Olympic gold medalists Ashton Eaton and Allyson Felix were honored as the top American track male and female athletes, respectively, earning the 2012 Jesse Owens Award.
Eaton holds the world record in the decathlon after eclipsing Roman Sebrle’s long-standing mark of 9,000 points at the U.S. Olympic trials before taking gold in the London Olympics this summer.
Felix, won the 200 meters at the London Games for her first individual Olympic gold, and added victories in the 4 X100 and 4 X 400 relays.
She previously earned the silver medal in the 200-meter event in 2004 and 2008 before claiming gold in London.
She is now debating entering the individual 400-meter race going into the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“I’m definitely open to it more,” said the 26-year-old Felix, who won the award for the fourth time. “As I get older, the 400 may suit me more.”
Before Felix makes that decision she will head to Africa for 10 days with an organization that uses sports to promote development.
As for Eaton, he is humbled by the accolades he has garnered, but still motivated to achieve more, he said.
“I can improve in all of my events,” Eaton told the Associated Press. “And I don’t know by how much… the discus is something I haven’t figured out yet. The javelin is something I haven’t figured out yet. The pole vault — there still is a steep learning curve. Maybe the hurdles, as well.”
Eaton, the 12th American to win Olympic gold in the decathlon, said he also has aspirations of joining the 4 x 400 meter relay team.
USA Track and Field will present Eaton and Felix their awards Dec. 1 in Dayton Beach, Fla.