One of the more decorated former NJCAA track and field athletes, Tyson Gay has made a lot of noise on the international track and field scene. At the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in Oregon, he clocked in a time of 9.77 secconds in the quaterfinals of the 100 meter dash. That time set a new American record in the event and was also the third-fastest time ever in the event. In the 100 meter final the following day, he finished first in a wind-aided 9.68 seconds (+4.1 m/s), which is the fastest ever 100 meter time under any conditions - better than the official 9.69 mark set by Jamaica's Usain Bolt in the 100 meter final at the Olympics in Beijing. However, Gay failed to qualify for the Olympic finals as he was suffering from a nagging hamstring injury.
In 2007, Gay became just the third athlete in history to claim both the 100 meter and 200 meter world titles. He defeated then world-record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica in the 100 meters with a time of 9.85 seconds. He then won the 200 meter dash with a time of 19.76, which set a new meet record. Gay, along with Maurice Green and Justin Gatlin, are the only athletes to ever win both events at the World Championship meet. Also at that meet, Gay anchored the USA 4x100 meter relay team to a gold medal finish. His three gold medals at the meet put him in elite company with Marita Koch, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, Maurice Green and Allyson Felix as the only athletes to win three gold medals at a single World Championships.
For his efforts in 2007, he was selected as the 2007 IAAF male World Athlete of the Year for 2007 and the 2007 Men's Athlete of the Year by Track and Field News. He was also award the USATF's Harrison Dillard award as the US's top male sprinter.
Before making international headlines, Gay helped lead Barton County Community College (Kan.) to back-to-back NJCAA Track and Field Championships in 2002 and 2003. He won the 100-meter title in 2002 and then placed third in the event at the national meet in 2003. He also placed second in the 200 meters in 2003. After his successful career at Barton, Gay won the 2004 100-meter NCAA Division I title for Arkansas.
Photo courtesy of USA Track & Field.