(USATF)- INDIANAPOLIS -- Ramona Pagel (Los Angeles, California) set an American record in the women’s shot put on May 8, 1988 and was voted by fans as winner of the seventh USATF Throwback Athlete of the Week award. In the absence of competition during the Covid-19 pandemic, we are taking a weekly look back at some of the great efforts by American track and field athletes through the years.

A four-time Olympian in the shot put and two-time World Championships finalist, Pagel won a full complement of Pan American Games medals, striking gold in 1987 at Indianapolis. She set eight American outdoor records in the shot, and her throw of 19.57m/64-2.5 in the second round at the 1988 Jesse Owens Classic in Columbus, Ohio, added more than seven inches to her own AR. Pagel would ultimately set an American record of 20.18m/66-2.5 at San Diego in June 1988, and that mark stood for 25 years.
Pagel works as a fitness director for the United States Navy at Seal Beach, California, and was a coach at several universities, most recently Fresno State.
Other historical performances of note from the May 4-10 period in USATF history:

  • May 4 — John Powell World record in men’s discus, 69.08m/226-8 at Long Beach, California in 1975
  • May 5 — Al Feuerbach World record in men’s shot put, 21.82m/71-7 at San Jose, California in 1973
  • May 6 — Renaldo Nehemiah World record in men’s 110m hurdles, 13.00 at Westwood, California in 1979
  • May 7 — Jackie Joyner-Kersee American record in women’s 100m hurdles, 12.70 at Modesto, California in 1988
  • May 9 — Parry O’Brien World record in men’s shot put, 18.00m/59-0.75 at Fresno, California in 1953
  • May 10 — Stacy Dragila American record in women’s pole vault, 4.45m/14-7.25 at Modesto, California in 1997

Now in its 19th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on USATF.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2020 Winners: January 9, Miranda Melville; January 16, Paul Perry; January 23, Natosha Rogers; January 30, Tyler Day, February 6, Devin Dixon; February 13, Elle Purrier; February 20, Tori Franklin; February 27, Sandi Morris; March 4, Abdi Abdirahman; March 12 Marielle Hall; March 19, Tim Tollefson; April 2, Louise Ritter; April 9, Francie Larrieu Smith; April 16, Erin Gilreath; April 23, Suzy Powell; April 30, Joe Dial; May 7, Dawn Ellerbe; May 14, Ramona Pagel.
We welcome your nominations!
To nominate an athlete for USATF Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about his/her performance to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..