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Emma Coburn
Aaron Ontiveroz / THE DENVER POST
Emma Coburn

University of Colorado alum and steeplechase world champion Emma Coburn has been named the 2017 USATF Jackie Joyner-Kersee Award winner, the USATF announced on Monday.

The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Award honors the top female USATF athlete of the year. Coburn made history this past year, becoming the first American to ever win a world title in the steeplechase, setting championship and American records with a time of 9:02.58.

“I’m so honored to be named the Jackie Joyner-Kersee award winner and feel very fortunate to be among the athletes that have won this award in the past,” Coburn said in a release. “All of the nominees were incredibly deserving, and I was motivated and inspired by their performances all year. Thank you to the media and fans who voted for me. I am grateful every day for the support I receive and am encouraged by it to push harder. This is truly an unexpected honor. Thank you to everyone who made it a reality.”

World champion pole vaulter Sam Kendricks was named the 2017 USATF Jesse Owens Award winner, given to the top male athlete. Coburn and Kendricks will be honored at the 2017 Jesse Owens Banquet on Dec. 2 in Columbus, Ohio as part of the USATF annual meeting.