Lewis named USATF Masters Athlete of the Year


Tom Surber
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field

INDIANAPOLIS - Oneithea "Neni" Lewis has been named the 2010 Masters Athlete of the Year by USA Track & Field's Masters Committee. Lewis will be honored on Saturday, December 4, at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in Virginia Beach, Va. The event is held in conjunction with USA Track & Field's 2010 Annual Meeting.

Lewis, who has grown accustomed to setting records throughout her career as a masters thrower, turned 50 in June and wasted little time in putting her stamp on the record books again.

In one of the most amazing masters performances of 2010, Lewis, a resident of Oakland Gardens, N.Y., set a pending world masters record in the W50 age group at the USA Masters Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, Calif.

Lewis, who owns the world hammer throw records in the W40 and W45 age groups, fouled on her first attempt and her remaining five throws bettered the listed American record, and three of those tosses sailed further than the listed world record of 51.73m/169-8 set in 2002. Lewis saved her best for last in posting the pending W50 hammer throw record of 55.46m/181-11 on her final attempt. Other pending record-setting performances this year by Lewis include:*World record in the 16-pound weight throw of 18.10m/59-4.75. Previous listed record (15.96m/52-4.50, 2007)

*World record in the Throws Pentathlon - 4,800 points. Previous listed record (4,613 points, 2007)*American record in the Superweight Throw (25 pounds) - 12.98m/42-7. Previous listed record (11.51m/37-9.25, 2007)*American record in the Ultra-Weight Pentathlon - 5,872 points. Previous listed record (4,075, 2009)

"I'm very honored to be named the USA Track & Field Masters Athlete of the Year," said Lewis. "I want to congratulate the other nominees for this award on their outstanding performances this season. I'm honored to join the impressive list of previous winners of this award."

"Neni has been an amazing performer through the years, and I'm happy to see a great thrower win this award," said Gary Snyder, USATF Masters Track & Field Committee Chair. "Neni was totally dominant in her events this season, and we all look forward to seeing what the future holds for her."

About Masters track & field and long-distance running

Millions of Americans take part in masters long distance running or track and field, with roughly 53 percent of all male and 40 percent of female road-race finishers being over age 40. A celebration of fitness and healthy living at any age, masters competition features men and women over the age of 40, setting new standards for what is possible as Americans age.

For more information on the 2010 USA Track & Field Annual Meeting, visit: www.usatf.org.