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Denean Elizabeth Howard-Hill (born October 5, 1964) is an American athlete who competed mainly in the 400 metres.

Denean Howard
Denean Howard.JPEG
Personal information
Nationality United States
Born (1964-10-05) October 5, 1964 (age 54)
Sherman, Texas
Height5 ft 4.5 in (1.64 m)
Weight121 lb (55 kg)
College teamCal State Los Angeles Golden Eagles
ClubPuma and Energizer Track Club/Tyson
Updated on 19 May 2016.

At the Olympics she competed as Miss Howard in 1984, as Mrs. Howard-Hill in 1988, and as Mrs. Hill in 1992.

She competed for the United States, winning a Gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles as a member of the 4 x 400 metres relay team, running in the preliminary rounds[1] with her sister Sherri[2] running in the final. It was a reversal at the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul, South Korea in the 4 x 400 metres relay, where both sisters won the Silver medal, but Denean ran in the final with her team mates Diane Dixon, Valerie Brisco-Hooks and Florence Griffith Joyner. The team set the current standing American Record in the event, which is still the second best time ever run behind the winning Soviet team in that race.[3]

She is married to boxer, Virgil Hill; her son Virgil was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2009 MLB Draft, currently playing for the Class-A Batavia Muckdogs.[4]

Denean Howard and her 3 sisters gained fame in 1979 when the four of them teamed up to set the National High School record in the 4x440 yard relay for San Gorgonio High School in San Bernardino.[5][6] That distance is now rarely run as the NFHS converted to metric distances, so the record still stands today. Later teams with Denean broke the record for the slightly shorter 4x400 metres relay, after sister Atra graduated and the rest of the family moved to Kennedy High School (Los Angeles).[7] Denean was the California High School Athlete of the Year at Kennedy in 1982, following in the footsteps of her sister Sherri.[8] Also following her sister, she was named the national Girl's "High School Athlete of the Year" by Track and Field News, two years in a row.[9] Her 1982 52.39 was the NFHS national high school record for eighteen years, before it was beaten by Monique Henderson.[10] At age 15, she qualified for the ill-fated 1980 U.S. Olympic Team which was part of the 1980 Olympic Boycott[11] finishing behind sister Sherri at the 1980 Olympic Trials, the first sisters to make the Olympic team simultaneously in the same event.[12]

She is currently an assistant coach at the College of the Canyons.[13]


  1. ^ "Denean Howard-Hill Biography and Olympic Results | Olympics at". October 5, 1964. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  2. ^ "Sherri Howard Biography and Olympic Results | Olympics at". June 1, 1962. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  3. ^ "IAAF Al time list". Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  4. ^ "Sports Southern California | – The Press-Enterprise". November 19, 2010. Archived from the original on January 8, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  5. ^ Gritten, David (March 24, 1980). "Here Come the Howards, the Top Sister Act in U.S. Sports". People. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  6. ^ "THE '80s A DECADE REVISITED : Athletes who began their careers in the Valley over the past 10 years have gone on to win Olympic gold medals, Cy Young Awards and world boxing titles. Team achievements included improbable champions and record winning streaks. But fights, strikes and firings also made the news – Los Angeles Times". December 31, 1989. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  7. ^ "DyestatCal". DyestatCal. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  8. ^ "ESPN". ESPN. Archived from the original on January 8, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  9. ^ "Track and Field News High School AOY" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 13, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  10. ^ "National High School Record Book". Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  11. ^;B.J. Phillips Monday, July 7, 1980 (July 7, 1980). "Time". Time. Retrieved October 18, 2011.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 1, 2012. Retrieved May 7, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

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