Christel Donley adds W75 world record in heptathlon to collection
Colorado’s Christel Donley, the W75 multi-eventer who slays every record in her path, did it again over the weekend at the USATF National Combined Events Championships in Joplin, Missouri. She scored 5,416 points in the heptathlon, beating the listed W75 WR of 4,970 by fellow Yank Leonore McDaniels in 2003. On the men’s side, Chris Bates beat the listed M45 American decathlon record by scoring 7308 points. But the USATF records page lists a pending record of 7421 by Rex Harvey set way back in 1991. (What’s up with that? Maybe the new tables elevated Rex’s old score over the 7001 mark by Ken Ellis at Puerto Rico worlds in 2003.) Also notable was the 6878 win by M50 Michael Janusey — 144 points short of the American record. Results of the men’s decs are here. Results of women’s dec are here. Hep results are still to come.
Caryl Senn-Griffiths, opting for the women’s decathlon, beat the listed W45 American record of 4390 points by a whopping 1,732 points. Caryl tallied 6122 with the help of big scores in the 100 (14.19 for 761 points), 80-meter hurdles (13.82 for 830 points) and 1.40/4-7 high jump (759 points).
Visiting Brits also competed (in an annual team challenge), including Hazel Barker, who won the W50 hep with 4,464 points. Mary Dyke won the W45 hep with 2,423 points.
Christel writes: “Of course, until all the paperwork is submitted, everything is pending. Believe me, this was keeping all my wits together, and not giving up. I knew what I was trying to accomplish, but it was the hard way.”
She took pains to praise meet officials, who slaved in temps in the highs 90s.
“Back to the meet, it was organized and officiated in the best way that somebody can wish for. The weather was at its worst — maybe great for some athletes? It was a battle against the heat and humidity. We ran the 200 on Saturday in 96 F.”
The meet organization was absolutely superb.Tom Thorne, his wife and his crew need to be thanked with highesr praise. Rex Harvey and his crew of officials worked tirelessly, and the schedule to accommodate the 60-plus athletes (deca and hep) all age groups was unbelievable. It’s still beyond me how the officials made it through those two days.
IT WAS A LABOR OF LOVE, and just saying Thank You is not even enough!
Driving home from Joplin left us with nothing but a great memory, well and a WR and being grateful for the comaraderie and the help we did get over the 2 days. Hopefully, somebody will elaborate about the” Friendly Rivalry” with the UK.