Local Athlete Continues to Shine in Track and Field Senior Games

Kathy Bergen
Photo courtesy Katie Stratman / NSGA
Kathy Bergen, a La Cañada Flintridge resident, is still winning gold medals and breaking track and field records at the age of 79.

Kathy Bergen has been participating in track and field events since reading an article about the Pasadena Senior Games 25 years ago. The La Cañada Flintridge resident attended her first track meet at Occidental College in 1994 and was quickly enamored with the sport.
“[My husband Bert and I] loved it,” said Bergen. “We always liked it. We were track and field fans, but we never expected to do it for ourselves. It was eye-opening for us.
“I love the competition. I absolutely love it. I want to win everything I do in track and field. That’s what keeps me going.”
Bergen continues to show that determination and competitive spirit at the age of 79, setting high marks and winning gold medals at the National Senior Games in Albuquerque and USA Track and Field National Masters Championship.
Competing in the 80-year-old division at the National Senior Games, Bergen won the 100-meter dash with a time of 15.98 seconds and finished the 200-meter dash in 35.71 seconds for first place. She also won the high jump dash with 1.17 meters. All three results are records.
Bergen then traveled to compete in the National Masters Championship at Iowa State University, where she represented the SC Striders Track Club.
Competing in the women’s 75-79 category, Bergen won the 100 dash with a time of 16.29 seconds and the 200 dash in 35.54 seconds. She also won gold in the discus throw (19.13 meters) and high jump (1.18 meters).
The LCF athlete credits her club team and trainer for her health and ability to compete.
“I contacted a coach and have been working with him the last 10 years,” Bergen said. “He told me I was doing almost everything wrong. He has me working out three days a week, and I don’t do a lot of heavy lifting. It’s mostly flexibility and strength training. Since I’ve worked with [Eric Dixon], I’ve broken about eight world records. He knows what he’s doing, and I’ve been very successful.”
There’s no end in sight for Bergen and her husband. When they’re not competing, they help the St. Francis High School track and field program as high jump coaches.
“We’ve been doing it for about eight or nine years now,” she said. “Our two youngest sons, Steve and Scott, went to St. Francis. We love working with the high school boys.
“As long as I stay healthy, and God has given me very good health, I’m going to keep doing it until I can’t.”

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