The Internet Home of Track & Field

girls hurdles | 07-08 most outstanding performers

This is the eighth of a series of DyeStat year-end awards for 2007-08. The DyeStat Most Outstanding Performers series, which follows the DyeStat Athlete of the Year awards, includes top honors for boys and girls distances, sprints, hurdles, jumps, throws, relays, and multi-events. Selections are made by DyeStat editors and are based a combination of multiple major victories/honors won and performances on all-time and yearly lists. Performances from outdoor track, indoor track, and cross-country are taken into account..

Text by SteveU - Photos by Vic Sailer, Doug Speck, Greg Smotherman, and Ken Charnock

Jackie Coward

Jackie Coward came into 2008 with a load of hurdle honors and superlatives from 2007, and with a load of goals and expectations for her senior season – titles, records, and the Olympic Trials.  She had proven herself superior as a junior to all of the competition out there, in the 55H, 60H and 100H, but that didn’t mean she might not be susceptible to an upset or wake-up call, which she suffered in a .01 loss to Jasmin Stowers at the KTC Classic in January.  A month later, though, Coward was back on top of the world at Simplot when she beat key rival Vashti Thomas and reset her own HSR in the 60H with an 8.16.

After handily defending her NIN title, the Knoxville West TN standout set her sights on the outdoor season.  At Taco Bell, she ran a legal 13.26 100H, just .05 off her PR, but lost in the 400H to Ryann Krais.  She cruised through the rest of her regular-season campaign, hitting a season-best 41.11 300H at state during a 3-gold performance. 

Then came the post-season and Great Southwest, the meet in which Coward’s fortunes hit the highest level – then took a downward turn.  The 100H was her best race of the year as she destroyed a great field with a 13.00w, just .05 and a 2.9 wind away from Candy Young’s 29-year-old HSR and the #2 all-conditions performance ever.  In the 300H, though, she fell and could only watch another big chance slip away.  At USATF Juniors, Coward suffered an off day at the worst time, taking 4th in a 100H blanket finish (she passed on the 400H final).  Similarly, she was off form in a first-round exit at the Olympic Trials.  Nonetheless, Coward’s career will still be long remembered for its excellence.

Donique' Flemings

With a junior year full of successes, Saginaw TX junior Donique’ Flemings set the stage for what could be a record-setting senior campaign.  After a very solid, but unspectacular sophomore year, she entered 2008 as one of several fine Texas hurdlers, but then began a quick ascent to the top.

Flemings first served notice the she had made dramatic improvement with a 42.47 300H at the Texas Southern Relays in late March, a PR by 1.25 seconds.  The next month at her region meet, she improved to 42.12 and also lowered her 100H best to 13.60.  Then, at the Texas state meet, she completely burst into the limelight with a 40.96 300H PR, a US#1 and completely bypassing the 41-second range.  The clocking would hold up as US#1 for the season and made her #11 all-time.  Flemings also won the 100H in a PR 13.52w (+2.9).

Although the Texas season was done, Flemings was just getting started.  She notched a pair of silvers at Great Southwest, hitting a PR 13.46w in the 100H, then missing her best by 0.25 in a narrow 41.20-41.21 300H loss to Ryann Krais.  After bypassing NON and USATF Juniors, Flemings focused on the Junior Olympic campaign with great success.  At USATF JOs, she won the Young Women’s 100H in 13.58.  The following week at the AAU JOs, she doubled up with 13.84 100H and 58.66 400H, the latter adding a good mark in the longest barrier race to her resume.

Ryann Krais and Vashti Thomas

For season profiles on Ryann Krais and Vashti Thomas, see forthcoming Girls Jumps and Multi-Events pages.

Honorable Mention

Kori Carter – The Claremont CA soph had a magnificent season, starting with her breakout 41.58 300H win at Arcadia.  She then lowered that to 41.28 at the California state meet.  At USATF Juniors, she was 2nd in the final and got her World Junior qualifying time of 1:00.26 in the prelim, assuring her trip to Poland.  She did not make it out of qualifying there, despite a solid 1:01.20.

Dalilah Muhammad – After a whirlwind junior year that culminated in a World Youth title at 400H, the Benjamin Cardozo NY senior kept it relatively low key in 2008.  Indoors, she high-jumped 5-09, and ran solid times of 55.93, 1:13.20, and 1:32.38 for 400/500/600 meters, but come national championship time, stuck to just relays (4x8 and SMR titles at NSIC).  Outdoors, she bypassed the national championships entirely, but did hit a US#1 57.81 400H at NY State that held up until the USATF JOs, when Turquoise Thompson topped it.

Turquoise Thompson – The prep season was lost for the junior standout when she transferred from Long Beach Poly to Serra HS in California.  But in summer competition, she did her best to make up for it.  At USATF JOs, she powered all the way up to US#1 with her 57.67 400H PR in the Young Women’s division.  She was also 2nd in the open 400, just two hours later.  Indoors, she was 2nd in the NSIC 400 to Nadonnia Rodriques’ US#1 mark.

Jasmin Stowers – Perhaps the biggest moment of the year for the Pendleton SC soph came in an early-season indoor meet where she nipped defending NIN champ and HSR-holder Jackie Coward at 60H in the KTC Classic.  She would eventually run an 8.38 PR and take 2nd at NIN to Coward.  Outdoors, while Coward and Vashti Thomas were at USATF Jrs. she won a relatively slow NON 100H.  She was second to Donique’ Flemings in the USATF JOs 100H, but PR’d with a 13.46w in the prelims.

Elizabeth Mott - The New Rochelle NY senior held the US#1 mark in the 400H for a few weeks when she ran 58.4h in her state qualifier.  She would PR at 58.01, in finishing second to Dalilah Muhammad at New York state, then win the NON title (albeit with a somewhat sub-par field) in 59.96.

Year-End Awards Index