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NEW YORK -- Record-setting high-school miler Alan Webb, of Reston, Va., today was named 2001 Verizon Youth Athlete of the Year, USA Track & Field and Verizon announced.
Webb will be honored Nov. 30 at the Jesse Owens Awards Dinner and Xerox Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held in conjunction with USATF's 2001 Annual Meeting in Mobile, Ala. Now a freshman at the University of Michigan, Webb attended and ran for South Lakes High School in Reston.
"This was just an incredible year that I'll never forget," said Webb. "It was a thrill for me to be part of raising the profile of our sport, and I couldn't have done it without the help and support from my coach, family, teammates and friends. I'd like to thank Verizon and USA Track & Field for this honor."
With track and field as the top-rated participatory sport at the junior- and senior high-school levels, Verizon earlier this year made a historic commitment to support USA Track & Field's Youth Programs. As part of that commitment, Verizon established the Verizon Youth Athlete of the Year Award to recognize the great athletic achievements by a high-school track and field athlete.
"Alan represents the best and brightest of our young athletes," said Bruce Gordon, Verizon president for Retail Services. "His accomplishments on the track are unparalleled. And he has distinguished himself in the classroom as well. He is a deserving recipient of the first Verizon Youth Athlete of the Year Award."
Webb made track and field history earlier this year, breaking some of the most heralded high-school records while elevating the sport of track and field to the national spotlight. Webb became an international star after becoming the first American high-school athlete to run a mile under four minutes indoors when he ran it in 3 minutes, 59.86 seconds at the New Balance Games in New York City in January.
Four months later, Webb ran the outdoor mile in 3:53.43 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., breaking the national high-school record of 3:55.3 set by Jim Ryun in 1965, and setting a prep record of 3:38:26 for the 1,500 meters en route.
Webb also anchored the South Lakes team to two titles at the prestigious Penn Relays, running a Relays record 1:49.1 split in the 4x800 meter relay. South Lakes won two more relay crowns at the National Scholastics meet in North Carolina, where Webb anchored his team to a national high-school record of 9:49.78 in the distance-medley relay. Webb also set the Virginia state record by winning the state 800-meter title in 1:47.74, the fourth-fastest prep time in history. He concluded his season with a fifth-place finish at the GMC Envoy USA Outdoor Championships in the 1,500-meter competition with a time of 3:38.50.
"Watching Alan race in 2001 provided some of the most exciting moments I've had as a track and field spectator," said USATF CEO Craig Masback. "Although his 2001 achievements surpassed everyone's hopes, what's so encouraging is that his future seems equally as bright."
At the University of Michigan, he already has won the Big Ten cross-country title and is now a cross-country All-American.
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USA Track & Field is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. With nearly 100,000 members nationwide, USATF includes 57 Associations around the country and 2,500 local clubs. USATF sanctions more than 4,000 track and field, running and race walking events each year. For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 128.5 million access line equivalents and 28.7 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with 256,000 employees and approximately $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.