Kathy Bergen My track life began at Occidental College in the Pasadena Senior Games. I was always a fan but I had no idea at 54 that I could compete. In what? I think I wore sneakers. I won the 50m and 100m and found National Masters News and Masters Track and Field.
Luckily Bert was also thrilled to be able to compete. We started going to as many local meets as we could. I added the 200m, reluctantly. After watching the camaraderie among the high jumpers I decided to try it in 1996. I jumped from the “wrong” side for a flopper but that is where Bert jumps from as a saddler. I also added the javelin and the discus but scratched the shot (tennis elbow), long jump and triple jump (don’t like being sandy) and hurdles (hurts when you hit them).
First American Record was in the 60m in Reno in 1995. Second American Record was in the high jump in Spokane. I thought OMG I am a high jumper. Through the years I have been fortunate to have won 81 National Championships indoor and outdoor, 24 American Records, 22 of which were World Records. I love aging up. I won the age-graded 100m at the Mt. Sac Relays 3 times. I was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2008. I was named 2015 Female Masters Athlete of the Year by USATF Masters. In 2005, 2006,2007, 2010,2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018 2018 I was named age group Masters winner in track or field. As a Strider I was named Athlete of the Year in 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2019 and in 2019 I received the Founders Award of which I am very proud.
Most of this would not have been possible without Eric Dixon. Ha has coached me on line since 2010. His expertise in the sprints is invaluable. But most of all I have to thank God for giving me good health and a strong body. I will do this as long as I can. I love the competition.
One of my proudest moments was in France in 2015. I was standing on the #1 box hearing the Star Spangled Banner because I had just broken the 200m World Record.
The Striders are my family. I love you all and can’t wait to get together again.