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Lori Brown | Democrat

With one of his gold medals around his neck, Karl Hawke stands in front of the high jump bar while working out on a recent day at the Tri-Valley Central School track.

Part-time county resident Karl Hawke is a world champion masters athlete

By Lori Brown
GRAHAMSVILLE — September 7, 2010 — Karl Hawke stands 6 feet, 2 inches, weighs 160 pounds and wins silver and gold medals.
He resides in Manhattan, but travels to his second home in Grahamsville every chance he gets.
At age 44, Hawke has participated in many athletic competitions throughout the United States as well as other countries. He started high jumping at age 17 when he was still living in Moscow in his native country, the former Soviet Union. Before 17, he participated in several sports in school. He excelled in the high jump with a record of 7 feet, 4 inches when he was 22 years old. Since reaching his 40s, Hawke’s high jump marks have decreased to 6-8. His personal best jump last year was 6-4.
In his career, Hawke has come back from several injuries. Among them were torn Achilles tendons in both legs.
Hawke enjoys training on the track at Tri-Valley Central School in Grahamsville.
“There are so many benefits,” he said. “Fresh air is the big one.
“In the city, it is hard to find a high jump,” Hawke added. “They renovated the track [here at Tri-Valley], which is nice. Tri-Valley is also known to have a terrific track team. The availability to the community is nice, too. This place is just perfect and has throwing, which is always a plus.”
Hawke works in Manhattan as a trainer at the prestigious New York Athletic Club.
Some of his accomplishments are as follows:
Silver Medal in the High Jump at the World Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 2005 in San Sebastian, Spain.
Gold Medals in the High Jump at the World Masters Games in 2005 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and 2009 in Sydney, Australia.
Gold Medal in High Jump Open Trials in the 2006 Empire State Games.
Silver Medals in High Jump at the World Masters Indoor Track and Field Championships in 2006 in Linz, Austria and 2008 in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Gold Medal in High Jump at the 2009 World Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Lahti, Finland.
Gold Medals in High Jump at the USA Masters National Indoor Track and Field Championships in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Silver Medals in Triple Jump at the 2010 USA Masters National Indoor and USA Masters National Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Hawke has support from his 14- year-old son who still lives in Russia.
“He always asks me how I did in a competition,” Hawke said. “Also, my friend Robert Jerome has supported me.”
Hawke likes to be challenged.  He enjoys getting stronger and stronger every year.
“Age is in your head, if you feel like you can’t do it, you will never be active,” he said. “Sports show results and show beauty of movement.”
Hawke started taking ballet at age 38 and learned how to move better.
“Ballet helped improve everything in general, I am more flexible now,” he said.
Some of Hawke’s goals include returning to the open division in the USA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships next year at age 45.
“It is more challenging in open,” he said. “I hope to stay healthy and compete.”
He is also training for his debut in the decathlon, which consists of 10 events in running, hurdles, jumping and throwing. For Hawke, the hurdles provide the most challenge as he has to run over them and not jump.
“He is going from a specialist in high jump to multi events,” said Jerome, who follows his friend Hawke to some events to take action photos of him. “Karl is an inspiration to other people.”
Hawke wears shoes developed by Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT).
“These shoes are amazing; you can recover from injuries,” he said.
Hawke explained that the MBT shoes are orthopedic shoes and he has had success when working out in them.
“They improve posture and help muscles recover,” he said. “I found them seven years ago and they were the best investment.”
Hawke likes the MBT shoes so much that he is thinking about talking to the company to possibly help promote the shoes.

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