Bud Held, 80, is named USATF Athlete of the Week
Every year following masters outdoor nationals, USATF reserves its Athlete of the Week award for a top performer at the masters meet. This year, many stars were worthy — including M55 Bill Collins, M65 Steve Robbins and W55 Kathy Martin. But USATF likes to mix things up, too. So this year they named Bud Held, the M80 vaulter and thrower, for the weekly honor. It was a perfectly apt choice. Bud was one of the 186 athletes who competed in the first masters nationals in San Diego in 1968. Given that Spokane was the 40th anniversary of the meet, the AoW honor is a great way of recognizing masters past and present.
Also notable about Bud’s selection: He joins his life partner Nadine O’Connor as an AoW.
Nadine has won the award twice.
Here’s the USATF release:
INDIANAPOLIS – Franklin “Bud” Held has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after setting new World and American age group records in the pole vault and hammer throw at the 2008 USA Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Spokane, Wash.
Held, who competes in the men’s 80-84 age division, set the world pole vault record on August 7 clearing 2.65 meters/8 feet 8.25 inches. Two days later he set the U.S. record in the hammer throw with a toss of 34.15 meters/112 feet.
Inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1987, Held competed in the 1952 Olympics as a javelin thrower and was a decorated athlete winning three national collegiate titles, six U.S. crowns and held the U.S. record on six occasions.
Held had competed in the pole vault in high school, but concentrated on the javelin event throughout his career as a collegiate and world class athlete. Held did not start pole vaulting again until he was 60.
2008 USATF Athlete of the Week Winners: January 8, Cheryl Foody; January 16, Nick Vena; January 22, Chanelle Price; January 29, Antwon Hicks; February 5, Adam Nelson; February 12, Lolo Jones; February 19, Adam Nelson; February 27, Michael Rodgers; March 3, Thomas Morgan; March 11, Bryan Clay; March 18, Bianca Knight; March 25, Phil Raschker; April 1, Orville Rogers; April 8, Lisa Koll; April 15, Ryan Hall, April 22, Deena Kastor; April 29, Leo Manzano; May 6, Shalane Flanagan; May 13, Bonnie Richardson; May 20, Jenn Stuczynski; May 27, Chanelle Price; June 3, German Fernandez; June 10, Brad Walker; June 18, Jenny Barringer; July 11, Jenn Stuczynski; July 16, Walter Henning; July 23, Jenny Barringer; July 29 Phyllis Francis; August 13, Franklin “Bud” Held.