Sterling Man Wins National Title

43-Year-Old Bruce McBarnette Runs Two Businesses and Competes on Masters Track Circuit

By Christopher B. Jenkins Send Mail to Writer, Observer Staff Writer

April 20, 2001

Rarely do you find a man who peaks athletically 20 years after he graduates from college, but Sterling resident Bruce McBarnette is a world class high-jumper at the age of 43.

McBarnette finished the 2000 calendar year as the world's top-ranked high-jumper, according to the World Association of Veteran Athletes. The former track and field star at Princeton University in the late 1970s and early 1980s has remained dedicated to his craft and has become the best high-jumper in the country in the 40-44-year old age group on the Masters Track circuit.

In 2000, McBarnette won the U.S. indoor and outdoor high jump competitions, and also captured the western hemisphere championships held in Kallops, British Columbia, Canada.

"It's a lot of fun," McBarnette said of his involvement in track and field. "It's good discipline and it keeps me focused, not just on track and field." In March, McBarnette won his third national championship at the U.S. Nationals Masters indoor meet. And last week he won the open division of the Sam Howell Invitational, which was held at the campus of his alma mater. There McBarnette competed against the top amateur jumpers on the east coast, including athletes 20 years younger than him.

McBarnette won the meet and jumped 2 meters, 1 centimeter (approximately 6-foot-7), the highest of any Masters 40-44-year-old jumper in the past few years, said McBarnette. McBarnette still jumps within inches of the height he jumped while setting records as an undergrad. "I almost jump as well as I did in college," said McBarnette, who was three inches away from qualifying for the U.S. Olympic trials in 1984.

More importantly for McBarnette, training as a world-class athlete for a majority of his adult life has given him the amount of energy to pursue his numerous interests off the track. He's president of two companies he founded: Summit Connections, a consulting firm, and McBarnette Finances, a financing firm involved in commercial and residential real estate.

Aside from his professional and track obligations, McBarnette is a practicing actor and member of the Screen Actors Guild. Most recently he can be seen in the film "Along Came the Spider," starring Morgan Freeman.

McBarnette also volunteers as the director of development for the Charlie's Place foundation, in Washington, D.C. Charlie's Place provides legal, health and social services for homeless people in the District.

McBarnette, who was originally drawn to the Washington, D.C., area to practice law, arrived in Washington in 1989 where he did legal work for the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

Today, along with running his businesses, McBarnette also teaches courses ranging from LSAT preparation to movie and TV acting to investing in real estate. He credits his training as an athlete as giving him the energy to be able to pursue so many outside interests.
"My goal has never been to be on top of the world," said McBarnette, who grew up in the St. Albans section of Queens in New York. "Like an artist likes to paint and a high-jumper likes to high-jump."

In July, McBarnette will represent the United States in the World Veteran Championships in Brisbane, Australia.

Copyright © 2003 The Herndon Publishing Company


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