She ran the 100-meter dash in a record time of 40 seconds.
Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins, age 101, became the oldest female athlete to ever compete in the USA Track and Field Outdoors Masters Championships. But just competing at her age wasn’t good enough for her. Hawkins’ time of 40.12 seconds in the 100-meter dash shaved more than six seconds off the current certified world record for women aged 100 or older.
This record-breaking run wasn’t even her best time in the 100. Earlier this month, at the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Hawkins ran the dash in 39.62 seconds. If either of those times get certified in December, she will become the official world-record holder – and why wouldn’t they get certified?
Hawkins gave up a lot to make track and field history, according to national news stories. She said she missed her nap before the event at Louisiana State, not far from where Hawkins lives in Baton Rouge.
The 101 year-old natural athletic talent is an avid bicyclist who only began training for track and field last year. She gardens every day, and says she runs inside a lot when her phone rings. That’s how she knew she could run, she told a reporter at the meet.
Hawkins was born in Wisconsin in 1916 and says she likes “the feeling of being independent,” as well as impressing her family, which includes the four children she had with her late husband, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. “Having a momma that can do this pleases them, and it pleases me to please them,” the former schoolteacher said.
Hawkins spends most of her waking hours being active, gardening, running and cycling. In assessing her record-breaking performance, she said for the first time she didn’t feel like she was going that fast.
Chapel Hill boasts the oldest living UNC athlete in Bob Gersten, a former baseball and basketball star for the Tar Heels who, at 96, plays tennis three times a week and likes to take on any challenge that comes his way.
How about a 100-meter dash with a woman five years older than you, Bob?