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Professor wins national titles at ‘masters’ sprint championships

MTSU guitar professor William Yelverton continues to keep his body fine-tuned to continue his passion for high-level track and field sprinting as he gets older.

Yelverton won the 400-meter national championship in the M55 age group at the USA Track and Field Masters National Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, last month, according to a USA Track and Field Masters news release.

Pictured, from left, are members of the World Record 4x200-meter M55 team at the USA Track and Field National Championships: James Chinn, William Yelverton, Don McGee and Ben James. (Submitted photo)

MTSU guitar professor William Yelverton, shown second from left, poses for a photo with members of the world record 4×200-meter M55 team at the USA Track and Field National Championships. From left are James Chinn, Yelverton, Don McGee and Ben James. (Photos submitted)

Yelverton, who received an “Age Group Athlete of the Year Award” from USA Track and Field in December, is a professor of classical guitar in the MTSU School of Music and a visiting professor of music at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

“Happy to be still getting faster as I get older. Life is good,” Yelverton said.

Remarkably, his 55.22 seconds was the fastest indoor 400-meter time in the world in eight years in his age group, according to the USATF Masters release.

Yelverton anchored the 4×200-meter relay team of Jim Chinn, Ben James, and Don McGee to set the M55 world record in the 4x200m relay, eclipsing the record set by Great Britain in 2014.

The MTSU professor also ran an indoor personal record time of 24.65 seconds in the 200-meter event, where he won the bronze medal, missing second place by just 1/100th of a second. His 200-meter time is ranked third fastest in the world this year in M55.

Held March 4-6, this 2016 competition was Yelverton’s third USATF Masters National Championship in the 400 meters. His time of 55.22 seconds is faster than his previous two championship races.

Last August, he won bronze medals in both the 400-meter and 200-meter events at the World Championships in Lyon, France. His indoor times in Albuquerque were faster than his outdoor times in France at the World Championships.

USA Track and Field is the national governing body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. Learn more at www.usatf.org.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU professor William Yelverton, out front in yellow jersey, wins a 200-meter semifinal at the USA Track and Field Masters National Indoor Championships, held March 4-6 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Submitted photo)

MTSU professor William Yelverton, shown leading the pack WD yellow jersey, wins a 200-meter semifinal at the USA Track and Field Masters National Indoor Championships, held March 4-6 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.