Flo Filion Meiler 84 year old pole vaulter, Competing in World Masters Athletics Championship Indoor in Poland, Hurdles & 800 meters
From the AP.
“Pole vaulter, 84, sets her sights on more records
An 84-year-old pole vaulter isn’t putting her pole down anytime soon.
Flo Filion Meiler left Thursday for the World Masters Athletics Championship Indoor in Poland, where she’ll compete in events including the long jump, 60-meter hurdles, 800-meter run, pentathlon and pole vault, for which she’s the shoo-in.
The petite, energetic woman from Shelburne, Vermont, said she feels more like 70 than nearly 85.
“But you know, I do train five days a week. And when I found out I was going to compete at the worlds, I’ve been training six days a week because I knew I would really get my body in shape,” she said last week, after track and field training at the University of Vermont.
But she literally won’t have any competition in the pole vault in the championships, which runs March 24-31 in Torun, Poland. She is the only one registered in her age group, 80-84, for the sport, for which she set a world record at age 80. In the men’s pole vault, nine men are listed as competing in that age group.
Meiler said the events she likes best are the hurdles and the pole vault — one of the more daring track and field events, in which competitors run while carrying a fiberglass or composite pole, brace it against the ground to launch themselves over a high bar, and land on a mat.
“You really have to work at that,” she said. “You have to have the upper core and you have to have timing, and I just love it because it’s challenging.”
Meiler is used to hard work. She grew up on a dairy farm, where she helped her father with the chores, feeding the cattle and raking hay. In school, she did well at basketball, took tap and ballroom dancing, and, living near Lake Champlain, she water skied.”