Flo Meiler of Shelburne broke the world pole vault record, 5’6”, on her first attempt at the USA Track & Field (USATF) Adirondack Association Open & Masters Track & Field Championships East Region on Saturday, June 21 at the University of Albany in New York.
The previous age 80 record was 4’7” held by both Johnnye Valien of the U.S. in 2005 and Christel Harp of Germany in 2010. Meiler proceeded to break the record three more times with vaults of 5’8”, 5’10”, and 6’. She declined to continue competing in the pole vault, because she was slated to participate in the hammer throw and discus. It was a good decision, as she won a gold medal in both events.
This was followed by the 2,000 meter steeplechase. Meiler set another standard for the first 80-year-old to ever compete, finishing the event in 14 minutes and 44 seconds. For the uninitiated a steeplechase, is an obstacle race in athletics that includes a 2,000 meter run (five times around the track) jumping over 22 barriers, five of which are in the water.