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Sedona’s William Eaton and Phillip Shipp are leaping over their competition.

William Eaton, of Sedona, practices vaulting at Red Rock High School on July 3. Eaton won a gold medal in the pole vault with a height of 11 feet, 10 inches at the USA Masters Track and Field Championships in Olathe, Kan. July 11 through 14.While many their age are settling into more sedentary lifestyles, Eaton, 62, and Shipp, 78,  — like new age men of steel — are soaring to ever-greater heights, and bringing home the hardware to prove it.

 Phillip Shipp, of Sedona, won gold medals in the shot put and javelin, a silver medal in the discus and a bronze medal in the pole vault at the USA Masters Track and Field Championships.As competitors in the 2013 USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which was held in Olathe, Kan. July 11 through 14, the two won a combined six medals, including three gold, two silver and one bronze.

Masters track and field is a competition for athletes from 30 to 95 years of age and older. It is divided into five-year age groups, so Eaton competes in the men’s 60-64 age group, while Shipp competes in the men’s 75-79 age group.

Eaton, who coaches pole vaulting for the Red Rock High School track team, won the pole vault event and took second in the high jump. Shipp won the shot put and the javelin competitions, finished second in the discus, and third in the pole vault, achieving a high level of success despite nursing a pulled hamstring.

“I didn’t do as well as I wanted because [of the injury], so I couldn’t do the long jump and the high jump,” Shipp said. “And in my other two good events, the discus and javelin, I had to just stand and throw it rather than taking a spin, and running out in the javelin.”

Shipp said he was surprised by the injury because he had been training intensely, and felt he was in the best condition he’d been in for the last two or three years.

“In that respect it was a disappointment, but when you win two first places you can’t be too unhappy,” he said.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, July 3 issue of the Sedona Red Rock News



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