The University of Pennsylvania’s renowned Penn Relays once again showcased extraordinary athletic prowess spanning various age groups. Among the highlights of the 128th edition of this esteemed track meet held on Saturday, were the awe-inspiring performances by senior runners, particularly in the masters 85+ 100-meter dash.

Bob Williamson, an 86-year-old competitor representing the Potomac Valley Track Club, emerged victorious in this challenging event with a remarkable time of 17.71 seconds. Notably, Williamson’s triumph was closely followed by the impressive display of 96-year-old Ed Cox from the Syracuse Chargers, who secured third place with a commendable time of 25.47 seconds. The second-place position was claimed by 87-year-old Joshua Buch, clocking in at 20.91 seconds, while Vance Genzingler, aged 94, rounded out the field with a time of 43.46 seconds. Unfortunately, 99-year-old Frank Stellar withdrew from the competition.

Bob Williamson, 86 years old, ran 17.50 for 100m to win the Penn Relays. Photo: © thelapcount_instagram

Ed Cox garnered attention for his exceptional performance the previous year, achieving a notable 24-second finish in the same event. In an interview with CBS News, Cox shared insights into his enduring passion for running, acknowledging the physical challenges that come with age but expressing his profound enjoyment of the sport nonetheless.


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Bob Williamson’s victory marked a triumphant continuation of his legacy as a seasoned sprinter, drawing on his experience from his high school and college years, as well as his service in the Army. Despite narrowly missing his winning time from the previous year, Williamson’s performance showcased his unwavering dedication and skill on the track.


When questioned about his ongoing commitment to running, Williamson emphasized his love for competition and the importance of maintaining his physical fitness. Additionally, the masters men’s 100-meter dash and 4×100-meter relay events for the 70+ age group saw remarkable achievements, including Michael Kish’s impressive victory in the individual race with a rapid time of 13.32 seconds and his leadership of the Houston Elite team to a relay win in 59.44 seconds.