Milwaukies Monica Kendall ups her American shot put record to 43-6-1/2

Monica Kendall continues to make a name for herself in American masters track and JOHN DENNY - Monica Kendall

The 57-year-old Milwaukie woman surprised even herself at the USATF Northwest Region and Oregon Association Track and Field Championship Masters Classic, held at Mt. Hood Community College on June 22.

On her first attempt of the competition, she launched the 6.6-pound shot put 43-6-1/2, improving upon her American outdoor record for the 55- to 59-year-old age division.

“I was really happy [when I learned what my mark was], because usually, as you age, you don’t get improvement,” Kendall said, noting that masters age-group records are usually held by someone who set the record when they were the youngest age in the division. For her age division, that would be 55 years of age.

Kendall first set the record two years ago, at 42-11-1/2, when she was 55. She improved upon the record last summer, at age 56, with an effort of 43-5.

Kendall’s record will likely stand for some time — unless she betters it herself. When she first set the women’s 55-59 shot put record two years ago, the retired Riverside Elementary School physical education teacher shattered a record that had stood since 1993 — Joanne Grissom of Indiana, 40-5.

Kendall was also in the news earlier this year, when she travelled to Landover, Maryland for the USA Masters Indoor Track and Field Championships. Her mark of 42-9-1/3 at that event earned her first place and broke Grissom’s 19-year-old American age-group record for indoor competition — 38-11-3/4, 1994. All of Kendall’s throws at the indoor competition were better than Grissom’s old mark.

Kendall is also the American record holder for outdoor competition in the shot put (48-0-3/4) and javelin (143-5-1/4) for women ages 50-54, and for outdoor competition in the javelin for women ages 45-49 (136-4-1/2).

The June 22 competition at Mt. Hood Community College was Kendall’s first outdoor competition of 2013.

“All I wanted was to get a good mark to put on the USA rankings [for 2013] for my age division,” Kendall said. “I was relaxed and everything felt easy and good, just like it should. It rolled off my fingertips. I got extension, it was the right angle, my chest was up and I wasn’t falling over. It felt good.”

by: JOHN DENNY - Monica Kendalls passion for track and field and her dedication to physical fitness has lead to a new American age-group record for the shot put. Kendall, 57, works out two hours a day at LA Fitness in Milwaukie.Kendall’s success in masters track and field is no accident.

“I can’t always do it, but I try to work out six days a week [the year around],” she says. “I work out at LA Fitness in Milwaukie, working on weights and cardio six days a week. And I try to throw at least once a week, when I don’t have a meet.”

Kendall said a typical workout will include 20 minutes on an elliptical machine, followed by stretching, followed by an hour of weight training, active-rest cross-training — grapevine and jumping roper, stretching, and 20 minutes of cardio — rowing, cycling or walking.

Asked if she was finished setting records in the 55-59 age division, Kendall said, “I’m hoping not. If I come out relaxed and throw like I do in warmups, it’s possible [that I could improve the record]. Any more that I can get is just icing on the cake.”

She says her main goals this summer are to “try to learn the discus, weight throw and hammer. My last meet of the season, is a weight pentathlon in Seattle the end of August.”

The pentathlon includes five events — the javelin, discus, hammer throw, weight throw and shot put. She noted that the weight throw uses a 16-pound implement similar to the hammer, only with a shorter handle.”

She did the weight throw without a spin at this year’s indoor nationals and finished second in the 55-59 age division, with a throw of 38-10.

Kendall says of her passion for track and field: “Track is a great motivator to stay in shape.”

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