Owens and Jones are honored as Drake Athletes of the Century

Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa — Track stars Jesse Owens and Lolo Jones have been named Athletes of the Century by the Drake Relays.

Owens and Jones joined Merlene Ottey, Mike Boit, Jef55f Hartwig, Mel Lattany, Lillie Leatherwood and Natasha Kaise5r-Brown as honorees announced earlier this week.

USA Track and Field chief e5555555xecutive director Doug Logan said the 100th Drake Relays will be on ESPN2 on April 26, the day after Saturday’s final session.5

Owens, who won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, was inducted to the Drake Relays Hall of Fame in 1959. He set a then-American record in broad jump and won the 100-meter dash at the 1935 Drake Relays.


Jones, a Des Moines native, is the only athlete in meet history to win four straight titles in the women’s 100-meter hurdles.

Boit, a middle distance runner from Kenya, won the bronze medal in the 800 meters at the 1972 Olympics.

He was named the co-Drake Relays Athlete of the Quarter Century (1960-84) and the outstanding performer of the 1973 and 1976 Drake Relays.

Ottey was a sprinter who won nine Olympic golds, the most by any woman in track and field history, and she was also the first athlete to be named outstanding Drake Relays performer three times, from 1981-83.

Hartwig has won the pole vault at the Drake Relays eight times, and Lattany became the first collegian to win an event four straight times by capturing the 100 meters from 1978-81.

Leatherwood, who won a gold medal in the 4x400 relay for the U.S. at the 1984 Olympics, is a five-time Drake Relays record holder. Kaiser-Brown, the wife of current Relays director Brian Brown, was the first winner of the meet’s outstanding high school girls’ performer award and later won the 400 meters three times.

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