The USATF Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships are a rare gem where a competitors’ age will often exceed the event distance. Take for instance, 102-year-old Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins and fellow centenarian Orville Rogers, who demolished their respective 60-meter dashes this past weekend in Landover, Maryland.
Of the seven world records that fell during competition on Saturday, four of them were the spoils of this 100-year-old-plus crowd.
Hawkins set the new women’s 100-plus age division record for the 60-meter dash in 24.79, besting contemporary Ida Keeling‘s 58.34 back in February. Following the race, the Baton Rouge native turned her sights on the field events, where she broke the indoor shot put record with a throw of 2.77 meters. (Watch her 60-meter race below, courtesy of USATF-TV.)
Surprisingly, Hawkins is relatively new to running. She’s been at it for less than two years since officially getting into the sport on her 100th birthday, but has certainly made her time count, clocking record times from Birmingham to Baton Rouge. Last year, Hawkins set the 100-meter world record at the National Senior Olympic Games in 39.62, shaving six seconds off the current mark. One month later, she was back in her hometown for the USA Track & Field Masters Outdoor Championships, where she clocked a consistent 40.12.
While Hawkins doesn’t do much running outside of competition, her current training plan seems to be working for her. She enjoys working in her backyard and tending to the house she and her late husband build in 1949. “I do a little running around each day—not a certain amount or time—but just to keep everything going.” she told Runner’s World. “I don’t want to waste too many 100-yard dashes, because I only have so many left.”
Among other notable performances at the indoor champs was the long-awaited 60-meter rematch between Orville Rogers and Dixon Hemphill. This time, 93-year-old Hemphill edged out 100-year-old Rogers in another close finish, crossing the line a mere 0.12 seconds sooner in 19.01. (See the race below, courtesy of USATF-TV.)
However, Rogers’s time of 19.13 was still good enough to land him a world’s best for his age division. Before the weekend was up, the Texan would enter the record books again for his 100-104 age group—clocking a 4:16.90 in the 400 meters and 20:00.19 in the 1500 meters.
centenarians set new records at masters indoor championships