Track & field got a boost yesterday. A much needed breath of fresh air. Winners of the 2007 Jesse Owens Award were selected by the U.S. track & field media based on their performance within the sport.
The votes have been tallied. No recall is in order. Allyson Felix was been named Female Athlete Of The Year (AOY), and Tyson Gay has been named 2007 Male Athlete of The Year by USA Track & Field.
The fastest way to win the Jesse Owens Award is to win big races on the big stages, and Felix & Gay had break-out seasons.
Felix took it to the next level. She went undefeated in the 200 meters and threw down the gauntlet on the relays. Allyson then ran the fastest legs on the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 meter relays to win three gold medals at World Championships.
This year she ran the fastest 200 meters since 1999 and was a legitimate contender in everything from 100 to 400 meters.
Tyson Gay has a reason to pop his collar, too. He established himself in a field with great sprinters. He walked down World Record holder Asafa Powell to win the 100 meters finals at World Championships.
Gay struck gold in the 200 meters and 4 x 100 meter relay. Oh, and he also broke Michael Johnson’s 200-meter meet record in the process.
This year Felix & Gray added to their legacy of establishing themselves among the sport’s greatest sprinters, ever!
Others in the running were Breaux Greer, Reese Hoffa, Bernard Lagat, Brad Walker, Jeremy Wariner and Alan Webb. Women's finalists were Shalane Flanagan, Michelle Perry, Sanya Richards, Jenn Stuczynski and Tiffany Williams.
By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist