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She Rocks! Guyanese Olympian Aliann Pompey Wins Herbert V. Hess Award


Congratulations to Guyanese Olympian Coach Aliann Pompey on winning this year’s Herbert V. Hess Award!

From the tracks of international stadiums to the fields of St. John’s University, Aliann Pompey’s journey through athletics has been inspirational. A four-time Olympian, Alainn represented Guyana with distinction at the Olympic Games in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012, showcasing her talent in the 400-meter dash.

Born in Georgetown, Guyana, Aliann moved to the United States at 14, settling into a new life that would soon lead her to the tracks of global acclaim. She graduated from Cohoes High School and Manhattan College in The Bronx, New York City. Initially uninterested in track and field, Pompey began to take running seriously in 1995, a decision that paved the way for an illustrious athletic career.

Her career boasts remarkable longevity and success, participating in six World Championships, five World Indoor Championships, and three Commonwealth Games. At the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, Alainn clinched a gold medal, adding to her collection of international accolades, including a silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and a bronze at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo.

Transitioning from a decorated athlete to a nurturing coach, Alainn has made significant strides in developing the next generation of athletes. She is the Women’s Track and field/Cross Country Director at St. John’s University. Her commitment to excellence continues to shine as she guides her athletes on the track and their transition into life post-college.

Aliann is also the force behind the Aliann’s Invitational, Guyana’s premier international track and field competition. Since its inception, the event has become a cornerstone for athletes, many of whom have gone on to compete at the Olympic Games. This meeting brings international athletes to Guyana and aims to revitalize the country’s athletics sport.

Her roles extend beyond coaching and organizing. Alainn is an active participant in sports governance, serving as the Panam Sports Athlete Commission president and holding positions on other athletic commissions and committees. Her voice has become influential, serving as a bridge between athletes and the International Olympic Committee, ensuring that athletes’ interests are represented at the highest levels.

The Herbert V. Hess Award, given to a coach who demonstrates honesty, integrity, and concern for his/her student-athletes during the year, was presented to Aliann for the first time in her career. The award is St. John’s University’s version of the “Coach of the Year” award, named after the great Mr. Hess. Alainn’s indoor track and field team also captured two individual titles, and the sprint medley team recently established a new program record at the Penn Relays.

This Award celebrates Alainn’s outstanding contributions to athletics, both on and off the field. It is a testament to her dedication to her hard work, the significant impact she continues to make in the world of sports, and her ongoing commitment to fostering talent and promoting athletics globally.

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