|Title:||Student-Athlete; Track & Field|
Barrington “Barry” Ivers was born on December 6, 1910 in Monmouth, Maine to British parents who emigrated from England. Before he had reached high school, the family moved to Lewiston. From Lewiston, the Ivers Family moved to Brewer in Barry’s sophomore year and it was at Brewer High that Ivers developed into a state champion class A sprinter.
At the state championship in Orono his senior year, he won the 200 meters and he got 2nd in the 100 meters. At the state meet during his junior year at Bates College, he won the 100 and the long jump and took 2nd in the 200 meters. Although his forte was the 100 and 200 meter sprint events, he was a proven quarter miler. At the Eastern Regional Meet at Old Town he twice won the quarter mile. He noted, “I would stay back until about the 220 mark, and then I’d let it go.”
In football, he was a speedy halfback. In 1928, he was on the Brewer team that beat Bangor for the first time in 25 years.
He graduated from Brewer High in 1929. In 1932, he ran in the Olympic Trials at Harvard. At the time he was working for the Eastern Steamship Company and he traveled to the meet by steamship. However, there was a sickening odor from the furniture polish in the stateroom that made him sick and that, along with getting seasick, made him in no shape to run well in Boston. Barry felt he would have been about second in the 100 meters if he had been feeling well. He ended up getting fourth in his heat.
Except for one 100 yard race in 1936, Ivers did not run for about 47 years. It was in 1976, while living in Nova Scotia, that he started practicing the sprints once again at age 65. He practiced at the Acadia University Track in Wolfville where he lived. In September that year, in only his third meet, he won the 100 meters and the 200 meters at the Canadian Masters Championships.
While living in Nova Scotia, Ivers and his wife managed the Historic Inn in Wolfville from 1975 until 1977 when they returned once again to Brewer. Ivers was an accountant and handled tariffs on freight movement to Canada. He also served 13 years on the Brewer City Council and was elected mayor for three terms. As mayor, he signed Brewer’s world-famous billboard which read, “Brewer Welcomes UFOS. Landing sites available.”
In his training, even in his later years, there was only one way to do it. All out. He’d go down to the track in Brewer and practice running 100 yards. “If I couldn’t make it in 12.5 there was something wrong with me. I stayed until I could run it in 12.5. Every time I ran for speed. I didn’t run just for the sake of jogging. There’s a difference between jogging and running. You bring your knees up. I ran it. When I go, I go.”
At the World Masters Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1977, Ivers took 7th in the 200 meters and was 14th out of 28 competitors in the 100 meters. He was 66 at the time. One of his greatest efforts was his World Record of 13.4 seconds for 100 meters at Tampa, Florida in April 1982 when Ivers was 71 years old. He also set the indoor World Record in the 200m with a time of 33.1 and an American Record in the 200m with a 32.26 at age 76. At age 77, he set the indoor World Record in the 60m dash with a time of 9.5 seconds. At age 80, he set a World Record in the 100m with a 15.3. He set the American Record in the 200m (:33.87) and the indoor American Record in the 60m dash (9.97 seconds) at age 81!
Ivers earned All-American honors from the Athletics Congress in several sprint events in 1986 and 1987 while in his late 70’s. He was also featured in an issue of Sports Illustrated Magazine in “Faces in the Crowd”. Barry ran in 61 meets from the time he was 66 until he was 82 years old! Barrington Ivers passed away in February of 1999 at the age of 88.