Overstake competes for U.S. at masters championships


Claire and Grant Overstake pose for a photo during the National Masters Multi-Event Championships in Joplin. Claire competed in the heptathlon; Grant sat out with an injury.

Claire Overstake, Hillsboro, competed June 21-22 in the U.S. Association of Track & Field National Masters Multi-Event Championships at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Mo.

The 51-year-old Overstake, an elementary school teacher the past two years in Hillsboro, will teach middle school math and science at Goessel this fall.

She competed in the 50-54 age group of the seven-event heptathlon in this challenge meet between the United States, Great Britain and Canada.

In a heptathlon, athletes compete against each other and against age-graded tables. Points are awarded based on times and distances, with the person?s age factored in.

The person who has the most points at the end of the competition is declared the winner.

Overstake, the U.S. national champion, was the sole athlete in her age group. She compiled 3,484 points and met the Master?s All-American standard in three individual events: the 200 meters, shot put and high jump.

On the first day of competition, she ran the 80-meter hurdles in 16.61 seconds, high jumped 1.24 meters (about 4 feet, 8 inches), threw the 2-kilo (about 4 pounds) shot put 8.02 meters (about 26 feet, 4 inches) and ran the 200 meters in 32.58.

On the second day, she long jumped 3.06 meters (just over 10 feet), threw the javelin 16.26 meters (about 53 feet, 4 inches) and ran the 800 meters in 3:19.5.

She and husband Grant, who directs public relations at Tabor College, train together year-round?something they?ve done since they became high school sweethearts at Wichita Heights High, Class of 1975. They also ran track while at the University of Kansas, she as a sprinter and hurdler, and he as a decathlete.

Grant did not compete at this meet because of an injury a week prior to the event.

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