At 32, Olympian Justin Gatlin keeps running along
It's OK to call Justin Gatlin the old man of U.S. track and field. Just don't expect the 32-year-old to act his age.
It's OK to call Justin Gatlin the old man of U.S. track and field.
Just don't expect the 32-year-old to act his age.
"Don't put me out to pasture yet," said Gatlin, who will run in the 4x100-meter relay in the 15th edition of the USA vs. the World series Saturday at the Penn Relays. "I'm 32, but I feel like I'm 26. I've still got a lot of spring in my step."
A five-time Olympic medalist, Gatlin set a personal-best time of 9.79 seconds in the 100 in finishing third behind Jamaica's Usain Bolt (9.63) and Yohan Blake (9.75) in the 2012 Games in London.
Gatlin said his goal for 2014, a year with no Olympics or world championships, was to break Tyson Gay's American record of 9.69 in the 100.
Gatlin has been part of the USA vs. the World series at the Penn Relays since 2003. He gets a special kick out of competing for his country, especially against the Jamaican teams.
"It's a special thing to come here," Gatlin said. "It's not individual vs. individual. It's country vs. country, but with good taste. That's how track and field should be."
Competing at the Penn Relays also is special for Ajee' Wilson, who will anchor the USA sprint medley team.
"I've been competing here since I was a freshman in high school," said Wilson, a former schoolgirl star from Neptune, N.J. "Back then it was always, 'Are you going to the Penn Relays? I'll see you at the Penn Relays.'
"I remember watching the USA vs. the world sitting up in the nosebleed sections.
"This is like a second home to me."
Hill takes title
Penn State's Darrell Hill, a graduate of Penn Wood High School in Delaware County, won the college men's shot put with a throw of 63 feet, 113/4 inches.