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Olympic medalists Dwight Phillips, Kathy Hammond and longtime contributor Bob Hersh named to National Track & Field Hall of Fame

10/4/2018
 

INDIANAPOLIS -- Olympic gold medalist and four-time World Champion Dwight Phillips, two-time Olympic medalist and former American record holder Kathy Hammond, and noted former USATF Board Member, IAAF Sr. Vice President and PA Announcer Bob Hersh were elected into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, USA Track & Field announced Thursday.


The Class of 2018, comprised of a Modern Athlete, Veteran Athlete and Contributor, will be inducted at the USATF Night of Legends on December 1 in Columbus, Ohio. Click here for ticket information and more event details.


“Dwight, Bob and Kathy represent excellence in each of their respective pursuits, spanning decades in the sport,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel. “Their contributions have made an impact far beyond competition days, and we’re honored to welcome them into the country’s most prestigious track & field hall of fame.”


USATF Night of Legends will also feature a special tribute to the 1968 U.S. Olympic Track & Field team, as well as the Jesse Owens, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Wing Awards. Following the induction ceremony, Class of 2018 memorabilia will be sent to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame at The Armory in New York City.


USATF National Track & Field Hall of Fame: Class of 2018


Veteran Athlete

 

KATHY HAMMOND

Born: November 2, 1951

 

Bursting onto the national scene as a precocious teenager in 1966 winning the 440y at the Girl’s (14-17 years) AAU Outdoors and an invite on the USA Track & Field Team, Kathy Hammond (Sacramento, California) went on to win a pair of medals at the 1972 Munich Olympics and set seven American records in the 400m/440y, and four World Indoor bests in the 500y (1:06.3 & 1:04.5) and 600y (1:22.7 & 1:20.5.5).

 

In 1967, under the coaching of Will Stephens, Will’s Spikettes, the 15-year-old Hammond won the 440y at the AAU Indoors and placed second in the AAU Outdoors with a 52.6. Despite world-class performances in the 400m and 200m in 1968, Hammond suffered an injury before the Trials that kept her from qualifying for the Mexico Games.

 

As a senior at Mira Loma High School in 1969, under the coaching of Steve Lehnhardt, Sacramento Roadrunners, Hammond was beaten only once all year and won the AAU Outdoors gold and set her first two national records with a 52.3 at Stuttgart and a 52.1 at Warsaw.

 

Hammond’s peak came in 1972 when she won the AAU Championships and then the Olympic Trials, where she set her third 400m American record of 51.8.  At the USA-Canada match in Champaign, Illinois, prior to the Games, Hammond lowered her 440y American record from 52.6 to 52.2, and anchored the U.S. to a 4x440y world record of 3:33.9. She twice broke the American 400m record at Munich, with a 51.92 in the qualifying heats and then a 51.64 to claim bronze, before anchoring the U.S. to 4x400m relay silver in 3:25.15 with a blistering 49.2 carry. Hammond was awarded Outstanding Amateur Athlete in Women’s Track & Field in North America in 1972.

 

Hammond moved to Honolulu, Hawaii in 1990, where she was warmly welcomed into the U.S. Olympians Association-Hawaii Chapter, and served as VP and President.  She finished the degree she started at CSUS, graduating with a BS in Kinesiology-Athletic Training from UH Manoa. After graduation, she worked in physical therapy and personal training.

 

For the past fifteen years, Hammond has been employed by the YMCA of Honolulu, as a Group Exercise Coordinator, Associate Healthy Lifestyles Director, and is now semi-retired teaching exercise classes.

 

She has a beautiful daughter Angela, who accompanied her mom when she was honored in “Legends of Track & Field” at the 2016 Olympic Trials Opening Ceremony in Eugene, Oregon.

 

Contributor

 

BOB HERSH

Born: February 12, 1940

 

From high school manager to the upper echelon of international sport, Bob Hersh (Roslyn Heights, New York) has served the sport of athletics as an official, public address announcer, writer and administrator during his more than 60 years of involvement.


Starting out as the manager of his high school team (Midwood, Brooklyn NY), Hersh performed the same duties at Columbia University and then moved into officiating after law school at Harvard. He played a critical role in The Athletics Congress/USA Track & Field as Records Committee chair (81-88), Rules Committee chair (89-01) and General Counsel (89-97) and was a Board member from 1981-2015.


Hersh was a member of the IAAF Technical Committee from 1984-1999 and was an IAAF Council member from 1999-2015, rising to Senior Vice President in 2011, the highest IAAF position ever held by an American. He also served on numerous IAAF Commissions and Working Groups and was a Technical Delegate at the Olympics and IAAF World Championship events. He was awarded the IAAF Silver Order of Merit in 2015.


As PA announcer for six Olympic Games and nine World Championships, Hersh was the English language voice of international track and field athletics for a generation. He also announced at a multitude of major U.S meets. He was named USATF's Giegengack Award winner in 1997 and twice received President's Awards.


Modern Athlete

 

DWIGHT PHILLIPS

Born: October 1, 1977

 

Six times a global gold medalist and five times ranked No. 1 in the world, Dwight Phillips (Decatur, Georgia) dominated the long jump from 2003-11. During that span he won the Olympic title at Athens in 2004 to go with four World Outdoor golds ('03, '05, '09 and '11) and one World Indoors crown ('03).

 

His five medals at the World Outdoors is the highest total in meet history in the men's long jump, as is his tally of seven finals made.

 

Phillips won six U.S. indoor and outdoor titles and had nine jumps exceeding 28-feet in his career, topped by a 28-8¼ personal best to win the Prefontaine Classic in 2009.

 

Also a talented sprinter, Phillips four times qualified for the USATF Championships indoors and outdoors, and he clocked personal bests of 6.47 for 60m in 2005 and 10.06 for 100m in 2009. He was an NCAA finalist in the long jump and triple jump for Arizona State, taking silver in the long jump indoors and outdoors in 2000.


Following his retirement from competition, Phillips has continued to serve the sport through coaching and advocacy. Phillips was instrumental in drawing together a plan that would provide resources and  two years of support from USATF for athletes graduating from college.


Additionally, his proudest moment occurred during his time as Chairman of the USATF Athlete Advisory Committee, when he and fellow athletes worked closely with CEO Max Siegel to construct the Revenue Distribution Plan that would deliver $9 million in cash to athletes over a five year span.


National Track & Field Hall of Fame

The National Track & Field Hall of Fame, housed at the Armory Track & Field Center in New York City, is the country’s prestigious Hall of Fame for the sport. An entire list of Hall of Fame members is published online.





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