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The year’s best athletes and performances honored at Jesse Owens Awards Banquet


COLUMBUS -- Top athletes, performances and more were recognized at the 2017 Jesse Owens Awards Banquet as part of USATF Annual Meeting Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio.

Emma Coburn was honored as Jackie Joyner-Kersee Awardee for her outstanding achievement at this year’s IAAF World Championships, where her 3000m steeplechase winning time of 9:02.58 set both a championship and American record. Coburn became the first American since Hall of Famer Horace Ashenfelter in 1952 to win a steeplechase gold in a global championship.

“I feel like so many of us athletes, we focus on training day in and day out but we don't ever stop to smell the roses,” Coburn said as she accepted her award. “Thank you to USATF and everyone who voted for making me stop and appreciate the year that this was.”

Also honored was Jesse Owens Athlete of the Year Sam Kendricks, who video chatted with the audience from where he’s currently fulfilling his duty to the U.S. Army Reserves. Kendricks went undefeated in 17 competitions this season, winning the 2017 USATF Outdoor Championships with a world-leading jump of 6.0m/19-8.25 and earning gold at World Championships. Two of Jesse Owens’ daughters, Marlene and Beverly, presented the award at Hyatt Regency Columbus.


USATF also recognized Youth Athlete of the Year Jakobe Ford, Masters Athlete of the Year Sabra Harvey, Nike Coach of the Year Jerry Schumacher, Robert Giegengack Award recipient Mamie Rallins and the first ever USATF Alumni Hometown Hero Awards to Jim Lorimer and Harry McKnight.   

Wing Awards given to fan favorites

The Wing Awards, formerly known as the Fan’s Choice Awards, were also handed out Saturday evening. Athletes were nominated in four categories for their outstanding 2017 performances, including Best World Championships Track Performance, Best World Championships Field Performance, Best Non-World Championships Track & Field Performance and Best Road Racing Performance.

A full list of nominees can be found here and the winners are listed below.

2017 Best World Championships Track Performance

Justin Gatlin  - 100m gold, defeating Christian Coleman and Usain Bolt

2017 Best World Championships Field Performance

Brittney Reese - Long jump gold to win 4th career World Outdoor Championships title

2017 Best Road Racing Performance

Shalane Flanagan - TCS New York City Marathon winner, first American woman winner in 40 years

2017 Best Non-World Championships Track & Field Performance

Noah Lyles - World best 31.87 for 300m at USATF Indoors

The 2017 USATF Annual Meeting continues through Sunday in Columbus. Click here to download the official app and view the schedule, speakers, and more.


Follow along on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #USATF17.

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