INDIANAPOLIS – After establishing a total of five age-group world records in 2012, Jeanne Daprano (W75) has been named the Masters Track & Field Athlete of the Year by the USA Track & Field Masters Committee. Daprano (Fayetteville, Ga.) will be honored at the Jesse Owens Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, December 1, which is held in conjunction with the USATF Annual Meeting in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Daprano proved her ability both indoors and outdoors in 2012. She established age-group world records in the 400-meters (1:19.28), 800m (3:16.21) and mile (7:13.51) indoors and set additional world records outdoors in the 400m (1:22.98) and mile (7:13.31). Her season also included winning three events at both the USA Masters Indoor and Outdoor Championships and two gold medals and one silver medal at the World Masters Indoor Championships in Jyvaskyla, Finland.
“Never in all of my years of running had I even looked at that award and thought I would win it,” Daprano said. “That never even entered in my mind. My eyes filled with tears of praise when I found out. There are so many great athletes and I think the fact that USATF chose me is really an awesome thing.”
“Jeanne is a longtime supporter of masters track and field. She truly exemplifies what it is all about,” Masters Track & Field Committee Chair Gary Snyder said. “The fact that she is able to set American and world records while essentially running by herself is remarkable. She is truly deserving of this honor and we are thrilled she is a part of masters track and field.”
Covering a wide range of events, Daprano, who chooses the 800m as her best, also established the American age group indoor record in the 200m at 36.29. Additionally, her three-world-record performance at the USA Masters Indoor Championships in March in Bloomington, Ind., garnered Daprano USATF Athlete of the Week honors.
To add context to the strength of Daprano’s 2012 season, the mile record she established in Bloomington demolished the existing record by more than 50 seconds. Daprano also currently holds the W70 world record in the outdoor mile at 6:47.91.
“I’m anxiously thrilled for the banquet because I have never been,” Daprano said of the December 1st Jesse Owens Hall of Fame Banquet.
The Masters Athlete of the Year award was established in 2004 to recognize the outstanding performances by 40-and-over athletes. A list of previous winners can be found here.