Sanya Richards-Ross, Jamaican-born high school track and field champion, will be inducted into the 2022 National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame on July 1, 2022. The induction of the former Florida St. Thomas Aquinas High School alumna will be held in San Antonio, Texas, at the 39th Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Richards-Ross achieved ten individual and four team track and field championships, gaining recognition at the national level when she set the high school record in the 400 meters with a time of 50.69 seconds. She was named Florida High School Female Athlete of the Year twice, and in 2002, was the Gatorade National High School Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year and the USA Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Her achievements at the high school level resulted in her continued track and field participation at the University of Texas where she earned 11 All-American honors and a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) national championship. She then competed at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, earning her first gold medal in the 4×400-meter relay event. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Richards-Ross won a second gold medal in the 4×400-meter relay. She won her first individual gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London in the 400-meter race in addition to a third gold in the 4×400-meter relay.
Sanya Richards-Ross was born in 1985 in Kingston, Jamaica. She started running when she was seven years old and represented Vaz Prep school in the yearly youth championship competitions. At age 12, she migrated with her family to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to attend high school in the United States, which increased her chances of getting an athletic scholarship to a US university. She graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in 2002 with a GPA of 4.0. During her high school years, she won nine individual state championship titles – four in the 100 meters, three in the 200-meters, one inf the 400-meters, and one in the long jump. She graduated from the University of Texas in Austin in 2005 with a degree in business.
In addition to her remarkable athletics career, Richards-Ross provides support for women and girls in sports via her philanthropic initiatives. She has mentored youth through programs including the USA Track & Field “Be A Champion” program and the Longhorn Leaders program at the University of Texas. She also operates the Sanya Richards-Ross Fast Track Program.
The National High School Hall of Fame was established in 1982 to honor athletes, coaches, contest officials, administrators, directors, and performing arts coaches, among others, for their achievements in high school sports and performing arts programs. The class of 2022 raised the number of those in the Hall of Fame to over 500. The 12 individuals to be inducted in 2022 were nominated through NFHS member associations and chosen through a two-level selection process that involved an initial screening committee comprising active high school state administrators, coaches, and officials, and a second screening by a selection committee made up of former athletes, state association officials, representatives of the media, and educational leaders.
The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) was established to supervise and regulate interscholastic athletic programs for students at member public, private, and charter schools. The organization provides recognition and honors academic achievements of student-athletes at some 800 middle, junior high, and senior high schools throughout the state of Florida. It is also the official governing entity for interscholastic athletics in the state.
Photo – Sanya Richards-Ross Facebook