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Allen Woodard sets Masters world record, wins USATF Athlete of the Week


INDIANAPOLIS — After finishing under his own world record time in the 400 meters, Masters athlete Allen Woodard wins USATF Athlete of the Week.

Woodard (Houston, Texas) improved the M45-49 record he set in April 2015 by over three-tenths of a second, as he ran a 49.32 at the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“It took a lot of hard work and dedication,” Woodard said following his performance. “I just had to do what I do in practice and execute. I try to lead by example as a [youth] coach and inspire other people.”

Woodard’s world record from last weekend is still pending and will be confirmed at a later date.

As he continues to race, Woodard said he hopes to soon break the 49-second barrier and possibly run even faster.

“What I can do now, go back to the drawing board and get [sub-49] for next year,” Woodard said. “I plan on having a more intense offseason, get stronger, work on my flexibility. I still have a lot of things that I can work on to get faster as I get older. Maybe sub-48.”

This is Woodard’s second time winning USATF Athlete of the Week, as he also earned the honor in 2015 following his previous 400m world record of 49.69. With that race at 46 years old, he became the oldest man to run under the 50-second threshold in the event.

“It doesn't matter your age, just get out there,” Woodard said. “If you have something in your head, get the work.”

Other notable performances include:

  • Antonio Palacios (Bloomington, Indiana) surpassed a long-standing M50 American record in the men’s long jump with a 6.48m/21-3 leap at the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships. He broke Shirley Davisson’s record of 6.42m/21-0.75 set in 1980.

  • Chelsea Blaase (St. Joseph, Illinois) set a NACAC U-23 Championships meet record in the women’s 10,000m as she earned gold in 35:30.87.

  • Dixon Hemphill (Fairfax Station, Virginia), a 91-year-old, brought home gold medals in the M90 1500m, javelin throw and 200m in the span of one hour on the final day of competition at the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships. Throughout the weekend, Hemphill earned a total of six golds.

  • Monica Kendall (Beaverton, Oregon) set the American record in the W60-64 shot put on her third throw, but continued to improve in three consecutive attempts with her best throw reaching 12.58m/41-3.25.

  • Quanesha Burks (Hartselle, Alabama) broke the meet record in the women’s long jump at the NACAC U-23 Championships as she finished on top of the medal stand with her leap of 6.74m/22-1.50.

Now in its 15th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.

2016 Winners: Jan. 13, Garrett Heath; Jan. 20, Donavan Brazier; Jan. 27, Keni Harrison; Feb. 3, Jenn Suhr; Feb. 10, Vashti Cunningham; Feb. 17, Galen Rupp; Feb. 24, John Nunn; March 2, Curtis Beach; March 11, Bill Collins; March 16, Da’mira Allen; March 24, Michelle Carter; March 31, Janet Bawcom; April 8, Maria Michta-Coffey; April 14, Keni Harrison; April 22, LaShawn Merritt; April 28, Courtney Okolo; May 6, Ida Keeling; May 12, Willie Gault; May 18, Marquise Goodwin; June 2, Keni Harrison; June 9, Tia Brooks; June 16, Donavan Brazier; June 23, Sydney McLaughlin; June 30, Tia Jones; July 7, Allyson Felix; July 15, Bernard Lagat; July 22, Allen Woodard.

We welcome your nominations!

To nominate an athlete for USATF Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about his/her performance to

Emily Giambalvo

Communications Intern

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