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1975: Diane Jones Sets World Record

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A “self-confessed ‘shy prairie girl’,” Diane Jones established a new world record in the pentathlon with 4,540 points, winning the 1975 Canadian Senior Indoor Pentathlon Championship during her last year with the University of Saskatchewan track and field team. 

Diane, athletic from childhood, was assisted enormously by University of Saskatchewan alumnus, former Olympian and Olympic coach, Bob Adams.   “I attribute my going into track seriously to him...The fact that he was willing to work with me on a personal basis made me want to work for him...All the way through I’ve been really lucky with having people interested in me, willing to work with me, and I think that’s important.”

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Equally important was the reputation of University coach Lyle Sanderson: Diane’s decision to attend the University was largely due to the fact that “that’s where Lyle Sanderson and the track team were.”  Sanderson and fellow coach Bob Meldrum helped Diane overcome her feelings of inferiority, showing her “it didn’t matter where I was from, I could be as good as anyone in the world,” and that “there was no reason I couldn’t be a medal contender if I worked at it.”  During her University career Diane “led the Huskiettes to three conference team championships...and won twelve individual conference titles in four different events.  She set Western Canadian Conference records in each of these four events and was Canadian indoor record holder in the 50 metre hurdles, long jump, shot put and the pentathlon.”1

By 1980, Diane was at the top of her form and anticipating the Olympics in Moscow.  Unfortunately, world politics intervened: Canada decided to boycott the games to protest Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan. 

Related Collections

College of Physical Education fonds, RG 2095.
John Dewar fonds, MG 195.


1975a: Diane Jones competing in hurdles. Photograph Collection, A-8838.
1975b: Diane Jones winning race. Photograph Collection, A-4822.


1. All quotes from Ransom, pp.100-108.

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