Oct. 13, 2004
(From USA T & F) - UCLA great Florence Griffith Joyner shattering the women's 100m world record at the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials was honored by USA Track & Field on Wednesday as the 10th greatest moment in U.S. track and field history in the last 25 years. To help mark the 25th anniversary of USA Track & Field, fans joined USATF in selecting the Top 25 Moments in American Track & Field during the past quarter century. Fans voted for what they consider to be the top moments in the sports of track & field, long-distance running, and race walking by voting online at USATF's website, www.usatf.org.
Griffith Joyner dominated the competition in the women's 100 meters throughout the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. In the opening round she ran the fastest time in history under any conditions with her wind-aided finish in 10.60 seconds, setting the stage for the quarterfinals.
Griffith Joyner showed up for the next round wearing a purple outfit with the left leg cut away. As stunning as her appearance was at that moment, it was no comparison to her performance on the track that followed.
In her quarterfinal, Flo-Jo ran away from the field in the new "Beamonesque" world record time of 10.49 seconds, shattering the previous standard of 10.76 seconds set in 1984 by fellow UCLA great Evelyn Ashford. The wind reading for that race was 0.0 meters per second on a day when wind readings regularly exceeded 4.0 mps. The record still stands.
Later that summer at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Griffith Joyner won the gold medal in the100 meters before posting the current world record of 21.34 seconds in winning the 200 meters (previously announced as the 19th greatest moment in USA T & F history). She added another gold medal in Seoul by running the third leg on the victorious U.S. 4x100m relay team, before running the anchor leg on Team USA's silver medal winning 4x400m relay squad.
Griffith Joyner, who died in her sleep on September 21, 1998 at her home in California, was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1995. In 1998 Flo Jo was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame.
Suggestions for USATF's Top 25 Moments were taken through February 22, 2004. Fans voted for their favorite moments beginning February 28 and ending on June 20. The Top 25 Moments will be announced in reverse order, one per week, leading up to the USATF Annual Meeting in December, where the top three moments will be revealed.
UCLA athletes have contributed to six of the announced 16 greatest moments in USA T & F history (in the last 25 years) - 25. Jackie Joyner-Kersee breaks 7,000-point barrier in the heptathlon; 22. Kevin Young breaks Edwin Moses' world record; 19. Flo-Jo sets women's 200m world record; 18. Gail Devers successfully defends Olympic 100m women's title; 17. Evelyn Ashford defeats two world record holders at 1979 World Cup and No. 10 - Flo-Jo shatters 100m world record.
For more information on USATF's Top 25 Moments, visit www.usatf.org.
USATF Top 25 Moments
25. Jackie Joyner-Kersee breaks 7,000-point barrier in the heptathlon.
24. Khalid Khannouchi sets men's world marathon record in 2002.
23. Alan Webb sets U.S. boys' high school mile record.
22. Kevin Young breaks Edwin Moses' world record.
21. Lynn Jennings wins third World Cross Country title.
20. Alberto Salazar wins third consecutive New York City Marathon.
19. Flo-Jo sets women's 200m world record.
18. Gail Devers successfully defends Olympic 100m women's title.
17. Evelyn Ashford defeats two world record holders at 1979 World Cup.
16. Michael Carter sets national prep shot put record.
15. Valerie Brisco wins four gold medals at 1984 Olympic Games.
14. Stacy Dragila wins first ever women's Olympic pole vault.
13. Maurice Greene wins double sprint gold at 1999 World Outdoors
12. Decker wins two gold medals at 1983 World Outdoor Championships
11. Batten, Buford better world record at 1995 World Outdoor Championships
10. Flo-Jo shatters 100m world record