At the height of her career, Evelyn Ashford set the world standard for women’s sprinting. Whether anyone knew it then, Ashford was ahead of her time.
More than two decades have passed since Ashford last settled into a set of starting blocks, but her times still sit among the best in the world. Her 100m (10.76) and 200m (21.83) personal bests are on par with some of today’s top sprinters, such as Carmelita Jeter and Allyson Felix.
And decades from now when the debate arises of the top American sprinter of all time, Ashford’s name will be among the first mentioned.
Her career was nothing short of brilliant, which included an induction into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in the first year she was eligible.
Despite not being allowed to compete in the 1980 Olympic Games due to the American boycott, Ashford qualified for a staggering four Olympic Games during her career, which spanned 1976 until 1992. During that time we won 19 national titles, twice set the world record in the 100m and won four Olympic gold medals and one silver.
Along with track and field’s national hall of fame, Ashford is also a member of the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, the UCLA Hall of Fame and the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame.