Monday, February 16, 2004
NASHVILLE --- Former Tennessee State University Tigerbelle, now women's track coach Chandra Cheeseborough, along with other track and field stars participated in the grand opening of the new $8 million National Track & Field Hall of Fame in New York City. The ceremony was relocated from Indianapolis and moved to the New York Armory. "Athletes young and old should have an opportunity to visit this mansion of memories about the history of track and field, said three-time Olympian Chandra Cheeseborough." "It gives vivid information from the beginning of track and field to where it is now." Cheeseborough, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., broke into the international track scene at the age of 16 when she won two gold medals at the 1975 Pan American Games, taking the 200 and setting an American record time at 22.77. After high school, Cheeseborough attended Tennessee State under the tutelage of three-time Olympic coach Ed Temple. She was a member of 1976, 1980, and 1984 Olympic teams. In 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympics, Cheeseborough became the first woman to win Olympic relay gold in both the 4x100 meters and 4x400 meters. "Walking through the Hall of Fame I can still remember hearing the gun pop and coming out of the blocks, looking straight ahead for the finish line," said Cheeseborough. "I felt it was a privilege and honor to represent not only the Tigerbelles but the university as a whole. Cheeseborough donated her Olympic track uniform, to add to the Tennessee State University vivid historic collection that is displayed in the museum. The Tennessee State section at the Hall of Fame becomes reality where one can go, learn and experience Tigerbelle history. "I have visited the Indianapolis site sometime ago," said coach Temple, an inductee of the National Hall of Fame. "I have heard wonderful details describing the new site, I am eagerly awaiting my visit to New York, and a chance to go the Hall of Fame." Now holding the position as women's track coach at Tennessee State University, Cheeseborough has been named Ohio Valley Conference "Coach of the Year," for both indoor and outdoor track and has won four Ohio Valley Conference titles. "I am impressed with Chandra's determination and the discipline she possesses with the team," said Temple. There are 58 Olympians from Tennessee State University, and a combined total of 30 medals: 16 gold, eight silver and six bronze. Noted TSU Olympians include Wilma Rudolph, Ralph Boston, Wyomia Tyus, Edith McGuire Duvall, Madeline Manning Mims and Chandra Cheeseborough, the current TSU women's track coach. TSU has a distinguished athletic history throughout the world," said athletic director Teresa Phillips. "Olympic history in track and field is a remarkable accomplishment and our presence at the National Hall of Fame is a testimony to the achievements of Tennessee State students and coach Ed Temple." Tennessee State University is a major, comprehensive, urban, land-grant institution offering 43 bachelor's degrees and 26 master's degrees. Doctoral degrees are offered in six areas: biological sciences, psychology, public administration, curriculum and instruction, administration and supervision, and computer information systems engineering. The university has been listed for the past ten years in the U.S. News & World Report "Guide to America's Best Colleges."