D. Paul Miller of Bloomington won four gold medals and set a record this past weekend in the National Senior Olympics at Birmingham, Ala.
Miller, 99, competed in the 100-104 age division. Divisions are based on how old a competitor will be at the end of the calendar year and Miller is set to turn 100 on Aug. 30.
His first title came in the 50-meter dash.
“They call it a dash, but it wasn’t very dashy,” Miller said.
He called his time of 39 seconds “embarrassingly slow,” but at 99 years old …
“I was testing myself in that one,” he said. “I had been in a boot because of a broken bone in my ankle two weeks ago.”
Miller then won the 100 in 65 seconds — “My pace was faster than in the 50,” he said — and then won the long jump with an effort of 2 feet, 6 inches.
Miller had not planned to enter the event, but did so at the urging of his son.
“The lady measured it and she said, ‘That’s a national record!’” Miller said.
The previous record in the 100-104 division was 2 feet, 3 inches.
Miller’s fourth title was in the discus, the only event in which he had a fellow competitor.
“He was a big rancher from South Dakota,” Miller reported.
Miller trailed after three tosses, but his fourth toss measured 21 feet, 4½ inches to win by 3½ inches.
The National Senior Olympics medals are the latest in a long line for Miller, a retired Illinois Wesleyan professor.