105-Year-Old Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins Sets New Track-And-Field World Record


Hawkins competing. Photo: Brit Huckabay, NSGA

Every time Baton Rouge’s own Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins steps onto a track to compete, the 105-year-old is the oldest woman in the world to do so. Now, she took it to another level…literally.

On November 6th, Hawkins ran the 100-meter race at the Louisiana Senior Games in Hammond,  LA. She became the first U.S. athlete, and the first woman, to set a masters track World Record in the 105+ Age Division.

Hawkins generated worldwide publicity in both the Birmingham 2017 and Albuquerque 2019 National Senior Games when she set world track records in the 100-104 age category. In September, her Women’s 100-104 100-meter record was broken by centenarian Diane Friedman at the Michigan Senior Olympics.

“Julia was gracious. She had told us before she hoped more women would come along and beat her record,” says Del Moon, media director for the National Senior Games Association (NSGA). “But she is a competitor and is obviously looking forward. Even our organization is surprised and delighted that Julia has more to say on the track and to the rest of us about keeping active for life.”

The Louisiana Senior Games 2021 track and field event was held at the Southeastern Louisiana University Track Complex,  located less than ten miles from Hawkin’s childhood home in Ponchatoula.

“Julia is such an inspiration for all of us, and especially for our senior athletes,” said Sabrina Sonnier, the event coordinator, prior to the event. “It’s so exciting that she will be doing this in her home state, and we couldn’t be prouder.”

Hawkins, a 1938 LSU graduate and career teacher, has previous Senior Games history competing in cycling time trials beginning at the age of 80. She won several gold medals over the span of four biennial National Senior Games before she lost interest, saying at the time, “There isn’t anyone left my age to compete with!”

Turning 100 inspired her to take up running and set a record in the 100-meter race. Her focus now is to compete against herself for best time on the track, and to be an ambassador for healthy, active aging in daily life.

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