USATF Night of Legends Decide the Legends: Jesse Owens and Jackie Joyner-Kersee Awards Open for Fan Ballots
USATF Night of Legends Decide the Legends: Jesse Owens and Jackie Joyner-Kersee Awards Open for Fan Ballots

INDIANAPOLIS—The United States Track and Field (USATF) has announced the commencement of fan voting for its highest honors, including the Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year and Jackie Joyner-Kersee Female Athlete of the Year. The victors will be crowned during the 2023 Night of Legends event scheduled for December 2 in Orlando, Florida, which is part of USATF’s Annual Meeting.

Running since 1981, the Jesse Owens and Jackie Joyner-Kersee awards stand as the pinnacle of recognition in American track and field. The accolades honor the most distinguished male and female athletes in the sport, with winners being selected via a mix of fan and media ballots.

In addition to these esteemed awards, USATF will be presenting three distinct Wing Awards this year: the World Championships Track Performer of the Year, World Championships Field Performer of the Year, and Toyota USATF Outdoor Championships Performer of the Year. ALSO READ: Noah Lyles, Ryan Crouser, and Pierce LePage Nominated for 2023 World Athlete of the Year…

Fans have the unique opportunity to weigh in on these significant awards, opening up a direct channel of engagement with the sporting community. This level of public participation underscores the democratic nature of the awards, merging opinions from both media professionals and the general audience. ALSO READ: Sha’Carri Richardson and Shericka Jackson Nominated for World Female Athlete of the Year…

The 2023 Night of Legends promises to be an eventful occasion, spotlighting the achievements of athletes who have reached the zenith of their respective disciplines. With the awards ceremony just weeks away, the sense of anticipation is palpable, as sports enthusiasts and athletes alike await the results that will set the tone for American track and field in 2024. The trio of honors will be the direct result of a fan vote.

Nominees are:

2023 Jackie Joyner-Kersee Female Athlete of the Year

  • Chase Ealey – Won her second straight World Championships gold in the shot put and captured the Diamond League title with an American record throw of 20.76/68-1.5. USATF indoor champion.
  • Anna Hall – World Championships heptathlon silver medalist, won USATF title and scored 6988 points to win the Götzis meet in Austria, making her the No. 2 all-time U.S. performer. Set an American indoor record in the pentathlon with 5004 points to win the USATF indoor title, moving to 4th on world all-time performer list. Set a PB of 54.42 in the 400 hurdles.
  • Alicia Monson – Set American records in the 5000 (14:19.45) and 10,000 (30:03.82) outdoors, and 3000 (8:25.05) indoors. Fifth in the 10,000 at the World Championships.
  • Katie Moon – Gold medalist in pole vault at World Championships, sharing the title with Australia’s Nina Kennedy. Captured Diamond League title and won USATF indoor and outdoor crowns. Twice cleared 4.90/16-0.75 outdoors and won three Diamond League meets.
  • Sha’Carri Richardson – World champion in the 100 with a world-leading 10.65 to become the fifth-fastest all-time performer and anchored the U.S. 4×100 to gold in 41.03. Earned bronze in the 200 at Worlds. Took USATF 100 title and added a runner-up finish in the 200. Won three Diamond League 100s.
  • Laulauga Tausaga-Collins – Staged the upset of the World Championships with gold in the discus, hitting 69.49/228-0 in round five to move to No. 2 on the all-time U.S. performer list. Diamond League final runner-up and placed second at the USATF Championships.

2023 Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year

  • Rai Benjamin – Anchored U.S. to gold in the 4×400 at the World Championships after earning bronze in the 400 hurdles. Won the Diamond League title in the 400H in 46.39, the second-fastest time ever by an American and a world-leading mark in 2023. USATF champion in the 400H in 46.62, at the time the second-fastest ever by an American. U.S. leader in the 400 with a 44.21.
  • Ryan Crouser – World champion in the shot put with the second-farthest throw in history, 23.51/77-1.75. Set a world record at the USATF Los Angeles GP, hitting 23.56/77-3.75. USATF champion and Diamond League runner-up. Had 47 throws of 22.00/72-2.25 or better and three beyond 23.00/75-5.5. Now has seven of history’s top 10 throws.
  • JuVaughn Harrison – World Championships silver medalist in the high jump, equaling his PB of 2.36/7-8.75. Won the USATF outdoor title and placed third in the long jump. Had three Diamond League wins and was third in the DL Final.
  • Grant Holloway – World champion for the third time in a row in the 110 hurdles, winning in a season best of 12.96. Undefeated in the 60H indoors, leading the world list at 7.35. Won three Diamond League meets and was the DL Final runner-up.
  • Noah Lyles – Triple gold medalist at the World Championships, winning the 100 in a PB 9.83 to equal the world lead. Took the 200 in 19.52 to claim his third straight world title at that distance and anchored the 4×100 to gold. Undefeated in the 200, including a season best and world-leading 19.47 to win the London Diamond League meet.
  • Yared Nuguse – Shattered the American record in the mile with a 3:43.97 at the Diamond League Final, moving to No. 4 on the all-time world performer list. USATF champion in the 1500. Set national records in the indoor 1500 (en route) and mile at the Millrose Games, going 3:33.22 and 3:47.38, and added an indoor AR in the 3000 at Boston with a 7:28.23. Won the 1500 at London and Zurich Diamond League meets.

2023 World Championships Track Performer

  • Quincy Hall – bronze in 400 in PB 44.37, gold in 4×400
  • Grant Holloway – won the 110 hurdles in 12.96
  • Noah Lyles – won the 100 in 9.83 and the 200 in 19.52 before anchoring the 4×100 to gold in 37.38
  • Sha’Carri Richardson – won the 100 in a PB 10.65 and anchored the 4×100 to gold in 41.03; also earned bronze in the 200 in 21.92
  • Gabby Thomas – silver medalist in 200 in 21.81, gold on 4×100

2023 World Championships Field Performer

  • Ryan Crouser – gold in shot put at 23.51/77-1.75, 2nd farthest throw ever
  • Chase Ealey – shot put gold medalist at 20.43/67-0.5
  • Katie Moon – shared gold in pole vault at 4.90/16-0.75
  • Laulauga Tausaga-Collins – gold in discus with PB 69.49/228-0, No. 2 U.S. performer all-time

2023 Toyota USATF Outdoor Championships Performer

  • Rai Benjamin – won 400 hurdles in 46.62, then the second fastest U.S. time ever
  • Cravont Charleston – won 100 in 9.95
  • Vashti Cunningham – won high jump at 1.91/6-3.25, her sixth straight U.S. outdoor title
  • Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone – won 400 in 48.74, fastest time in the world in 2023 and second fastest ever by an American
  • Kenneth Rooks – recovered from a fall to win 3000 steeplechase in 8:16.78
  • Cordell Tinch – second in 110 hurdles while concurrently competing in the long jump for fifth, breakthrough performer of the Championships
  • Gabby Thomas – won 200 in world-leading 21.60, third-fastest time ever by an American

Fans can click here to place their votes now through November 6 at 11:59 p.m. ET.


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