Dawn Sowell (born 27 March 1966) is an American former sprinter who ran the fastest times in the 100 metres and 200 metres in 1989, with 10.78 secs and 22.04 secs. The 10.78 clocking made her the third-fastest woman of all-time at that time, and still ranks her 14th on the world all-time list (as of 2018).
Born in Philadelphia, Sowell attended Chester High School in Chester, Pennsylvania before moving on to Louisiana State University, competing for their LSU Lady Tigers track and field team. She is the holder of the American collegiate record in the 100 m with her best of 10.78 seconds, set at the 1989 NCAA Women's Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships, where she also won the 200m in 22.04 secs, to be the fastest woman in the world over both sprints in 1989. At the end of 1989, her bests ranked her third on the US and world all-time 100m list (behind Florence Griffith-Joyner and Evelyn Ashford), sixth on the US all-time 200m list (behind Griffith-Joyner, Valerie Brisco-Hooks, Ashford, Pam Marshall, Chandra Cheeseborough and Gwen Torrence) and 15th on the 200m world all-time list. As of 2018, she ranks 6th (100) and 14th (200) on the US all-time lists and 14th (100) and 33rd (200) on the world all-time lists.
Sowell won her first and only senior national title at the 1989 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, taking the 100 m crown in 11.12 seconds ahead of Sheila Echols and Esther Jones. Her only international appearance for the United States followed at the 1989 IAAF World Cup, where she was a member of the bronze medal-winning 4 × 100-meter relay team alongside Echols, Jones and Wendy Vereen. She was tipped to be the next Florence Griffith-Joyner, but retired from track and field due to chronic injury problems. Sowell is now a public speaker, focusing on health and wellness.
|1989||World Cup||Barcelona, Spain||3rd||4 × 100 m relay||42.83|