Jeanne Daprano is named USATF Masters Athlete of the Year

Jeanne Daprano

Bob Lida of Kansas may be the IAAF Best Male Masters Athlete of 2012, but USATF today announced that Jeanne Daprano of Georgia is USATF Masters Athlete of the Year. Different process. USATF says: “After establishing a total of five age-group world records in 2012, Jeanne Daprano (W75) has been named the Masters Track & Field Athlete of the Year by the USA Track & Field Masters Committee. Daprano (Fayetteville, Ga.) will be honored at the Jesse Owens Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, December 1, which is held in conjunction with the USATF Annual Meeting in Daytona Beach, Fla.” Congrats to Jeanne!

The release continued:

Daprano proved her ability both indoors and outdoors in 2012. She established age-group world records in the 400-meters (1:19.28), 800m (3:16.21) and mile (7:13.51) indoors and set additional world records outdoors in the 400m (1:22.98) and mile (7:13.31). Her season also included winning three events at both the USA Masters Indoor and Outdoor Championships and two gold medals and one silver medal at the World Masters Indoor Championships in Jyvaskyla, Finland.

“Never in all of my years of running had I even looked at that award and thought I would win it,” Daprano said. “That never even entered in my mind. My eyes filled with tears of praise when I found out. There are so many great athletes and I think the fact that USATF chose me is really an awesome thing.”

“Jeanne is a longtime supporter of masters track and field. She truly exemplifies what it is all about,” Masters Track & Field Committee Chair Gary Snyder said. “The fact that she is able to set American and world records while essentially running by herself is remarkable. She is truly deserving of this honor and we are thrilled she is a part of masters track and field.”

Covering a wide range of events, Daprano, who chooses the 800m as her best, also established the American age group indoor record in the 200m at 36.29. Additionally, her three-world-record performance at the USA Masters Indoor Championships in March in Bloomington, Ind., garnered Daprano USATF Athlete of the Week honors.

To add context to the strength of Daprano’s 2012 season, the mile record she established in Bloomington demolished the existing record by more than 50 seconds. Daprano also currently holds the W70 world record in the outdoor mile at 6:47.91.

“I’m anxiously thrilled for the banquet because I have never been,” Daprano said of the December 1st Jesse Owens Hall of Fame Banquet.

The Masters Athlete of the Year award was established in 2004 to recognize the outstanding performances by 40-and-over athletes.

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November 20, 2012

11 Responses

  1. Mary Harada - November 20, 2012

    Congratulations Jeanne – you have set a very high standard for those who will try to get those records when they age up. I am sure some of those records will last a very long time.
    It is a well deserved honor.

  2. Karla Del Grande - November 20, 2012

    I echo Mary’s remarks. Setting such high standards, and in a range of events indoors and out is a remarkable achievement. Congratulations, Jeanne!

  3. Christel Donley - November 20, 2012

    Now it’s in the OPEN…….

    See you in Daytona Beach

  4. wayne bennett - November 20, 2012

    What a great honor for such a great person. I consider it a great honor to be able call this lady and her husband Bill personal friends. They are great people to be around and associate with. Congratulations Jeanne.

  5. Nadine O'Connor - November 20, 2012

    I will never forget the first time I saw Jeanne run, many years ago. I didn’t know who she was but her beautiful, fluid stride made quite an impression on me and on those whom she seemed to float past.
    Congratulations, Jeanne. You have deserved this award for many years.

  6. peter taylor - November 20, 2012

    Following up on what Nadine said, I must concur that Jeanne has a wonderful style — it’s pretty to watch.

    One of my best moments with Jeanne came on May 5, 2007, in Raleigh, NC, as she flew down the home straightaway with dead aim on becoming the first 70+ woman to break the 7-minute mile (the record at the time was 7:15.87).

    If you are familiar with Jeanne’s career you would not be surprised that she broke 7 minutes by a huge margin — in fact she ran 6:47.91. And she won’t brag about her performances; she just puts them out there for everyone to admire. She has given me many joys as an announcer.

  7. Christel Donley - November 20, 2012

    I have a picture here on the wall, 1987 World Games in Melbourne. Jeannie’s first World Games? We ran the 4 x 400 m relay and won!
    Gretchen Snyder, Irene Obera, myself and Jeannie.

    I had just met Jeannie when we stopped in Fiji.
    John Cosgrove introduced her.
    Little did I know, that we would join in a relay.
    Can’t remember, if it was a record.

    A lot of great memories over all those years,esp. having running outfits made by a South African athlete and delivered to our hotel! World Games in

  8. Marie Kay - November 20, 2012

    Congratulations to a super women athlete with a super wonderful personality to match… i am so excited for you Jeannie, Congratulations on your awesome achievements i am in awe!!!

  9. Susan and Tom - November 20, 2012

    Congratulations! We are thrilled you received this award as it is very much deserved. We look forward to seeing you receive it at the banquet. You inspire us all!

  10. coreen steinbach - November 21, 2012

    Congratulations, Jeanne! What a well deserved honor. You are one of the toughest athletes I have ever known.You do,indeed, inspire us all!

  11. Christa Bortignon - November 22, 2012

    Congratulations,Jeanne. It was an honour to run with you in Bloomington and Lisle.

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