Susan ‘Lynn’ Cooke claims W55 mile American record — 6 months short of 60

New Balance cover girl Lynn Cooke posed with meet officials after her American record mile in Winter Park, Florida.

Susan “Lynn” Cooke of Tampa is relatively new to masters track, having “first stepped on a track when I was 56,” as she once wrote. So she can be excused for not getting the memo that you don’t set records six months before aging up. But Lynn set herself a goal: the W55 American record in the mile.

On Sunday, at age 59 1/2, Lynn says she clocked 5:38.3 — taking a sizable chunk off the listed AR of 5:41.71 by Lesley Chaplin Hinz in 2015. (Results from the Robert Walker Jr. Pre Disney Club Championships Relays & Open Tune-up meet weren’t up Sunday night.) More remarkable, Lynn is under Kathy Martin’s listed W60 WR of 5:42.65. So hold on till 2019, Lynn, and you could join the gods.

Lynn boasts having created the first elite masters female racing team ever sponsored by a global brand (New Balance Tampa Masters Racing Team) when she was 57.

So she had a great support team, which she credited on Facebook. (See below.) Lynn’s entered in the 800, 1500 and steeple at Spokane nationals. (At Malaga worlds, she’ll focus on the 8 and 15.) The listed W55 WRs are 2:21.98 and 4:51.26 – a heavy lift. But the W55 AR at 15 is Lorraine Jasper’s 5:08.96. And her 800 AR target is 2:30.53 by Jane Arnold, dating to 1996. Time for a redo. (Lynn ran 2:39.32 in mid-June.)

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About the Author

Ken Stone
Ken has followed track as an athlete, writer and webmaster since the late 1960s, and saw most sessions of track and field at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He also attended the 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Trials. He worked for 10 newspapers and now reports for Times of San Diego. Write him at or Story tips always welcome!

1 Comment on "Susan ‘Lynn’ Cooke claims W55 mile American record — 6 months short of 60"

  1. I like Lynn Cooke a lot. She’s fun, very social, determined, and great to be around. Also, as I have said before, I love to see women who had no high school or college careers in T&F emerge much later as stars or superstars in masters. In my opinion it’s much more daring to participate in T&F than to do road races only. The most obvious difference is that you are very visible in track and field; people are actually looking at you.

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