95-3 in the hammer, 45-7-1/4 in the 12-pound weight throw, 33-4 in the shot put, 89-10-3/4 in the discus and 67-9-3/4 in the javelin.

Sabin, who entered 14 competitions last year, has his sights set on another national age-group record, the Outdoor Masters record for the 80-84 super-weight throw. The current record is 36-0-2/3, held by Harvey Lewellen, who is a member of the Oregon Masters Track Club with Sabin, and is a close friend.

by: PHOTO BY JOHN DENNY - Tossing a 25-pound weight 30 feet is nothing for 80-year-old Wayne Sabin of Milwaukie. Sabin, who works out on a regular basis, won two national titles in the weight events and set a national age-group record in the super-weight throw at the USA Track and Field Masters Indoor Championships, held last month in Boston.Sabin launched the super-weight just under 33 feet at an outdoor meet held at Western Oregon University in late March.

“Harvey set the record in Eugene,” said Sabin. “I’m going to the Hayward Classic in Eugene on June 29 and I’d like nothing better than to beat his record there. He’s in the next age division now, so if I get the record, he can’t get it back.”

Sabin’s accomplishments are all the more remarkable because he had a total knee replacement of his right knee in January of 2013.

But the accomplishments are no accident. He tries to keep physically fit by working out four to five days a week. At 10 a.m. every Wednesday you’ll find him at North Clackamas Park, touring the park with several other fitness buffs.

“We call it www,” said Sabin. “That’s not www as in the internet, but ‘Walk with Wayne on Wednesdays.’ We meet at the red wetlands sculpture and walk around three miles. Everyone’s welcome.”

On Mondays and Fridays your find Sabin at East Side Athletic Club, lifting weights or working out with the SilverSneakers. On other days you may find him at a local high school or at Clackamas Community College, working on weight-event technique.

Sabin says he plans to travel to Leon, France, next year for the World Masters Track and Field Championships.

Sabin’s notoriety in track and field is nothing new. It began way back in 1952, when he set a school record for the 440-yard dash, at 51.2, while competing for Springfield High School.

Asked why he works out and still competes in track and field at age 80, Sabin said, “Because it’s fun. That’s the No. 1 reason. And, for the health. It’s one thing to live a long life. But it doesn’t do you any good to live a long time if you’re not in good health.”

Genes may also have something to do with Sabin’s success. He is the son of former North Clackamas School District Superintendent Owen Sabin.



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