As if winning the U.S. a bronze medal and dominating the entire sport of pole vaulting throughout 2017 wasn’t enough, Ole Miss track and field alumnus Sam Kendricks just had to outdo himself. The 25-year-old capped off an undefeated season this month with the prestigious Jesse Owens Award, given to the top U.S. male track and field competitor.
“To win the Jesse Owens Award is kind of putting my name out there on a plaque with guys I’ve looked up to for a long time,” Kendricks said. “You don’t get that chance doing a lot of things. Being a world champion kind of put me on a list with a lot of great men and women. But being recognized by my peers and a lot of other great athletes in America as, ‘Hey, you are the pinnacle of what we’ve made the sport this year. We value you enough to name you the most valuable athlete.’ I think that’s amazing.”
Photo by Tyler Jackson