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October 6, 2011


(Newark, NJ) – Paula Dickson-Taylor of West Orange was honored by the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders for her outstanding performances this past summer as a competitive senior runner.  The presentation was made to Ms. Dickson-Taylor during the Board’s Wednesday, October 5, 2011, meeting held at the Hall of Records in Newark.


Freeholder Rufus I. Johnson of Newark (left) and Freeholder Leonard M. Luciano of West Caldwell (right) presented the Freeholder Board’s commendation to Paula Dickson-Taylor of West Orange for her outstanding summer season as a competitive senior runner.  (Photo by Glen Frieson)  

This past summer, Ms. Dickson-Taylor, 58, competed at both the 2011 Summer National Senior Games, the world’s largest multi-sport event for men and women athletes over the age of 50, and the 2011 World Masters Athletics Championships for men and women age 35 and up.

The Summer National Senior Games were held in Houston, Texas, in June.  The event included more than 10,000 athletes from all 50 states and the District of Columbia who competed over the course of 15 days in 18 sports at 14 different venues in the Houston area.  There, Ms. Dickson-Taylor distinguished herself during the Women’s Age 55-59

Track & Field competition by winning gold medals in both the 400 Meter Dash and the 800 Meter Run, when she broke the previous record by six seconds.

She continued her stellar summer season at the World Masters Athletics Championships held in Sacramento, California, from July 6-17, where she anchored both the United States’ Women’s Age 55-50 4X100 Meter and 4X400 Meter relay teams, rallying the 4X100 team to a second-place finish, and the 4X400 team to a third-place finish.

Ms. Dickson-Taylor is currently ranked by USA Track & Field as the United States’ #1 400 Meter and #2 800 Meter runner in her age group, and as the #3 runner in the world for both events.

She first became interested in running while growing up in East Orange, where she joined a recreation team while in 8th Grade.  She began her competitive track career at the age of 38 and through years of rigorous training, commitment and athletic ability, and with the unrelenting support of family, co-workers, friends and coaches, she is still able to run as fast today at age 58 as she did 20 years ago.

The Board’s commendation was co-sponsored by Freeholder At-Large Rufus I. Johnson of Newark and District 4 Freeholder Leonard M. Luciano of West Caldwell.  During their laudatory remarks, they marveled at Dickson-Taylor’s amazing summer of competition and observed that, “…through her outstanding accomplishments, she has clearly demonstrated that determination, hard work and true athletic ability can transcend the date on a birth certificate on a grand scale.”

Ms. Dickson-Taylor resides in West Orange with her husband of 36 years, Mike.  They have two adult sons and six grandchildren.

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For Additional Information:
Gary Kroessig, Public Information
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders
973-621-4452 (phone) 973-621-5696 (fax)

Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695