Flo Meiler becomes oldest steepler, ups WR in the W80 vault

Flo was featured on CNN site in 2013.

Hall of Famer Flo Meiler of Vermont is a multi-event legend. But like Olga Kotelko, Flo is just coming into her prime — as an 80-year-old. On June 21, two weeks after entering her new age group, Flo became the oldest female steepler on record — and upped the WR in the vault several times as well. (Results are here for the USATF meet in Albany, New York.) According to her local paper, Flo “broke the world pole vault record, 5-6, on her first attempt at the (USATF) Adirondack Association Open & Masters Track & Field Championships East Region…. The previous age 80 record was 4-7 held by both Johnnye Valien of the U.S. in 2005 and Christel [Happ] of Germany in 2010. Meiler proceeded to break the record three more times with vaults of 5-8, 5-10 and 6 feet (1.83 meters). She declined to continue competing in the pole vault, because she was slated to participate in the hammer throw and discus. It was a good decision, as she won a gold medal in both events.”

The Shelburne News continues:

This was followed by the 2,000-meter steeplechase. Meiler set another standard for the first 80-year-old to ever compete, finishing the event in 14 minutes and 44 seconds. [Actually, it was 14:34.75.]

For the uninitiated a steeplechase is an obstacle race in athletics that includes a 2,000 meter run (five times around the track) jumping over 22 barriers, five of which are in the water.

Flo turned 80 on June 7, so the Albany meet was one of the first in her new age group. She also threw the discus 15.80 (51-10) and the hammer 15.77 (51-9).

But how about that 2K steeple? Amazing for any 80-year-old to do.

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July 8, 2014

6 Responses

  1. Ken Stone - July 8, 2014

    I’m also assuming that Flo ran 30-inch steeple barriers, since I doubt they go down to 27 inches — the standard hurdle height for her age group.

  2. Rob Jerome - July 8, 2014

    Flo is entered in 12 events in next week’s Winston-Salem Nationals so we can expect to see more great results.

  3. Kay Glynn - July 8, 2014

    Way to go, Flo!

  4. Christa Bortignon - July 8, 2014

    Congratulations, Flo. Good luck in Winston-Salem.

  5. Mary Harada - July 8, 2014

    very inspiring Flo – keep knocking off those WR.

  6. Mary Roman - July 17, 2014

    I know you are happy to be in a new age group. Keep breaking the records in the 80 age group.

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