Marshalltown men win big at National Senior Games

Rev. Darrell Mitchell and Otto Welfring, of Marshalltown, continue to get better with age.

The two recently excelled in track and field events in the National Senior Games at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, July 19-Aug. 1.

Mitchell, a retired pastor, was competing in the 85-89 age bracket. He earned third place and a bronze medal in the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash, while taking second place and a silver medal in the 400-meter dash.

“Overall, I was pleased with my performance,” Mitchell said. “I achieved a personal best of 1:31.18 in a 400-meter preliminary heat.”

Welfring, a retired Marshalltown High School educator and coach, competed in the 80-85 age category. He captured a gold medal in the discus, with a throw of 98.5 feet, and took third place and a bronze medal in the shot put, with a toss of 32 feet, 1 inch.

“It is fun to compete in the games,” Welfring said. “There are people 99-and 100-years old competing, and that demonstrates how committed some folks are.”

Approximately 11,000 seniors, ranging in age from 50 to 100, competed.

The men also earned medals in the 2009 Senior National Games in Palo Alto, Calif.

Mitchell, then in the 80-84 age category, earned a silver medal in the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes. He finished fourth in the 100-meter dash.

Welfring, then in the 75-79 age bracket, won a gold in the discus competition with a toss of 111 feet and took fourth in the shot put.

The National Senior Games have been held in venues across the United States every two years since 1985.