Richards Named Track & Field News Woman of Year

Quartermiler and two other Texas Exes get No.1 rankings

Former Texas Longhorn Sanya Richards
Former Texas Longhorn Sanya Richards (photo courtesy of the IAAF)

Former Texas Longhorns sprinter Sanya Richards has been named the 2009 Woman of the Year by Track & Field News. The award, and her No.1 ranking in her specialty, the 400 meters, caps off the Jamaican-born American's greatest season of her career including a world championship in Berlin. The Man of the Year was Jamaica's Usain Bolt.

The wait for a global championship was a long time coming, as she fell short in previous tries: At the 2005 championships she took silver; illness cost her a spot on the 2007 championship team; and at the Beijing Olympics, she appeared to have the gold in the bag but then faded to third down the stretch.

Not this time: The 24-year-old cruised to victory at this year's championships, won 10 of 11 races, and ran the fastest four times of the season.

The February 2010 issue of Track & Field News, "The Bible of the Sport," is also its annual world rankings issue, and two other Texas Exes also garnered No.1 rankings: American Trey Hardee in the decathlon, and Jamaican Melaine Walker in the 400 meter hurdles.

The rankings are a subjective exercise that considers (in order) championships won, head-to-head competition records, and outstanding performances.

In Hardee's three competitions, he had a second and two firsts – the most important being his win at the world championships, in which he scored 8790 points, best in the world this year.

Walker's top ranking was based on a 14-race season that included seven wins, including the world championship in a world-leading 52.42 seconds.

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Track & Field, Sanya Richards, Trey Hardee, Melaine Walker

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