Mary Roman adds W70 American record to her collection

Mary Roman, a W70 multi-eventer in Connecticut featured on this blog before, has another record. Competing at the 40th Dartmouth Relays three weeks ago in Hanover, N.H., Mary put the 3-kilogram shot 8.25 meters (27-1) to beat the listed American indoor record of 8.15 (26-9) by Colorado’s Christel Donley at Boston nationals in 2006. Mary also holds the W65 American record in the indoor shot and the W70 AR in the superweight throw. For giggles, she also sprints! (See Dartmouth results here.) Great profile of Mary in her local paper. Here’s a file photo that ran with the story:   

Here’s the story about Mary:

Record-breaking Roman gives it her best shot

NORWALK — Mary Roman of Norwalk is still doing her thing.

As Roman, 73, is in her “Golden Years,” she has maintained her hobby of collecting gold medals for excelling on the track and field circuit.

Excelling so much, in fact, that Roman continues to set American records in her events and is enthused about going for more.

Roman broke the American record in the shot put in her age division for the second time in her career at a Masters track and field athlete earlier this month.

Roman got her latest record when she won the shot put in her 70-74 age division with a throw of 27 feet, 1 inch during the 40th Dartmouth Relays at Leverone Field House in Hanover, N.H.

“It feels great to be an American record holder,” Roman said. “When I’m in a bigger meet like the national championships, women come from all over and they have coaches. I don’t have a coach. I just read up on it. It feels very good. I’ve been trying very hard. I’m trying to get my technique right.”

Roman got some minimal coaching at a meet in Florida when a volunteer throwing coach arrived to help her and polish her technique a bit. There was a noticeable benefit to the little bit of tweaking to her technique.

“He showed me a couple things,” Roman said. “He showed me how I was releasing it too soon. I feel if I had a coach all the time that I’d do better. Maybe I could get the record in the weight throw.”

Roman also won the weight throw at the Dartmouth Relays

with a throw of 9.45 meters (31 feet) after she set her record in the shot put.

“I’m hoping to break that record but that’s been eluding me,” Roman said. “I have a meet in Toms River, N.J. next month. And then the national championships, which will be with athletes from all over the country, will be in Landover, Md. in March. I’d like to break that (weight throw) record, which I believe is 10.17 meters.”

Roman also was runner-up in the 60-meter dash at the Dartmouth Relays with a time of 12.69 that she was not so pleased with because she was running in shoes with new and uncomfortable orthotics.

“I have to get down to like 10 seconds,” Roman said. “I was just fitted with orthotics and most of my training is done on the treadmill.”

Roman still works full time. In April she will hit her 10th year as City Clerk in Norwalk.

After work Roman will either work out on the treadmill at home or do her weight lifting and resistance workouts at Planet Fitness in Norwalk.

Her endurance base enabled her to register her record throw on the last of her six throws.

“Usually my best throw is in the beginning, maybe one of the first three throws. Then I sort of go downhill. So I guess I was just sort of relaxed and just put it out there,” Roman related. “I knew it was good. You have to keep your elbow up and you have to keep the shot put next to your chin and it felt right when I did that. When it landed I could see in the (marking) lines that it was my best but I didn’t know it was a record. Then the official said: ‘Bring out the medal tape.’ Because when you have a record they have to measure it with the medal tape.

“Actually it was my second record,” Roman added. “I had set it two years earlier, then this gal from Illinois broke my record. Then I just broke hers. The officials remembered me.”

Roman’s most recent record shot put of 8.25 meters stands up well compared to a previous throw of 9.17 meters when she competed in the 65-69 age division.

Bill Mongovan, the veteran track coach at Greenwich High School, occasionally sees Roman when she goes to the Runners Roost store where he works . Roman she always takes great pride when she hears Mongovan always reminds her that her son, Craig, still has a Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference record in the hurdles.

“Mary is a significant achiever,” Mongovan said. “She came into this late and she’s been able to go around the world and compete. She’s very well thought of in the Masters circle. She comes in every now and then and I brag about her to whoever’s here.”

Roman’s current success is especially impressive given that she suffered a heart attack six years ago and she utilized working out to aid her recovery.

“You just have to get out there,” Roman said. “It’s never too late to get started. I was 55 when I started in track and field.

“The one thing that would make me happy is if I can get Craig competing in these meets,” Roman added. “You know, mother and son competing. He just turned 50 in November.”

— Staff Writer Bob Greeney can be reached at or at 964-2275.

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January 28, 2009

6 Responses

  1. Mary Harada - January 28, 2009

    congratulations to a world class person.

  2. daphne sluys - January 28, 2009

    Mary sure does an excellent job of proving that you can do amazing things if you put your mind and body to work. One of the perks of masters athletics is being around positive folks like Mary.

  3. peter taylor - January 28, 2009

    Mary Roman rocks; everybody knows that. I have always enjoyed announcing her or just seeing her around the arena or stadium.

  4. Larry Libow - January 28, 2009

    Mary: All your Mass Velocity teammates and I are proud of your accomplishments. I guess you are no longer our “secret weapon” with this kind of coverage but you are very deserving of it. You go girl!

  5. peter van aken - January 28, 2009

    I am curious about the “medal” tape mentioned in the article, that the offical requested to be used to measure the record-breaking throw….”medal” tape?

  6. KimW - January 29, 2009

    It should be a “metal” tape. I’m sure the reporter and/or editor didn’t know much about setting records. Anything that might be a record must be measured with a metal tape rather than a cloth tape.

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