Wed, Oct 18, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Foundation honors the world's fastest female drag racer

AP , NEW YORK

In a photo provided by Playtex Sport, Billy Jean King, left, singer Sheryl Crow, center, and Martina Navratilova arrive at the 27th Annual Salute to Women in Sports Awards dinner at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Monday.

PHOTO: AP

Melanie Troxel is the world's fastest female drag racer, needing just more than four seconds to reach 533kph.

On Monday, she slowed down enough to accept the Women's Sports Foundation's individual sportswoman of the year award. Pro beach volleyball players Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh were selected in the team category.

Inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame were: Diana Nyad (long-distance swimming) and Shane Gould (swimming), Rutgers coach Vivian Stringer (basketball) and Nawal El Moutawakel (track).

Tennis great Billie Jean King participated in a breakfast ahead of Monday night's annual gala. Sheryl Crow is to perform at the event featuring more than 100 athletes.

The Women's Sports Foundation, founded by King, is marking its 32nd anniversary. The awards dinner raises more than US$1 million annually for education and grant programs for girls and women in sports.

Troxel held the NHRA top fuel points lead through the first 12 events of the season and is fourth in the standings behind leader Doug Kalitta. Shirley Muldowney was the last woman to win the title in 1982, and Troxel is trying to reach that goal.

The 33-year-old Troxel hit the highest speed for a woman in May at Atlanta. In February, she became the sixth woman in NHRA history to capture a Top Fuel event by winning the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California.

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