Hoffman, Bowley Combine to Break Four American Records and One World Record


Bowley, Hoffman combine to break Four American Records and One World Record

Posted at the entrance to Hilmer Lodge at the infamous Mt San Antonio (Mt. SAC) Track and Field Stadium in Walnut, CA rests a plaque that says “Where the World’s Best Athletes Compete.” However, after this past Saturday, that plaque may need to be relocated to the Holy Cross facility in Worcester, MA . This past Saturday athletes competing at the 2019 USATF New England Open and Masters Track & Field Championship combined to break four American Records and one World Record. Somebody should notify the records departments at the IAAF and USATF to expect new paperwork on their desks. 

Wow, what a performance! 91 year old Diane Hoffman pulled off the triple in the 100m, 200m, and 400m events, setting the age group American or World record in ALL THREE. Yes, you read that correctly. A “triple crown” in track and field. Diane started the day off aimed at setting the 90-94 age group world record in the 100m. Mrs. Hoffman took off at the gun, and raced a 24.19, which fell short of the world record, but did beat her previous American record of 24.22 set in this meet last year. After reconvening with her family, she decided to give the 400m a try. Here, Diane started slowly, but picked up the pace on the last straight away as the crowd cheered her on. With the clock reading 2:30, she knew the American record was within reach and waved at the spectators giving her praise. Officially, Hoffman crossed the line in 2:44.25. The American record was hers. In the midst of the celebration, USATF East Region Masters Chair, Mike Travers, interrupted the praise to announce that Diane had broken the World record of 2:46.56. Later on, Diane battled in the 200m, crossing the line in 56.33 which fell just short of the World record of 55.62, yet absolutly crushed the American record of 70.99!

Diane’s running career began one day when her son saw her running in the grass. Both impressed and confused as to why his 90 year old mother was running, Mr. Hoffman knew that it was extraordinary that his mother was able to run at her age, and do so with such strength. He convinced her to try a few track meets in the area, curious as to what time his mother could run. “I don't know! My son wanted to me to run...I don't run, I am tennis player!” Mrs Hoffman stated quite bluntly on Saturday after hearing she is now the fastest 90 year old woman in history. “I guess tennis helped. I always played at the net, going like this, and this...that way no balls could get past me!” Hoffman explained as she pretended to play tennis. 

Wow, what a day. But those were not the only records to fall at Holy Cross on Saturday. Karolyn Bowley of the Boston Athletic Association broke the American 50-54 age group record for the 1500m run. Bowley raced to a 4:47.71, besting the previous age group record of 4:51.1 Starting the race alongside Karolyn was BAA Racing Team member, MIchael McKinley. The two Unicorns worked together through 1200m, when McKinley fell off, and dropped from the race. With 300m to go, Bowley dug deep and finished the race in the record time. A mother of four, Karolyn turned 50 just three days before the meet. The leader in the USATF-NE Road Race Grand Prix in the 45-45 division was in the middle of training for this fall's Hartford Marathon, when her and her coach, Bob Rothenberg, decided to give the 1500m a try. “We have been doing some longer stuff for workouts, but believed the 1500m American Record was well within grasp,” stated Rothenberg. The two contacted McKinnley, and asked if she was interested in racing the 1500m with Karolyn. The former Kentucky Wildcat agreed, and the rest is history.    


Full Results can be found at: newengland.usatf.org 

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