Holmquist named USATF Athlete of the Week
INDIANAPOLIS - Jan Holmquist (Burlington, Mass.) has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after winning the 65-69 year old age group at the USA Masters 5 km Championships in 21:19 at the Syracuse Festival of Races.
At 68 years old, Holmquist’s performance received an age-graded score of 101.15, more than five points ahead of her nearest competitor.
“I was absolutely ecstatic when I finished,” Holmquist said. “When you train hard for a target race and exceed your expectation, it is just so rare. To do it there with so many great people, it was wonderful.”
Holmquist began running at 38 years old and began racing seriously during her 50’s, but recently took several years off from competitive racing.
“I went to Syracuse last year, and I had just started racing after a couple of years off,” Holmquist said. “It was just awesome because of the race director, Dave Oja, and all of the volunteers. They made it such a great experience that I wanted to go back.”
While breaking 22-minutes was a goal for Holmquist, it was not her only motivation in running.
“I know some people go after records, but that is not my main motivation,” Holmquist said. “My motivation is really to get race directors to recognize older runners in five-year age groups, and it makes me feel so good when I inspire younger runners to continue racing. Keeping people fit longer is the ultimate goal.”
Now in its 11th 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 www.usatf.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2012 Winners: January 5, Landon Peacock; January 11, Kirubel Erassa; January 18, Shalane Flanagan; January 26, John Nunn; February 1, Gunnar Nixon; February 8, Jenn Suhr; February 14, Jillian-Camarena Williams; February 22, Brycen Spratling; February 28, Chaunte Lowe; March 7, Eric Broadbent; March 14, Ashton Eaton; March 21, Jeanne Daprano; March 27, Wallace Spearmon; April 3, Trevor Barron; April 9, Kevin Castille; April 18, Brittney Reese; April 25, Amy Sproston; May 2, Leo Manzano; May 9, Stephanie Brown-Trafton; May 16, Allyson Felix; May 23, Nick Hartle; May 30, Kimberlyn Duncan; June 6, Jessica Cosby and Meghan Vogel; June 13, Jesse Williams; June 20, Shelby Ashe; June 27, Ashton Eaton; July 4, Allyson Felix; July 12, Christian Cantwell; July 18, Gunnar Nixon; July 25 Evan Jager; August 1, Denzel Harper; August 15, Allyson Felix; August 23, Reese Hoffa; August 29, Carmelita Jeter; September 5, Matt Tegenkamp; September 12, Aries Merritt; September 19, Ben True; September 26, Willie Banks; October 3, Jan Holmquist