Petition urges ratification of Daprano 6:58.44 as W75 world record

Jeanne has classic miler form.

Jeanne, shown in 2007, has classic miler form.

Nearly two years ago, Jeanne Daprano of Georgia was celebrated for a historic feat — running a mile under 7 minutes at the age of 75. Runner’s World hailed Jeanne’s 6:58.44 at the USATF West Regional Masters Championships. But her mark (see results) never made it into the record books. The 6:58.44 was not among the marks ratified at the 2012 annual meeting. I don’t know why. USATF Masters Records chair Sandy Pashkin has not responded to my inquiries. So it’s time to take action. I’ve launched an online petition to secure official recognition for Jeanne’s sub-7. I’m doing it by the book. The petition merely asks that the mark be resubmitted to the USATF Records Committee at the December 2014 annual meeting in Anaheim, California. Other marks have been submitted years late as well. This is a no-brainer.

Consider these facts:

The 6:58.44 mile came at the USATF West Region Masters Championships, only one step below masters nationals. It was run by Mark Cleary, an experienced meet director. SoCal officials are among the nation’s best.

Sandy Pashkin, to her credit, has said that one reason she is careful about approving new records is out of respect for existing record-holders. But in this case, Jeanne already held the W75 mile record. So who would be dissed by acknowledging the better of her 2012 marks?

Jeanne is a 2003 inductee into the USATF Masters Hall of Fame. She deserves better.

Finally, 2014 would be the ideal time to right this wrong. This year is the 60th anniversary of the first sub-4 men’s mile and first sub-5 women’s mile — as well as the 50th anniversary of Jim Ryun’s first sub-4 high school mile. Jeanne’s mark is just as momentous.

Even though many other legitimate all-time masters bests have fallen short of USATF and WMA scrutiny, I think Jeanne’s mile requires special attention.

We can do this, folks. We’ve done it before.

When John Hinton’s M45 indoor mile record of 4:20.18 of 2008 was initially rejected, efforts began to secure recognition. It eventually was ratified and posted. (Brad Barton later lowered the mark to 4:16.84.

Mistakes happen. Mistakes can be corrected.

Get it done, USATF.

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June 7, 2014

4 Responses

  1. Peter Taylor - June 1, 2014

    Thanks so much for posting this, Ken. I’ve known Jeanne Daprano for many years, and she is a hard-working competitor who knows how to produce great results. Born in Iowa and now living in Georgia, she flew to California to run in an important meet, the Western Regionals, and produced the scintillating time (6:58.44) that you have reported.

    It’s such a shame, Ken, that her mark was not accepted as a record. Did she not run the time? By comparison, I was reading today on the USATF website about a well-known open runner, Shannon Rowbury, and what she did at the Prefontaine meet:

    “Shannon Rowbury set a new American record in the women’s 2-mile, finishing fifth in 9:20.25 … breaking the previous record of 9:21.35.”

    Note, Ken, that the time of 9:21.35 is already described as the PREVIOUS record. Furthermore, is there any doubt in your mind that Rowbury’s mark will be accepted? Does Shannon need to worry about rejection? And yet the great Jeanne Daprano’s time has never even reached “pending.” Interesting, and disheartening, I must say.

  2. Ken Stone - June 1, 2014

    And feel free to sign my 2009 petition as well:

  3. Ken Stone - June 2, 2014

    Today I also wrote Justin Kuo, chairman of the overall USATF Records Committee, asking why the record was rejected — or whether it was even submitted for ratification.

    Thanks to everyone for signing the petition — more than 30 in the first day!

  4. Mary Harada - June 3, 2014

    happy to sign the petition –
    but really tired of this continuing silliness about not ratifying genuine records. When will it end?

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