LaTanya Sheffield


Event: 400mH

Height: 5-5

Weight: 128

PR: 400mH: 54.36 (1988)

Born: October 11, 1963, in El Cajon, Ca

Current Residence: Tucson, Az

High School: Pius X HS (Downey, Ca) '81

College: San Diego State '86

Coach: Rahn Sheffield

Agent: self

Club: unattached

Career Highlights: 1985 NCAA champion; 8th at 1988 Olympic Games; 1987 Pan Am bronze medalist; 1987 world team member; 2nd at 1985 U.S. Outdoor nationals; 1993 Olympic Festival champion; 5th at 1999 U.S. Outdoor nationals.

Veteran hurdler Sheffield started running because of her brother Rahn, eight years her senior: "I was the kid sister who wanted to hang around him all the time. I figured if I was fast, then it would be okay, because he was into sports"ran high school track but didn't set the world afire; her best 400 was 60-seconds on a relayRahn convinced her to run track at San Diego State; she tried the 400mH her sophomore year and won her first race: "That was an omen, I thought"she won her conference that first season, and a year later, was in the Olympic Trialsshe set an American record 54.66 to win the 1985 NCAAsays she never dreamed she would still be competing 15 years later: "I thought I would be blooming in corporate America by now. I had no idea that God would not wipe the taste of track and field from my lips"married to Keith Stepter, a sales manager for a car dealershipthey celebrate their 10th anniversary in July 1999; two daughters: Kala (born 1991) and Jade (1994)gets her workouts from Rahn, but does her training alone: "All my training is self-imposed. When I'm hurting on the track, it's up to me to say, 'Don't stop'. My kids are total track babies. They're growing up watching me run"says of her brother, "Because he's blood, nothing he can do to me can ever hurt me. It's a pretty remarkable relationship"owns her own company, Competitive Elements, that offers motivational speaking to business and industry: "People want to hire athletic minds, minds that know how to accomplish goals"organizes an annual athletics clinic in February in Tucson, the LaTanya Sheffield Sporting Clinicof her career in track, she says, "For me to go this long is not surprising. I just didn't expect it."

1999: best of 56.13 5th at USA Outdoors (56.96).

1998: best of 55.774th in USA Outdoors (55.77)7th in Goodwill Games (55.96)ranked #5 U.S. by T&FN.

1997: best of 56.618th in semis of USA Outdoors (61.16, after 56.61 heat).

1996: best of 57.026th in semis at Olympic Trials (81.90, after 57.02 heat).

1994-95: did not compete; maternity.

1993: best of 55.84disqualified at USA Outdoors (56.59 heat)won Olympic Festival (55.84)ranked #7 U.S. by T&FN.

1991-92: did not compete; maternity.

1990: best of 56.365th in USA Outdoorsranked #8 U.S. by T&FN.

1989: best of 56.09ranked #7 U.S. by T&FN.

1988: best of 54.363rd at Olympic Trials8th in Olympic Gamesranked #10 in world (#2 U.S.) by T&FN.

1987: best of 55.05, plus 52.64 (1987)3rd at USA Outdoors6th in semis of World Champsbronze in Pan Am Gamesranked #3 U.S. by T&FN.

1986: best of 55.74, plus 13.46 (100mH)3rd at NCAA Outdoors4th at USA Outdoorsranked #5 U.S. by T&FN.

1985: best of 54.66won NCAA Outdoors2nd at USA Outdoors7th at World University Gamesranked #9 in world (#3 U.S.) by T&FN.

1984: best of 56.02, plus 23.88 (200m)5th in semi at Olympic Trialsranked #8 U.S. by T&FN.

1983: best of 59.68, plus 11.76 (100m)won WCAA7th in heat at NCAA Outdoors.