Saturday, August 18 , 2018, 12:11 pm | Partly Cloudy 75º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with The Lab and American Riviera Bank
The LabAmerican Riviera Bank
Track & Field

Sue McDonald Wins Pair of Golds With Record-Setting Performances at USA Masters Nationals

Sue McDonald, Masters track champion Click to view larger
Sue McDonald competes at the USA Track & Field Masters Outdoor Championships in Spokane. (Rob D’Avellar photo)

Santa Barbara's Sue McDonald doubled her pleasure with two American records and a pair of titles at the USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Spokane, Wash., last week.

Sue McDonald beats everyone Click to view larger
Sue McDonald holds off the field to win the gold medal in the Women’s 55-59 400 meters. (USA Track & Field photo)

McDonald started the national championships by winning the 800 meters in 2:27.00, a new record in the Women's 55-59 age division. She held the previous best mark of 2:28.88, which she set at a meet on July 14. That mark eclipsed the record of 2:30.53, which had stood since 1996.

On the second day of the meet, she beat the 23-year-old age-group record in the 400, clocking a winning time of 1:04.37. The previous best was 1:05.29. 

If that wasn't enough, making the record-setting performances more impressive is the fact McDonald accomplished them about 10 weeks after completing the Boston Marathon.

She credits her new coach, Tom Hinz, for raising the level of her performance on the track.

"I started working with him in April of this year," she said. "He has his own track team called T.H.E. Track Club, which stands for Tom Hinz Elite. He is based out of Atlanta and I found out about him when I congratulated his wife (Lesley), whom he also coaches, on her two world indoor records accomplished in the mile and 800 at the 2018 USA Indoor National Championships.

"I am super excited about my rebirth on the track," the former Cal State Northridge standout added. "I had not run an 800 for 10 years on the track. So, to run faster than I did back then is thrilling."

Sue McDonald and Lesley Hinz Click to view larger
Sue McDonald celebrates with Lesley Hinz after winning the 800-meter run and setting an American record. Hinz did the 800-400 double in the 60-64 bracket. (Ken Stone photo)

Her 800 and 400 times rank her second in the world in the 55-59 age group.

"My goal at Nationals was to lower my American record in the 800 and set a new American record in the 400 and win gold in both events, and thankfully I was able to do so," she said. "This was my first-ever USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships. I had competed in the 2013 USA Indoor Masters National Championships in the high jump (finished in 2nd place), so these are my first two golds in National Championships of any kind for masters track and field."

McDonald is an all-around track & field athlete. She was an All-American high jumper in college and later took up the pole vault. She recently was inducted into the L.A. Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame.

She has excelled as a masters athlete. She earned a silver medal in the Women's 50 high jump at the 2015 Master World Athletics Championship in Lyon, France.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >