(from our press release)
Sri Chinmoy Masters Games, Victory Field, Forest Hills, NY, July 25, 1987 - Track and Field Events For Men & Women Ages 50 & Up
"Bohigian and McKenzie Win Sri Chinmoy Masters Games: For the second year in a row Haig Bohigian, 51, of North Tarrytown claimed the overall title at the Sri Chinmoy Masters Games for best performance. Bohigian - who serves the Masters community as its Eastern Regional Representative - won every event he entered, against a strong field that saw Sonny Carle, 55, of Woodside come in a consistent 2nd or 3rd place. Close runner up for the overall title was Harry McArdle, 81, of Rego Park. Women's division was also a tight decision, with the title going to Chris McKenzie, 55, of Great Neck over Sarama Minoli, 60, of Jamaica. All these athletes hold or have held a variety of national age category records, the first three in track and field and Minoli in ultra distance running. (Photo: A winning trio in the 50-59 category sprints, l to r: 3rd place Sonny Carle, Woodside, NY; 1st place Haig Bohigian, No. Tarrytown, NY; 2nd place Phil Plant, Brooklyn, NY. Photo: Bhashwar.)
The third annual running of the Sri Chinmoy Masters Games was held at Victory Field in Forest Park, Queens, on July 25. The day of track and field events for men and women 50 and over attracted entrants from along the East Coast. Among the local favorites were the Auerbach sisters - Rose Ruston, 71, and Pearl Auerbach, 65, of Jackson Heights and Sylvia Schwartz, 75 of Forest Hills - who took part in the discus, shot put and javelin. Active in track and field in their youth, they had taken a long vacation from the sport, returning to active participation only last year. The three sisters put in stellar performances at the recent National Senior Olympics in St. Louis, each of them taking silver of gold in their age group.
"The Auerbach Sisters took gold or silver in shot put, discus and javelin at the Sri Chinmoy Masters Games. L to r: Rose A. RUston, Peral Auerbach and Sylvia A. Schwartz. Photo: Bhashwar
Age group record holders abounded among the Game's award winners. They included national shotput champion Anne Cirulnick, 52, of Rosedale; national discus champion Martin Kintisch, 54, of Middletown, and 25 pound weight world record holder Bill Eippel, 74, of Larchmont. Also taking part was Jeremiah Gaines, 75, of Chesapeake, VA., well-known along the East Coast for his encouragement of senior athletes.
Flushed with victory, Chris McKenzie recalled for race organizers the difference in the athletic scene from her early days of running, in the 1950s. At that time Ms. McKenzie was living in England and held the 800 meter world record. She moved to the States with her husband - the Olympic gold medalist marathoner Gordon McKenzie - where the athletic scene for women was somewhat different. Women were allowed to run no more than 220 yards in competition. Much of the rest of her youthful running career was spent trying to show that women were capable of much, much more. She ran 1/4 mile exhibition events and was permitted to take part - unofficially, and only if she promised to start 1/4 mile behind the men, run on the sidewalk and not cross the finish tape - in 5 km and 10 km road races. Ms. McKenzie retired from running until the death of her mother brought her back, to work out her grief on foot. She went on to win five gold medals at the Pan Am Masters Games in 1982."