Joetta Clark Diggs

Joetta Clark Diggs
Medal record
Representing  United States
Women's track and field
Pan American Junior Athletics Championships
1980 Sudbury 800 metres
World Indoor Championships
1993 Toronto 800 metres

Joetta Clark Diggs (née Clark, born August 1, 1962 in East Orange, New Jersey) is a retired American track and field champion, specializing in middle distance running. She ran for more than 28 consecutive years never missing an indoor or outdoor season, with her races being in the 800 meters and 1500 meters. A 4-time Olympian in 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000,[1] she competed in every outdoor USA Championships or Olympic trials between 1979 and 2000, winning five outdoor championships.[2] Indoors, she was in the national championship race in 18 of the last 19 years, winning seven times.[2] Clark Diggs has ranked among the top 10 Americans for 21 years now. Clark Diggs has been ranked in the top 10 in the world since 1991. Moreover, in 1998 at age 36, she was ranked number four in the world. This was her best ranking out of six such appearances.[3]

Coached by Terry Crawford at the University of Tennessee, Clark Diggs left Knoxville with nine collegiate titles (including relays) and a degree in public relations.

Clark Diggs was coached by her brother, J.J. Clark, who is the women’s coach at the University of Tennessee. J.J. also coached two other 800m runners: his wife, Jearl Miles-Clark, and his younger sister, Hazel Clark. Hazel, Jearl and Joetta were all ranked #1 in America at one point time. This Clark Team is known as the First Family of Track & Field because of their 800m dominance. At the 2000 Olympic Trials the family pulled off a remarkable sweep of the three Olympic qualifying positions with Hazel winning, Jearl second and Joetta making her final Olympic team at age 38 in third. She was the second oldest female Olympic track team member that year and the fifth oldest of all time.[4] She was the team captain in 2000.[5][6]

Later she added a graduate degree in recreation administration. Like her father, she now works the lecture circuit.

Personal life

Raised in the South Ward of Newark, New Jersey, during the 1967 riots. Life was tough but she overcame those things and became an accomplished track and field athlete.[7]

She has a husband Ronald Diggs who is a successful businessman, and a daughter Talitha LaNae Clark Diggs who is the 2014 USATF | Hershey National Champion in the long jump and is one of the best track and field athletes in the country for her age group.


She added a graduate degree in recreation administration.

In June 1997, she was appointed by a Governor as one of eight commissioners of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, where she is responsible for helping to ensure that the Meadowlands Sports Complex continues to serve as a national and international model for sports, racing entertainment and exposition industries.[8]

Clark Diggs was chosen as Sports Illustrated Hometown Hero for her work with youth, and in 1998 she also received the Visa Humanitarian award for her involvement with children.[9] In October, Clark Diggs received the New Jersey Pioneer Women of the 90′s Award. Moreover, because of her longevity, and consistency, she is considered by sports enthusiasts as "America’s most successful middle distance runner" ever.

A motivational and personal inspiration speaker, Clark Diggs is the daughter of Jetta Clark and noted educator Dr. Joe Clark. Joe Clark was the subject of the movie Lean on Me. Clark Diggs has continued to use her talents and experiences in sports, marketing, consulting and public speaking to provide services to her community, state and nation. As President of Joetta Sports & Beyond, LLC, Clark Diggs delivers messages of health, fitness and empowerment to corporations, colleges, medical programs and civic organizations on the lecture circuit. She is the author of Joetta’s "P" Principles for Success, Life Lessons Learned From Track & Field[10] and the Executive Director of the Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation, which promotes involvement with physical activities for school-aged children and provides opportunities for children in the sports and entertainment industry.[11]



  1. "Joetta Clark-Diggs". Olympics at Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  2. 1 2 "USA Track & Field - USA Outdoor Track & Field Champions". Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  4. "T&FN: Youngest & Oldest U.S. Olympians". Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  5. Duffy, Bob (September 23, 2000). "HALF TIME FOR CLARK FAMILY IN THESE GAMES, THE 800 METERS IS THEIR SHOW". The Boston Globe. Retrieved October 30, 2015 via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)).
  6. Berkowitz, Bonnie (June 24, 2000). "Clark Family Sweeps to Sydney; Clark-Diggs Edges Silver Spring's Rainey Valmon for 3rd". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 30, 2015 via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)).
  7. Drysdale, Neil (August 27, 2000). "Sister Act has unhappy script as driven Clark leans too heavily on daughters". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved October 30, 2015 via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)).
  8. Longman, Jere (July 24, 2000). "OLYMPICS; 1-2-3: Clark, Miles-Clark and Clark-Diggs". New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  9. "Leaders for Life program features former Olympian Joetta Clark Diggs". Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  10. Joetta Clark Diggs (2 December 2009). Joetta's P Principles for Success: Life Lessons Learned from Track & Field. Xlibris Corporation. pp. 4–. ISBN 978-1-4653-2691-1.
  11. "SJ Magazine: Ten Questions with Joetta Clark Diggs". SJ Magazine. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  12. "USATF - Hall of Fame". Retrieved 31 October 2015.

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