Joy Upshaw named USATF Athlete of the Week for W55 100 AR

Coach Joy Upshaw, whose USATF roles are too numerous to mention, finds time to compete somehow. And when she does, it’s serious. After making the 360-mile trip south last weekend from the SF Bay Area to run the Sri Chinmoy meet in Glendale, she scorched the 100 in 13.27 seconds to claim the W55 American record (beating the fabled 13.30 by Phil Raschker in 2002). Even though she’s gone faster (at 2016 Mt. SAC Relays), USATF on Thursday named her USATF Athlete of the Week. If you count M35 Justin Gatlin, Joy is the seventh masters-age athlete to gain the honor this year — after Kathy Martin, Allen Woodard, Bob Lida, Julia Hawkins and Kevin Castille. When news of her AR was shared on her track club website, the notice said: “With her good running form — that she coaches in Jackrabbits — she was able to focus and race to a win and a W55-59 age group 100m American record! She made sure to thank the officials, meet directors and her competitors, because as we know in Jackrabbits class, having good sportsmanship — no matter what place you finish — is important.” Nice. Even records are teachable moments.

Joy in her element — coaching the Jack Rabbits youth club near Stanford.

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October 6, 2017

7 Responses

  1. Rob Jerome - October 6, 2017

    Congratulations, Joy! Well-deserved!

  2. Alan Kolling - October 6, 2017

    Joy is a class act, a great athlete, and a wonderfully friendly colleague to so many other athletes. And the level of competition these days is so much tougher than years past: Irene’s best as a W55 sprinter was 13.84, a world record at the time. Joy is a true star!

  3. Mike Sullivan - October 7, 2017

    Well deserved Joy……. and also very motivational for all us older track men and woman….

    All have a great day……

    I am ..STILL…..Having a great time rehabbing in Sunny Arizona….THe Mountain Waits….hahah


  4. george haywood - October 11, 2017

    Yet another American record to add to her extensive collection. Joy now owns 12 individual and 4 relay American records, across a wide range of events. Her accomplishments on the track are astonishing– she is clearly one of the all-time greats in masters track and field history.

    Congratulations Joy!

  5. Peter L. Taylor - October 11, 2017

    Right you are, George. Joy has a very nice combination of power, excellent technique, and what many people call “speed endurance.” In addition, even if you’re an M45 100-dash guy who can’t break 15.50 she’ll be friendly and enjoy talking with you.

  6. Milan Tiff - October 11, 2017

    I thought Marlene Ottey was running 11 seconds well into her fifties. Never the less, 13 seconds is nothing to turn your head away from. Congratulations to Joy Upshaw for her fitness.

  7. Ken Stone - October 11, 2017

    Merlene Ottey ran 11.84 at age 51, but she’s what we call in Statworld as an “outlier,” aka “Freak of Nature.”

    She hasn’t formally retired, BTW. Still waiting for next race.

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