Sunday, December 4 , 2016, 4:40 pm | Fair 62º


Sue McDonald of Santa Barbara Breaks American Record in Masters High Jump

Sue McDonald has broken the American record in the high jump for women ages 50 to 54.

McDonald jumped 1.57m (5’ 1¾ in.) last June 16 at Cal Tech in Pasadena at the USATF Western Regional Masters Championships.

After clearing the record height, McDonald had the bar placed at the world record at 1.61m (5’3 ¼ in.), but did not complete the jumps successfully.

McDonald is a personal trainer and a health and fitness coach teaching monthly online fitness and clean eating classes. In addition to her career in fitness, she is co-owner of Zizzo’s Coffee, the only drive-through coffee shop in South Santa Barbara County.

McDonald trains at Westmont College and is coached by Josh Priester of the Women’s Athletic Performance Foundation and Peter Blumert of Prevail Conditioning in Santa Barbara. Other professionals who kept McDonald in top shape were Larry Rodriquez of Integrated Wellness, a massage therapist, and Dr. Benjamin Holt, D.C. Both Rodriguez and Dr. Holt proved to be invaluable to McDonald’s success.

She has been competing in track and field on and off for more than 30 years. She was the former pole vault American record-holder (women ages 35 to 39) in the mid-1990s and a 1996 Olympic Trials finalist in the pole vault.

McDonald is married to her husband, Michael, and has three children, Chiara DiMarco (20), Nicolas (10) and Cruz (8).

She is currently training for the USA Masters Indoor Nationals in Boston, Mass., on March 16 and is hoping to compete in the World Masters Championships in Lyon, France, the summer of 2015.

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