AUSTIN, Texas – The University of Texas has announced that Texas Track and Field legend Sanya Richards-Ross will serve as the Honorary Referee for the 93rd Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, which will be held March 25-28 at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Richards-Ross competed at UT from 2003-04 and is the most decorated Olympian in Texas Track and Field history, winning five total medals (4 gold, 1 bronze) across three Olympic appearances in 2004, 2008 and 2012.
“Sanya Richards-Ross is not only a Longhorn Legend, but is one of the greatest to ever wear the Burnt Orange & White, and is a Texas Athletics treasure. She is a Track and Field icon,” UT Vice President and Director of Athletics Chris Del Conte said. “What she did on the world stage, the number of times she set records, the championships and gold medals – it’s all just awesome. More than that, though, it was the way she ran, how she represented Team USA and our great University.
The spirit she competed with and the tremendous person she is making her truly special. We are so lucky to have her in our Texas Family and we’re thrilled she’ll be serving as our Honorary Referee at this year’s Texas Relays.”
Richards-Ross, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, was a five-time NCAA Champion and 11-time All-American during her two seasons in Austin. She claimed individual titles in the 400-meter dash at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor and 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships and earned crowns in the 4×400-meter relay at the 2003 NCAA Indoor, 2003 NCAA Outdoor and 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships.
The Longhorn Legend also won 13 individual conference championships during her career at Texas, tied for the third-most by a woman in school history. Today, she still ranks No. 2 on UT’s indoor and outdoor 400-meter record lists, trailing only Courtney Okolo, who won The Bowerman in 2016 after surpassing Richards-Ross’ marks that same season.
“I was honestly floored when they asked me to be the Honorary Referee,” Richards-Ross said. “It’s a tremendous honour and one that I’m so proud to receive. The Texas Relays is such a big event every year. It’s an event that means so much to The University of Texas, and it has meant so much to me during my career. I’m excited to be back at the Relays this year and to enjoy the entire celebration with my family.”
After leaving Texas, Richards-Ross continued to reign as the world’s best quarter-miler for a decade. She was a part of three Olympic gold-medal 4×400-meter relay teams (2004, 2008, 2012) for the United States, and claimed her long-awaited 400-meter individual gold during the 2012 London Games.
She is the only former Texas Track and Field star to win more than one gold medal in a single Olympics (2012), and is one of only four former Longhorns, male or female, to win individual Olympic gold. In addition to her Olympic success, Richards-Ross was also a seven-time medalist at the World Championships, five of which were gold.
“It’s fitting that during an Olympic year we honour our program’s most decorated Olympian,” Texas Track and Field head coach Edrick Floréal said. “Sanya has helped shape our program, The University of Texas, and Track and Field as a whole throughout her career. She is a role model for many and is the embodiment of what it means to be a Longhorn. We’re excited to honour one of the best to wear the Burnt Orange & White at the Relays this year.”
Richards-Ross began her running career at the age of seven. She graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 2002, doing so with a cumulative 4.0 GPA and was pegged the National High School Female Athlete of the Year. She was inducted into the Texas Athletics Hall of Honor in 2011, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2014, and the Texas Track and Field Coaches Association in 2016.
Today, she is married to former Texas Football player Aaron Ross, who won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back in 2006. The couple has one son, Aaron Ross II.
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