More than 900 athletes are set for the USA Masters Track Indoor Championship in Boston this weekend. Only one of them is entered in the 100+ age category.
That would be Leland McPhie, who turned 100 on Monday and is a veteran of masters track and field. McPhie, representing the Southern California Track Club, is entered in the high jump, shot put, weight throw and superweight throw at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.
“I haven’t been training too much,” McPhie said, according to the Boston Herald. “I’m hoping to do four events. Two of them I haven’t done before, but my coach wants me to do it. I’ll be the only one in my age group, and I can get points for the club. I’m a team player.”
The newspaper reported McPhie, a World War II veteran, competed for San Diego State in the 1930s and was setting track records more than 70 years ago, pole vaulting with a bamboo pole with the nickname “grasshopper.” The Los Angeles Times wrote about him in 1936.
The oldest of nine children, McPhie taught himself how to pole vault, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“It was the Depression, and they didn’t have money to hire coaches,” he said.
Officials in San Diego County declared March 10 to be “Leland McPhie Day,” according to NBC affiliates in California. He worked for the San Diego Sheriff’s Department from 1940 to 1969.
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David Ortiz called his good friend Aly Raisman on Thursday night. Raisman had one request for their scheduled meeting for Friday.
“I told him that he had to hold my medals while I threw out the first pitch,” Raisman said on NESN. “I told him he better not forget, but he remembered.”
Ortiz made it a highlight, wearing Raisman’s three Rio medals and plodding as if they were weighing him down before the Royals-Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Friday night.
It was reminiscent of Bryce Harper serving as a medal rack for Katie Ledecky on Wednesday night.
Ortiz and Raisman have come to know each other in the last four years, after Raisman’s first Olympic appearance in London. Raisman, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, has attended a gala and golf tournament benefitting Ortiz’s children’s charity.
She previously threw a first pitch at Fenway following the 2012 London Games. It didn’t faze Raisman that her pitch Friday bounced before reaching home plate.
“My pitch was horrible, but that’s OK,” Raisman said on NESN. “I’m good at gymnastics, so it doesn’t matter.”
Raisman will rejoin her Final Five teammates for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities that begins Sept. 15. Whether she returns to competitive gymnastics is unknown.
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Claressa Shields may just be the most dominant female athlete on the planet. The Flint, Mich., native is now a two-time Olympic boxing champion with a 77-1 record and a four-year unbeaten streak.
Actor Mark Wahlberg, who played boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film “The Fighter,” took notice.
He taped a video that Shields watched before a celebration in her hometown Thursday, according to the Flint Journal.
“You are the true definition of a champion,” Wahlberg said. “You continue to inspire so many people, not only in Flint, but all over the world. I’m so proud of you. Your performance was amazing. God bless you. I look forward to seeing you, and I look forward to doing lots of things with you.”
Now Shields must decide whether to turn professional, which would end her Olympic career.
“Professional women’s boxing is not nowhere near on the same attention level as the Olympics are,” the 21-year-old Shields said, according to the Flint Journal. “I get way more attention than any female boxer who is professional right now with me being an amateur.
“So the goal is to go professional but still have that same attention and same mainstream. Hopefully, if they have the rule changed that the women professionals can come back and fight the Olympics, I would go professional to fight on TV and make a bunch of money but then come back and defend my two gold medals in 2020.”
MORE: Shields becomes first U.S. fighter to win back-to-back golds