Mississippians Sam Kendricks, Brittney Reese two of three Americans up for IAAF World Athletes of the Year
Mississippians and Olympians Sam Kendricks and Brittney Reese are vying to be the best in the world.
Kendricks, an Oxford native, and Reese, originally from Gulfport, are nominees for 2017 IAAF World Athlete of the Year. Kendricks and Reese are two of only three Americans up for the men’s and women’s awards.
Ten men and 10 women are nominated by an international panel of athletics experts with finalists eventually being decided by a three-way voting process. The IAAF Council and IAAF Family will cast votes via email while fans can submit votes through graphics of each nominee posted to the IAAF’s social media accounts. A like on Facebook or a retweet on Twitter will count as a vote.
The council’s vote will count 50 percent toward the final tally while the family vote and the fan vote will each count for 25 percent. Voting ends Oct. 16. The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced at the IAAF Athletics Awards in Monaco on Nov. 24.
Kendricks, a graduate of Oxford High and a two-time NCAA outdoor pole vault champion during his time at Ole Miss from 2012-14, has put together a banner year after medaling with a third-place finish at the Rio Olympics in 2016. He won the world championship in the pole vault at the IAAF Worlds in London in August before capturing the IAAF Diamond League title in Zurich a few weeks later, his 12th win in as many outings at the time.
Reese, a former Ole Miss track and field standout won her fourth outdoor title at the IAAF World Championships in 2016 with a mark of 7.02 meters in the long jump.
It was the 10th U.S. long jump championship for Reese, a two-time NCAA champion during her time at Ole Miss from 2007-08. The Gulfport native and three-time Olympian has won four world outdoor titles and three world indoor titles while also capturing gold in the 2012 Olympics.