by, Nicole Rodriguez, Asst. Production Editor
Manhattan College track and field alumna Aliann Pompey has been elected to serve as the Executive Committee Member on the World Olympians Association (WOA). As announced on October 22 by the international organization that supports 148 National Olympians Associations spanning five continents, the four-time Olympian and Guyana native will serve the interests of all athletes in the Americas.
Pompey was nominated by current President of the Guyana Olympians Association, Geoffrey Sankies and received the support of the Guyana Olympic Association. She feels honored to be a part of such a prestigious committee on a global level.
“I was really introduced to WOA at the beginning of last year when I attended the annual meeting. The more I learned the more I was impressed and wanted to be a part of it somehow,” Pompey said. “I applied for a grant to have an Olympians’ reunion in Guyana last year, and it was well received. The pending elections provided an opportunity for me to have a bigger role in such a significant organization. The Guyanese Olympians’ Association nominated me, and I was elected at the General Assembly as the Female Representative of the Americas to serve on the Executive Board.”
Pompey has represented her home country of Guyana at the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, at five Outdoor World Championships in Athletics, and the IAAF World Indoor Championships on four occasions. She was a gold medalist in the 400-meters at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and a Commonwealth Games silver medalist in the event in 2010.
Pompey’s track and field career at MC has helped shape her overall running career greatly. She attributes her time at the college as the reason she kept going.
“I had an amazing coach who not only influenced my athletic career but was invested in who I became as an adult, and making sure I didn’t miss the valuable lessons off the field of play. He loved the sport and it was contagious,” she said. “He made me realize how much of my dreams, even outside of Track & Field, can be fulfilled through sports. He anchored my post collegiate career, as he had done with my undergrad. With his help I broke several school records, an NCAA record and won an NCAA title.”
Pompey was the first Jasper female NCAA Champion, winning the Division I 400-meter dash in 2000. She also holds seven Manhattan records and won eight individual Metropolitan titles in the 200- and 400-meter races.
Pompey was named All-East in those events six times, and was selected as one of the top 25 MAAC all-time performers in 2006. She was inducted into the Manhattan College Hall of Fame in 2009.
“My career at Manhattan solidified in my mind that I could take it on as a profession, and I’ve not regretted any of it,” said Pompey.
Currently, Pompey serves as an adjunct professor of kinesiology at MC, and as assistant coach for the St. John’s track and field program.
“Manhattan College and St. John’s University have always been supportive of my extracurricular activities. Coaching, teaching and being deeply involved in sports are things I love and value greatly. They’re all important and critically important jobs – but I can’t help feeling like I am playing sometimes, because I am so passionate about them,” Pompey said. “When you’re doing your hobby as a job it’s never really work. Much of what I have to do, I would be doing if I wasn’t required to, so it hasn’t been hard to find the time.”