Peyton too much for competition in the Sprints


Daily News Staff Writer

Oscar Peyton crossed the finish line of the 55-59-yearold 200 meters in Tuesday’s track and field action of the National Senior Games at Cobb Track and Angell Field. Peyton, who smoked the rest of the field in 23.71, couldn’t believe what he heard over the public address system.

“Peyton’s time is just four tenths off the national record,” the announcer said.

The 56-year-old Peyton, from Accokeek, Md., is confident the announcer misspoke. “The announcer announced that my time was four-tenths off the national record. But my time was four-tenths better than the national record,” Peyton said. “The record is 24.21 for that age group.”

The 6-foot-4 Peyton won gold in the 100 meters Monday, setting an age-group record with an 11.51. The fact Peyton is this good in the sprints is quite a story in itself. He never ran track at Bogalusa High in Louisiana, nor did he run track in college at then Grambling State. Peyton didn’t start running seriously until the age of 49.

“I was watching a track meet on TV,” Peyton said. “I was wondering if anything existed for us older generation. My cholesterol was starting to get up high, even though I was still skinny. I got on the computer and found out about the National Senior Games and Masters Track and Field.”

Peyton won the Masters national championship in the 200 meters last month in Milwaukee, Wis. Peyton’s 200 meters personal best of 23.46 is just .10 off the age-group world record of 23.36. This is the fourth Senior Games in a row that Peyton has doubled in the sprints.

“This Senior Games ranks up with my first at Virginia Beach,” said Peyton, a retired computer specialist for the federal government. “They say your first is always the most exciting. That was a new experience for me.”

Peyton credits his father, who bears the same first name of “Oscar,” for his natural speed.

“My speed was better after I got out of high school,” the younger Oscar Peyton said. “I grew four inches after high school. My daddy was an athlete. He wasn’t a professional, but he was good. I have a younger brother, Cedric, who is fast, but he’s not as fast as I am. I was just born with it.”

Peyton ran a leg on a 400-meter relay team Tuesday that took the gold medal in its age group in 48.11 seconds.

Oscar Peyton prepares himself shortly before competing in a 200meter semifinal at Stanford University’s Cobb Track.