In July, John Adams, an academic counselor and instructor with Barnard's Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP), traveled to Sacramento, Calif., to compete in the 2011 World Master Athletics Track & Field Championships. This biennial event gathers track-and-field athletes from around the world, all of whom are over 35 years old and have qualified based on prior performances. During the two-week, Olympic-style competition, 58-year-old Adams participated in several events in the 55-to-68 age category, making it to the quarter-finals in the 800-meter race and winning the 4x400 meter relay with three other athletes from different parts of the United States.
Adams, who has worked at Barnard for 18 years, has been an avid runner since his college days. He regularly participates in local road races around New York and has also competed at the national level, even qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Track & Field trials twice in the 1980s. But this marked his first time participating in the World Masters, which took place on U.S. soil for the first time in 12 years. "The competition was fierce, but being able to meet and talk to people from so many different countries was really a high point," Adams said.