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Sports Center

Mar 15, 2019 3:54 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Joyce Flynn Wins Four Medals, Including Two Golds, At USATF Masters Indoor National Championships

Joyce Flynn won the long and triple jump and placed second in the high jump and 60-meter dash.
Mar 18, 2019 3:52 PM

Last year, at her very first USA Track and Field Masters Indoor National Championships, Joyce Flynn took home a pair of gold medals and also placed a commendable fourth in the high jump. It was a solid first appearance at one of the biggest indoor meets the USATF holds, and it helped in getting her selected as the 2018 USATF-Long Island Female Masters Field Athlete of the Year.

But the 72-year-old Quogue resident wasn’t satisfied.

Ms. Flynn exceeded her debut at this year’s Masters Indoor National Championships, held at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, from March 1-3. She won the long jump (3.09 meters) and triple jump (6.85 meters) and placed second in the 60-meter dash (11.92 seconds) and high jump (1.03 meters), the latter of which the winner had fewer misses at what ended up being the winning height. Ms. Flynn’s mark in the triple was impressive being that it was only the third time she had competed in the event, but it was nearly 2 feet better than the second-place finisher.

The Masters Indoor Nationals is held for any athlete over the age of 30, with age groups broken down into five-year increments. Some years, there are even centenarians who compete—this year’s oldest competitors were 94. Ms. Flynn continued to compete in the 70-74 age group in all of her events and was “delighted” with her performance overall, but, she was disappointed she couldn’t win the 60-meter dash, one of the events in which she found gold last year.

“I start out faster than everyone, but they all catch up to me, so I have to do some more sprint work,” she said. “I haven’t been doing a lot of sprint work, but all of these events are all related. Of course, the faster you go in the long and triple jump, the farther you go in that. So I’ll go back down to the track at [Westhampton Beach High School] and continue to work on it.”

Ms. Flynn had a friendly rivalry throughout the meet with Barbara Warren, 72, of West Virginia. The two were the only competitors in the three jumping events and Ms. Flynn was able to surpass her in all but one, with the only event she dropped to Ms. Warren being the high jump.

“She’s terrific. She does everything, the pentathlon, she’s an animal,” Ms. Flynn said of Ms. Warren. “She’s lovely and very supportive of me and other people. But I am going to get her in the high jump.”

Rob Lemke said that Ms. Flynn was selected as the top USATF-Long Island Masters Field Athlete of the Year simply for her performances. She’s set multiple age group records and it’s obvious she’s continued that success going into 2019.

“She has set the bar for our younger Masters athletes,” Mr. Lemke said.

Ms. Flynn typically competes with her husband, Dan, 73, but he’s been nursing a sore Achilles tendon and has been getting physical therapy for the injury that has kept him out of competition for the indoor season. During his absence, he’s been a staunch supporter of his wife, but he fully plans to return to competition for the National Senior Games, an event for which the Flynn couple qualified at last year’s Empire State Senior Games. The National Senior Games are this June in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the Flynns will be the flag bearers representing New York.

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