From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Hightower, Stephanie A.

(born: 1958) Stephanie A. Hightower, a former track and field star, was born in Louisville, KY. She is a graduate of Jesse Stuart High School where she set the Kentucky High School Athletic Association record in the 110-yard hurdles at 14.3 seconds, and the 60-yard hurdles at 8.0 seconds [source: Stephanie Hightower in African Americans in Sports by D. K. Wiggins]. Jesse Stuart High School is in Valley Station, KY.

Stephanie Hightower was also an outstanding athlete at her alma mater Ohio State University. She was on the track team from 1977-1980, and was undefeated in the 60-meter dash, 60-meter hurdles, and 100-meter hurdles. She continued competing after college and won the 1980 Olympic trial, but the U.S. boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, Russia. Stephanie Hightower continue competing and had a successful career that included winning first place in the 100 meter hurdles in the 1980 Liberty Bell Classic (Sports in American History site) and a silver medal in the 1987 Pan American Games (Wikipedia). She competed in the Millrose Games was a champion hurdler in 1980 and 1982-1985. She was inducted into the Millrose Hall of Fame in 2001.

After retiring from participating in track and field events in 1988, Stephanie Hightower served as the women's team manager of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. She was named president of USA Track and Field in 2008 and was on the board until 2015. She left when she was elected president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). She resigned from IAAF in 2016. She was president of the Columbus Board of Education. Stephanie Hightower now serves as the President and CEO of the Columbus, OH Urban League.

For more information see Stephanie Hightower in Profiles of Ohio Women, 1803-2003 by J. Royster; NAGWS Guide: track and field; and For the Record: women in sports by N. Brooks et al.

*This entry was suggested by William Payne.

Kentucky County & Region

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Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Valley Station, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: African Americans in sports
NKAA Source: Profiles of Ohio women, 1803-2003
NKAA Source: NAGWS guide: track and field (serial)
NKAA Source: For the record : women in sports

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“Hightower, Stephanie A.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 18, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-03-24 00:56:03