Tianna Madison named Amateur Athlete of the Year at Cleveland event


CLEVELAND — Tianna Madison Bartoletta’s golden 2012 continues to pay dividends in 2013.

Madison was named Amateur Athlete of the Year on Thursday night at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards at the Renaissance Hotel.

Madison, a 2003 Elyria High School graduate, ran the leadoff leg for the world record-setting (40.82 seconds) and gold medal-winning 4x100 relay in August at the London Olympics. She also finished fourth in the 100 meters with a personal-best 10.85 seconds, just .04 from the bronze medal.

Madison didn’t attend the awards ceremony but sent a video message. She’s training for the U.S. bobsled team in Europe while also getting ready for the world track championships in the summer in Moscow.

“So sorry I couldn’t join you tonight,” she said. “Last season was an absolute testament to that a change of heart and mind and a 100 percent commitment to giving 100 percent effort 100 percent of the time can change everything.”

Madison thanked the sports commission, her husband, coach and Team Tianna.

“It’s an incredible yet humbling feeling to know that the great city of Cleveland is behind me as I continue to compete,” she said. “I look forward to sharing more top performances and medals with you in the future.”

The other finalists for the award were Westlake’s Margot Shumway (USA rowing) and Justin Harry Lester (USA wrestling), who also competed at the London Games.

Madison won the 2005 world championship in the long jump, then went years without much success. With her focus returned to sprints in 2012, she found her stride.

She won the gold medal in the 60-meter dash at the USA indoor championships and the bronze at the world indoor championships. She was second in the 100 at the USA outdoor championships, and second at the Olympic Trials, earning the trip to London.

Madison, ever the competitor, followed her Olympic experience by trying out for the bobsled national team. Of course, she made it. She was the brakeman for driver Elana Meyers, taking bronze in a World Cup event in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Madison was the first Lorain Countian to win Olympic gold, and her golden moment continues to resonate at home. The relay team of Madison, Alyson Felix, Carmelita Jeter and Bianca Knight smashed the 27-year-old East German record

“I was glued to my TV. It was amazing,” said Mark McGuire, who was athletic director during Madison’s time at Elyria. “My job is to work with kids. They want to work hard and have success, and she’s the epitome of that.”

Madison won nine state championships for the Pioneers, including seven in individual events, and became only the third athlete in Ohio history to win four events at a state championship meet two years in a row.

Irving top pro

Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving celebrated his first selection to the NBA All-Star Game at the awards ceremony. He had a second reason to party when he beat Browns kicker Phil Dawson and Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao for Professional Athlete of the Year at the awards ceremony.

“I’m pretty happy right now,” Irving said. “It’s a big deal for me and a big deal for the city of Cleveland.

“It’s one of the best days of my life just hearing that news.”

  • Mentor quarterback Mitch Trubisky was High School Athlete of the Year after totaling 4,962 yards of offense as the Cardinals reached the state semifinals. The other finalists were Kirtland running back/cornerback Damon Washington and Mentor basketball player Justin Fritts.
  • Kent State’s College World Series baseball team won Collegiate Athlete of the Year over Akron’s soccer team and Kent State’s football team.

Dieken honored

Browns radio analyst and former captain Doug Dieken received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dieken arrived in town in 1971, converted from tight end to left tackle and holds the franchise’s record with 203 consecutive games played and 193 straight starts. He retired in 1984 and moved into the broadcast booth.

“It’s not an achievement, it’s a blessing,” Dieken said of his time in Cleveland.

Dieken won the Byron “Whizzer” White NFL Man of the Year Award in 1982 for commitment to his community.

Extra points

  • Legendary boxing promoter and Cleveland native Don King helped present the Best Moment in Cleveland Sports, instantly adding energy to the proceedings.
  • ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt was the emcee.
  • Other notable attendees were Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer, former Cavaliers forward Larry Nance and former Browns Hanford Dixon, Eric Metcalf and Greg Pruitt.

Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

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