NEWPORT NEWS, Va.– The Peninsula Sports Club held its 69th annual Headliner’s Night at the Newport News Marriott on Monday night, and Hampton University was well represented with four award winners.
Leading that group was Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey who was named the Herbert Morewitz Sportsperson of the Year. Joining him was three women’s track and field alums Meshala Morton (Athlete of the Year), Francena McCorory and Yvette Lewis (Thad Madden Award).
Over his tenure as Hampton University President, Dr. Harvey has introduced innovations that have solidified Hampton’s stellar position among the nation’s colleges and universities. His extraordinary leadership is reflected in the growth and quality of the University’s student population, academic programs, physical facilities and financial base. During Dr. Harvey’s 40 years of visionary leadership, 92 new programs have been introduced, 28 new structures now dot the landscape of the campus surrounded on three sides by water, and the university’s endowment has grown 866% from $29 million to $280 million and growing.
He has been the leader of the Pirates through many changes and significant events athletically. From the 1989 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship, to the transition to NCAA Division I status, to the infamous victory over second-seeded Iowa State in the 2002 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and now moving into the Big South Conference, Dr. Harvey has been through it all. Under his tenure, Hampton teams have won 110 conference titles.
Lewis was a two-time NCAA champion at Hampton, taking the indoor triple jump title in 2006 and outdoor triple jump crown in 2007. She was named an All-American by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) four times: 2006 indoor triple jump, 2006 outdoor triple jump, 2007 indoor long jump and triple jump, and 2007 outdoor triple jump and 100-meter hurdles.
While a Lady Pirate, McCorory won two indoor 400-meter NCAA titles and one outdoor. Her 2010 NCAA indoor performance set a new collegiate and American record at 50.54. She is also a two-time Olympic gold medal winner as a part of the 4×400 relay teams in 2012 and 2016. McCorory was a four-time All-American, as named by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Morton, a sprinter on the track and field team, has competed in the 100m and 200m in addition to multiple relays in the outdoor season, while racing the 60m and 200m, as well as relays, in the indoor campaign. She currently ranks eighth outdoors in the MEAC with a time of 11.75 in the 100m, as well as 12th in the 200m with a 24.20. This came on the heels of a 7.44 60m dash that ranked her third in the indoor season. Morton is a native of Stafford, Va.