W100 Ida Keeling becomes history’s oldest USATF Athlete of Week

Ida Keeling, surprising nobody, got USATF’s attention for her W100 WR at Penn. But I was crossing my fingers on her being named USATF Athlete of the Week. Fortunately, Friday’s Doha Diamond League hadn’t yet produced a raft of great U.S. marks. So Indy chose Ida for weekly honors. She joins M100 Don Pellmann as the only centenarians to gain AoW honors. But Don was 100 and a month when he set five WRs last September in San Diego. Ida was 100 and 11 1/2 months when she ran her century for the ages at Franklin Field. So she’s the oldest athlete ever to be so recognized by USATF. She’s the third masters-age athlete accorded the recognition this year — after M35 walker John Nunn and M65 sprinter Bill Collins. Mazel tov to Ida — and Indy for the shout-out.

Here's how USATF depicted Ida in naming her Athlete of the Week on May 5, 2016.

Here’s how USATF depicted Ida in naming her Athlete of the Week on May 5, 2016.

Here’s the official USATF announcement:

INDIANAPOLIS — After a world record-setting 100 meters at Penn Relays on Saturday, 100-year-old athlete Ida Keeling earns USATF Athlete of the Week.

Keeling (New York, New York) swiftly made her way through the Masters mixed 80-and-older 100m race in 1:17.33 for a new W96-100 world record. As if that feat wasn’t enough, the always active Keeling completed the race with energy to spare and even knocked out a few pushups for the crowd.

“I was so happy,” Keeling told TODAY. “I didn’t come out here to be a loser even though I felt tired. I said that I would just push on the best I could, and it was just at that pace.”

Keeling began her competitive running career at age 67 to help cope with the tragedy of losing both of her sons.

“My secret is to love yourself,” she continued. “Eat for nutrition not for taste. Do what you need to do, not what you want to do, (and) get some kind of exercise at least 10-15 minutes every day.”

Other notable performance of the week include the following:

Ed Cox (Binghamton, New York), an 88-year-old from the Syracuse Chargers, won the 80+ mixed masters 100m dash at Penn Relays in 17.85 seconds.

Christo Landry (Ann Arbor, Michigan) won the USATF Half Marathon Championships in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, when he finished in 1:02:52 for a more than 100m lead over the second place finisher.

Tara Welling (Portland, Oregon) won USATF Half Marathon Championship in 1:10.25 for a nearly three-minute personal best and her second consecutive USATF Running Circuit title. She won USATF 15 km Championships in March.

Courtney Frerichs (Nixo, Missouri), of the University of New Mexico, ran 9:29.31 in the 3000m steeplechase to became the collegiate leader for 2016 with the fastest third time in NCAA history behind only Emma Coburn and Jenny Simpson. She has the second fastest time in the world this year and leads the NCAA by over 18 seconds.

Jenny Simpson (Boulder, Colorado) ran a world leading 4:06.44 in the 1,500m in Des Moines to open her season with a fourth straight title at Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee.

Now in its 15th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on USATF.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.

2016 Winners: Jan. 13, Garrett Heath; Jan. 20, Donavan Brazier; Jan. 27, Keni Harrison; Feb. 3, Jenn Suhr; Feb. 10, Vashti Cunningham; Feb. 17, Galen Rupp; Feb. 24, John Nunn; March 2, Curtis Beach; March 11, Bill Collins; March 16, Da’mira Allen; March 24, Michelle Carter; March 31, Janet Bawcom; April 8, Maria Michta-Coffey; April 14, Keni Harrison; April 22, LaShawn Merritt; April 28, Courtney Okolo; May 6, Ida Keeling.

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May 6, 2016

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