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franklin county times

Parker has successful run at Summer National Senior Games in Virgina

By Staff
SENIOR NATIONALS Meridian's Jerry Parker (right) of Meridian recently competed in the Summer Senior National Games at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Va. Submitted photo
By Jared Florreich / staff writer
June 12, 2003
Age is just a number to Jerry Parker.
The elder athlete competed in the Summer National Senior Games in Norfolk, Va., from May 26-June 8 in the 70-74 age division.
Parker competed in the track-and-field portion of the National Senior games, and he won silver medals in the 800- and 1,500-meter races, and a bronze medal in the 400-meter race.
While preparing for the other races, he ran a 200-meter preliminary, and by doing so, put his chances of winning a medal in jeopardy.
Simple ice and internal meditation were not the only ingredients Parker used to take home three medals,
The Meridian native's ultra-competitiveness helped push him across the finish line.
The unusual thing about Parker and his track and field success is that he is relatively new to competitive running.
Parker said he went out for track and field one year in high school, but he was never that serious about running, instead focusing more on playing football. "I was running mainly for health reasons," Parker said.
That all changed in 1992 when a good friend, Joe Reed, who is avid runner himself, encouraged Parker to start running competitively.
The rest is history.
Parker competed in the 1994 State Games of Mississippi in the 60-69 age
division, running the 5K, 400, 800, and 1,600-meter races, winning three gold medals and a silver medal.
Since that time, Parker said he has been competing in events across the state and Mobile.
He has amassed an impressive winning resume.
In 40 races in the State Games, he has 37 gold medals and three silvers. In 38 Senior Olympic Races, he has 31 gold medals, and two silvers. He has two fifth place finishes at nationals, to go along with a seventh place finish.
He has no plans to slow down.
If Parker's hamstring and groin muscle injuries don't hinder his performance, he plans to compete in the State Games Track and Field Competition on June 21.
He also plans to compete in the State Senior Olympics in Raymond on June 26-29.