THE 3-MINUTE INTERVIEW: Bruce McBarnette
The Washington Examiner, January 12, 2011
McBarnette, a 53-year-old real estate investor from Sterling, is competing in the high jump in the USA Masters Track and Field Championships (for athletes over 30) in Albuquerque this March. McBarnette has won 23 USA Masters and eight World Masters events. His personal best is 85 inches.
Q. When did you start competing?
I started track and field in 1977 when I was a freshman at Princeton University. Most of the athletes on the team had already been high school track stars by the time I got to Princeton. In my case, I was on the football team. I was the fastest guy on that team and figured during the off-season I needed to do something to stay in shape.
Q. What happened to football?
Coach Larry Ellis, he later went on to coach the  U.S. Olympic team, ... asked if I was interested in trying the high jump. By the time I was a sophomore, I was on the varsity team. I ... eventually became so good I left football behind.
Q. Why did you continue?
I enjoy the sport a lot. Even though you've reached your peak ... the challenge is doing your best for that day.
Q. How often do you compete -- and who pays?
I travel internationally a couple times a year for meets -- Spain, Italy ... Australia and Tazmania are the farthest I've been. And then around the country for about 12 other meets a year. I sponsor myself. I invest in real estate and I'm also an attorney. The big money for track and field goes to people representing our country for the Olympics.
Q. Ever thought about cutting back?
A. It's really an honor to represent the United States in doing something that you love ... and not everybody can afford to do it, too. We leave a lot of good athletes home. So I'll hold out as long as I'm able to. -
-- Liz Farmer