INDIANAPOLIS -- Eighty-year-old Masters athlete Florence Meiler has been named USATF’s Athlete of the Week after her impressive 14 event weekend; as she had broke several records at USATF Masters Outdoor Championships at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Meiler (Shelburne, Vermont) made Kentner Stadium her playground for the weekend, amassing eight gold medals and six silvers while setting World records in the pentathlon (4,319) and pole vault (1.65m/5-5). She also set American records in the hammer throw (22.30m/73-2), weight throw (9.09m/29-10), discus (18.36m/60-3), and high jump (1.02m/3-4)
“I just love keeping in shape,” Meiler said to Tommy Bowman of the Winston-Salem Journal. “A lot of people ask me how I keep doing this, and I say, ‘Well, it’s not that easy but you just keep going.’ It’s a wonderful feeling when people come up to you and tell you what an inspiration I am to them to get off the couch and be active.”
Other notable athletes from this week include:
Charles Ross (Decatur, Georgia) was a member of the first 90 year-old-plus relay team in history, competing in the 4x100, 400 and 800m relays at USATF Masters Outdoor Championships in Winston-Salem. The team, which included sprint specialist Champion Goldy Sr., 97, (Haddonfield, New Jersey) Orville Rogers, 95, (Dallas, Texas) Charles Boyle, 91, (Annapolis, Maryland) Roy Englert, 92, (Springfield, Virginia) and Ross instantly set World records in each event (2:27.37, 12:41.69, 28:17.10) He also won the 100m (38.90), 400m (3:11.45), 800m (7:04.82), long jump (1.02m/3-4.25), triple jump (2.91m/9-6.75), shot put (4.55m/14-11.25), discus (7.85m/25-9), hammer throw (5.84m/19-2) and the weight throw (4.91m/ 16-1).
Tori Bowie, (Hattiesburg, Mississippi) won the women’s 100 meters at Monaco with a world-leading and personal best 10.80, her first race since injuring her leg at the US Outdoor Championships. The field included Allyson Felix and Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown and Shelly-Ann Frasor-Pryce.
Justin Gatlin, (Clermont, Florida) beat a stacked 200m field at the Monaco fast track that included Tyson Gay with a world leading, meet record, and personal best 19.68.
Molly Huddle, (Providence, Rhode Island) broke her American record in the 5000m by more than two seconds, finishing sixth in 14:42.64 at Monaco.
Irene Obera (Fremont, California) had several record breaking performances at USATF Masters Outdoors. The 80 year old set records in the 400m (1:39.92), 80m hurdles (19.77), long jump (2.94m/9-7.75), 100m (16.81), 200m hurdles (42.24) and 200m (36.80).
Now in its 13th 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.
2014 Winners: January 15, Chris Derrick; January 22, Galen Rupp; January 29, Galen Rupp; February 5, Alexa Efraimson; February 12, Mike Rutt; Feb. 19, Bernard Lagat; Feb. 26,Sharon Day-Monroe; March 3, David Torrence; March 13, Francena McCorory; March 19, Irene Obera; March 26, Duane Solomon; April 2, Maria Michta; April 7, Noah Lyles; April 14, Kendell Williams; April 21, Meb Keflezighi; April 28, Kristi Castlin; May 7, Maria Michta; May 14, Erik Kynard; May 21, Emma Coburn; May 28, Brenda Martinez; June 2, Galen Rupp; June 9, Tori Bowie; June 16, Trayvon Bromell; June 23, Charles Austin; June 30, Devon Allen, July 7, Kaylin Whitney; July 14, Emma Coburn; July 21, Florence Meiler.
USA Track & Field is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit http://www.usatf.org