Myrle Mensey stopped by this year’s Senior Olympics for a cold drink with her fellow competitors. At the John Burroughs track it was some 98 degrees, so not a good day to share a cup of hot steaming coffee.
Actually, Senior Olympics may be a tad under her challenge. This 63 year old athlete from St. Louis is the top W60 thrower in the United States. She holds records in all the weight events, 12 and 20 pound weight throws; discus, shot put and javelin.
Her brief interlude at this year’s running and throwing events included setting records in the shot and discus. She also won the long jump just for fun and took part in the standing long jump too.
But her attention is affixed on her non-profit 501 (c) 3 foundation, “Throwing and Growing.” She retired from her job at a nearby casino to throw her full attention into the non-profit organization. She serves as executive director. That means lots of fundraising events to get this thing off the ground.
She found most track foundations were set up for skinny runners. She wanted something say a little meatier for young girls, ages 10-18. She aspires to mentor these young girls and to be their role model. All systems seem to be working.
She held her first fundraiser April 24, nabbing some Olympians including Michelle Carter, USA Olympic shot putter to speak at her event.
She demands her girls stay slim and trim. She won’t tolerate fat athletes wandering into the throwing circles for shot, discus, javelin and the hammer throw. “All little girls need a little push, and I’m there to do that,” she claims.
Her girls must star in the classroom as well. They have to write daily entries into journals that she checks periodically.
Her goal is to make sure the girls in her foundation end up in college someday, hopefully having earned athletic scholarships.
She promotes everything that is good for youngsters. “We provide nutritional information, physical fitness training and etiquette programs.” Yes, her girls need to know how to speak properly to adults.
Her overriding goal is making sure she provides a healthy, successful and positive lifestyle with the emphasis on self respect, personal responsibility, leadership and good sportsmanship. Now that’s a lofty goal, and nothing short of that will please this star in the throwing disciplines.
She competes nationally and internationally. She is one of the world’s strongest and most successful athletes around. Did she do this in college? Heck no: “They didn’t have Title IX opportunities in those days,” she said looking backwards, not forward.
Her training partner is Octogenarian Phil Brusca, long time track and field and cross country coach at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. You can find them working side by side often at the track complex at Jennings High School.
Heavier girls may find their way to her track and field program. But after a brief period, those pounds come off as self esteem and skills begin to blossom.
The dean of timers decides to retire
Senior Olympians honored Harry Rosenberg, the senior timer at the games for many years. At age 85, Rosenberg decided to hang up his stop watch and turn it over to a young man, Mike Rhoades. Fellow Olympians joined Rosenberg at the 50 yard line of Leland Field at John Burroughs to offer their well wishes. Everyone wanted to shake hands or give a hug to this elder statesman.