Olympic athletes weren’t the only people to pick up gold medals this summer. Wildwood Road resident Art McDermott returned from the US National Master’s Track and Field Championships in Lisle, Illinios with a gold medal in the discus.
He won the gold in the 50- to 55-year-old division, the youngest and most competitive age group in the national master’s competitions.
McDermott, a former Strongman competitor who owns Matrix Strength & Fitness in Wilmington, defeated the returning champ by about 5 feet, throwing the discus 50.04 meters, or nearly 165 feet back on July 5.
Ed Riewerts, the 2011 winner, came in third with a throw of 47.63 meters. Tim Williams of Dallas, Texas, came in second, heaving the discus 48.57 meters.
McDermott was the only competitor from New England in the top 10 of his age group.
Q&A WITH THE MASTER
When did you first become involved with track and field? The discus? I started throwing the shot put and discus in my junior year of high school...after I didn’t make the hockey team at Malden Catholic - they were at one of the top teams around even then. Not a long high school track career in high school, but productive! I was Globe All-Scholastric my senior year. This opened the door to a full scholarshp at Boston University.
What else, if anything, do you compete in? I have competed professionally in the Scottish Highland Games as well as US Strongman circuit. Currently, the Master’s Track is my main focus.
What attracted you to the discus?
The short version: I really like throwing stuff!
Once I hit 50 I became much more active with my discus throwing. I felt a strong need to get back into throwing. I love setting goals for myself. It keeps me focused. Right now, my next goal is to attend the World Masters Games in Torino, Italy, next August. I have already started training for that one.