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Richardson named Verizon Youth Athlete of Year


Melvin Jackson II
Communications Coordinator
USA Track & Field
(317) 713-4670

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Double World Youth Athletics gold medalist Jason Richardson of Cedar Hill, Texas, has been named the 2003 Verizon Youth Athlete of the Year by USA Track & Field. Richardson will be honored December 5 at the Jesse Owens Awards Dinner and Xerox Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held in conjunction with USATF’s 2003 Annual Meeting in Greensboro, N.C.

A standout on USATF’s Verizon Youth Series, the 17-year-old Richardson was the star of the show for Team USA at the 2003 IAAF World Youth Championships in Sherbrooke, Canada. At the meet, he became the first person in World Youth Championships history to win both the 110-meter hurdles (13.29 seconds) and 400-meter hurdles (49.91 seconds). Both times were personal bests for the Cedar Hill High School (Texas) senior, who also was a double winner at the 2003 USATF Youth Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. On that stop of the Verizon Youth Series, Richardson won the 110-meter hurdles in 13.89 seconds and the 400-meter hurdles in 50.72. Later in the summer, Richardson won the young men’s division in the 110-meter hurdles (13.86) and was the runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles at the USATF Junior Olympic Championships in Miami.

“I am honored to be recognized as this year’s Verizon Youth Athlete of the Year,” said Richardson. “It was a really exciting year for me, and it was great honor to represent Team USA internationally.” “With athletes like Jason, the future of Team USA is bright,” said USATF CEO Craig Masback. “He embodies everything to which USATF Youth and Junior programs aspire excellence, not only on the Verizon Youth Series but on the world stage as well.”

With track & field as the top-rated participatory sport at the junior and senior high-school levels, Verizon provides continuing support for USA Track & Field's Youth Programs. As part of that commitment, Verizon established the Verizon Youth Athlete of the Year Award to recognize outstanding achievements by a high-school track & field athlete. Additional Verizon programs include the Verizon Youth Series and the Verizon Youth Progress Award, a $20,000 scholarship program for high school seniors who participate in track or cross country. “Jason has excelled not only on the track, but he also has shown the leadership that helps to enhance the profile of track & field,” said Bruce Gordon, Verizon president for Retail Markets. “His accomplishments in the sport and in his community make him a deserving recipient of the third Verizon Youth Athlete of the Year Award.”

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