Richards Named Track & Field News Woman of Year
Quartermiler and two other Texas Exes get No.1 rankings
By Lee Nichols,
2:19PM, Tue. Dec. 29, 2009
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.