Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Melaine Walker, Olympic and World champion over the 400-metre hurdles, will be among five former University of Texas (UT) student-athletes and one athletics staffer who in November will be inducted into the University of Texas Women's Athletics Hall of Honour, the Women's Hall of Honour Committee announced last Friday on the institution's website.
Walker, the 2009 World champion, earned a bachelor's degree from UT in applied learning and development - youth and community studies in 2006.
In addition to Walker, the second fastest woman of all time in the 400-metre hurdles and the three-time National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) champion who led UT to a pair of NCAA team titles, the 14th Longhorn Women's Hall of Honour class includes Katy Arris-Wilson, 20-time All-American in swimming who led Texas to a pair of NCAA team titles; Robin Carter, 11-time All-American and 1994 NCAA Women's Diver of the Year; Kelly Pace Wilson, five-time All-American in tennis who guided Texas to two NCAA team championships; and Diane Watson, two-time All-American in volleyball, who paced Texas to its first NCAA semi-finals appearance; and Susan Sigmon, long-time staff photographer who has served 31 years (1982-present) with UT Athletics.
According to school records, Walker is an eight-time US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-American and six-time Big 12 champion. The 2008 Olympic champion is also one of the top hurdlers in Texas track and field programme history.
She began her collegiate career at Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey, where she collected two national junior college championships and eight junior college All-America honours. She joined the Longhorns for the 2005 and 2006 indoor and outdoor seasons, during which she amassed numerous individual national honours, in addition to helping UT to 2005 outdoor and 2006 indoor NCAA team championships.
Walker was the 2011 silver medallist in the 400mh in Daegu, South Korea.
At the start of the last season, Walker had an acrimonious split from the MVP Track Club where she trained since she graduated from UT. She now trains with the Racers Track Club and is exploring her ambitions as a sprinter and sprint hurdler.