NASHVILLE --- The accolades for the legendary Kathy McMillan continue to mount.
The mystical career by McMillan has opened another door into a Hall of Fame. The former Tennessee State women’s track and field star has been elected to the first class of the North Carolina High School Track & Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame.
McMillan is a member of the National High School Track & Field Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, and the NCHSAA’s “100 to Remember” female athletes.
McMillan is one of 10 (athletes, coaches, and media) that was elected to the first class by a statewide panel of 14 coaches and media representatives who follow track and field and cross country extensively.
The late and legendary coach Ed Temple, who was the architect behind sending 35 of his Tigerbelles to Olympic teams, spoke highly of McMillan in a past interview.
“She is the most fierce competitor I have ever coached,” stated Temple, who past away at 89 years old in 2016. “She thrives on pressure. The greater it is, the better she is. I have never seen an athlete with more determination.”
The standout jumper and sprinter at attended Tennessee State University from 1976 to 1980, where she made the 1980 Moscow Olympic team that missed the Games due to the Boycott, along with teammate and current TSU Director of Track and Field, Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice.
McMillan also was the 1979 AAU champ and won the Pan American Games in Mexico City in both 1979 and 1983.
About a month after graduating from Hoke County High School in North Carolina, McMillan won the Olympic silver medal in the long jump after earlier winning the U.S. Championships. She held the national high school long jump record of 22-feet, 3 inches, for 39 years (No. 2 all-time nationally and more than 2 feet better than the next-best all-time long jump performance in North Carolina).
The former Tigerbelle is a 9-time state outdoor track and field champion, winning four titles in the long jump (1973, ‘74, ‘75, ‘76, setting a state meet record of 21-7 in 1976 that still stands today). She won three titles in the 220-yard dash (1974, ‘75, ‘76), and two titles in the 100-yard dash (1975, 1976).