Baltimore Sun

Ex-track star from Laurel hurdles into hall of fame

Angie Vaughn poses next to a photo of her hurdling for the University of Texas track and field team. The Laurel High graduate was inducted into the University of Texas Women's Athletic Hall of Fame last fall.

In the summer before she entered Laurel High as a freshman, Angie Vaughn took part in a major youth track and field meet in California in 1990.

Before she left Maryland, her father told her if she won her event in the 100-meter dash he would buy her a new car for her 16th birthday.


A few days later, after crossing the finish line first at the Jesse Owens meet, she ran to the nearest pay phone and called her father with the good news.

"I got a car but it wasn't new," recalls Vaughn, who started her career with the New Carrollton Boys and Girls Club.


That was the first of many rewards for Vaughn, a multi-state champion in track and field during her standout career at Laurel High.

She graduated in 1994 and earned a scholarship to the University of Texas.

"That is when my father bought me a new car," said Vaughn, who grew up in Lanham.

She was a three-time NCAA champion and seven-time All-American during her indoor and outdoor career at Texas and was inducted into the University of Texas Women's Athletic Hall of Fame at the school in Austin in early November.

Vaughn, who now lives in Atlanta, remembered not answering a call earlier in the fall from someone at her alma mater because she did not recognize the number.

However, a friend sent her a message on Facebook tipping her off about her impending induction.

"I was overwhelmed with excitement," she said. "I started crying. I don't know why I was so emotional about it."

Vaughn was joined by her parents, two sisters and several college friends at the ceremony that also honored swimmer Kara (McGrath) Chavey, volleyball player Eva (Murray) Franco, Vickie Paynter-Finney (tennis), Sandie Richards (track) and former diving coach Mike Brown.


So what was it like to take part in athletics at Texas?

"Gosh, it is just massive. Texas is one of the largest schools in the country," she said. "My parents went to a small school in Washington. For them it was a whole new experience as well."

Vaughn competed for Texas from 1994-98 and holds six of the top 10 best times in the school history in the 55-meter hurdles and seven of the 10 best times in Texas history in the outdoor 100-meter hurdles.

She helped lead the Longhorns to seven of the top three NCAA team finishes while she was in school, including the 1998 indoor and 1998 outdoor national titles.

She was a two-time gold medalist in the 1998 Goodwill Games in the 400-meter relay and the 100-meter hurdles.

Vaughn graduated from Texas in 1998 with a marketing degree and competed as a pro in track and field for about three years, running at major events in England, Italy and Austria.


She then moved back to the Washington, D.C. area and worked at a law firm before moving to Atlanta about eight years ago to work as a law firm recruiter. About six years ago she joined Ernst & Young as a national recruiter.

Vaughn said she was one of the top three high school girls in the country in the 100-meter hurdles when she was at Laurel.

She was recruited by several of the top programs in the country and also considered Illinois, Florida, LSU, Pittsburgh and Ohio State.

When Vaughn arrived in Atlanta, she tried to work as a volunteer assistant track coach at the high school level until her work schedule made it difficult to continue.

Today she works with a non-profit group that urges inner-city high school students to attend college.