At 103, Julia “Hurricane" Hawkins has cemented her title as the oldest woman to compete on an American track after finishing the 50 and 100-meter dashes at the National Senior Games in New Mexico.
The Louisiana resident already holds the world record for her age group in the 100-meter dash. She did not beat her previous best at the games on Tuesday, but crossed the line in just over 46 seconds.
They call her “Hurricane Hawkins,” and her peers can barely keep up. That’s because, at 103, Julia Hawkins is spr… https://t.co/LSD5OCJP2Y— CBS Evening News (@CBS Evening News)1560985243.0
On Monday, she was clocked at 21.06 in the 50-meter event, which appears to be a Senior Games record for the women's 100-plus age division. That is because she is the first to compete in that category.
Guys, this woman, Julia Hawkins, is 103 years old. She competes in the 100 meter at track events. Her nickname is “… https://t.co/hVsEZEDtVd— Liam Martin (@Liam Martin)1560989288.0
A combination of things keep the retired teacher going, from gardening around her home in Baton Rouge to the challenges of competition.
103-year-old Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins is hot on the track at the National Senior Games this week cementing her tit… https://t.co/Zyh1piZ3Vx— NSGA (@NSGA)1560884828.0
“I keep active all the time," she said.
“I have an acre of land. I work in it all the time. I have 30 bonsai bushes – some are 40 or 50 years old. That keeps me busy."
She started cycling competitively in her 80s, participating in the senior Olympics. When she became the only competitor in her division, her children suggested she try running.
She liked the idea of competing in the 100-meter dash at the age of 100.
Her knees, back and hips feel fine, and she credits years of cycling for her strong legs. But she says her eyesight is troubling her.
“I keep worrying about that."
"You feel a little less able when something like this happens," she told the Albuquerque Journal.
“I'm hoping I can see well enough to stay in the white lines."
Brit Huckabay/National Senior Games
Born on February 9, 1916, Ms Hawkins graduated with a teaching degree from Louisiana State University in 1938, where she met her future husband, Murray Hawkins. She taught in Honduras while he served in the Navy.
After surviving the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he asked her to marry him and they had four children.
She has a simple goal on the track:
“I hope I'm inspiring them to be healthy and to realise you can still be doing it at this kind of an age."
A record 13,712 athletes participated in this year's Senior Games, which will conclude on June 25.
What. A. Night. Thank you to the thousands of athletes, visitors and members of the ABQ community who celebrated t… https://t.co/J1IZnZiXvC— NSGA (@NSGA)1560698329.0
Need some inspiration to get moving? Julia "Hurricane" Hawkins, age 103, won Gold at the National Senior Games in t… https://t.co/8GXU5QkHMM— USATFMasters (@USATFMasters)1560805644.0
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, local officials and organizers celebrated the athletes during a special event on Wednesday night.
What a blast commemorating the largest National Senior Games EVER at last night's Celebration of Athletes! Thanks… https://t.co/jfLmicxRqE— NSGA (@NSGA)1561044952.0
What a blast to participate in & represent New Mexico at the @SeniorGames1 Celebration of Athletes last night at th… https://t.co/HxmNTSVyuU— Michelle Lujan Grisham (@Michelle Lujan Grisham)1561035757.0
So much fun watching and meeting with New Mexican athletes at the @SeniorGames1 this afternoon! The competition is… https://t.co/ZbGI61FQxi— Michelle Lujan Grisham (@Michelle Lujan Grisham)1561056411.0
"These women and men (in the National Senior Games) are refuting all the myths about aging." Honored to have… https://t.co/J9nmFrlfxF— NSGA (@NSGA)1561079366.0
Three layups in one game? Now that’s a REAL senior moment! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Shout out to Linda Hunt of Maine for killing i… https://t.co/UR5tJBVxPT— NSGA (@NSGA)1561059377.0
Daily Recap: Over 1,800 athletes age 50-103 are competing in track and field events at the 2019 National Senior Gam… https://t.co/gj5rlvP4wc— NSGA (@NSGA)1560973137.0
Some amazing things take place at the National Senior Games, like finding a cousin you didn’t know you had! That'… https://t.co/R70ygEgTJk— NSGA (@NSGA)1560827129.0
A glimpse of the thousands of #RealSeniorMoments unfolding at the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana.… https://t.co/I7CvS4tZNG— NSGA (@NSGA)1560784703.0