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    Former SEC Track and Field Athletes Among ESPYs Nominees

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Former Southeastern Conference track and field athletes Jason Richardson (South Carolina) and Christian Taylor (Florida) have been named nominees in the “Best Track and Field Athlete” category for the 2012 ESPYs presented by Capital One. Fan voting is available online.

    Colin Cowherd and Charissa Thompson will host The ESPY Nomination Special on Wednesday, June 27, at 11 p.m. on ESPN2. Along with special guest Rob Riggle, they will debate and discuss this year’s categories and nominees.

    Voting is underway at and will close when the live show starts Wednesday, July 11, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPNHD.

    Richardson, a former South Carolina standout, captured gold in the men’s 110-meter hurdles at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu. Richardson was a six-time All-American for the Gamecocks, for whom he completed the outdoor hat trick as a senior, winning the SEC, NCAA East Region and NCAA Championship in the 110-meter hurdles. He also was the NCAA Indoor runner-up in the 60-meter hurdles that year.

    Taylor, a former Florida star, splashed onto the national scene by winning the 2011 World Championships in the men’s triple jump and also was the silver medalist at the 2012 World Indoor Championships in that event. His final collegiate performance at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships went down as the No. 1 all-conditions collegiate performance at 17.80m/58-4.75w. He won back-to-back NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2010 and 2011 and won indoors in 2009 and 2010, helping lead Florida to its first two team NCAA Indoor Championships.

    The ESPYS gather top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The 2012 ESPYS will recognize both sport-specific achievements, such as “Best MLB Player” and “Best WNBA Player,” as well as best-in-sport winners, such as “Best Team” or “Best Female Athlete” that pit nominees from different sports against each other.  The ESPYS honor ESPN’s commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a partnership launched with the late Jim Valvano at the inaugural ESPYs in 1993.

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    2012 ESPYs Nominees – Best Track and Field Athlete
    •         Walter Dix
    •         Carmelita Jeter
    •         Jason Richardson
    •         Christian Taylor