|Competitor for United States|
|Pan Am Games|
|Silver||1987 Indianapolis||100 m hurdles|
|Olympic Boycott Games|
|Gold||1980 Philadelphia||100 m hurdles|
Hightower was a collegiate track star at The Ohio State University. From 1977 to 1980, she did not lose a race in the 60-meter dash, 60-meter hurdles or the 100-meter hurdles, and earned Big Ten Conference, NCAA and National championship titles. She was unable to participate in the 1980 Summer Olympics, due to the US boycott of the games. Hightower missed the 1984 Summer Olympics, finishing as the odd person out in what looked like a four-way tie at the Olympic Trials. This was possibly the closest elite race in history. The photo of the finish was later used for instruction in the use of photo finish devices. Twenty eight years later, as President of USATF, Hightower was part of the administrative committee formed to settle another controversial close finish, when Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix tied for the final qualifying spot in the 2012 Olympic Trials.
After retiring from competition, Hightower has held various positions with the USATF, including serving as women's team manager at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. She is also currently the Vice President for Institutional Advancement for Columbus College of Art and Design. In addition, she has served in the Columbus Mayor's cabinet for Sports Development. In 2011, Hightower was discussed as a possibility for the USATF's CEO position.
- "Hightower elected USA Track & Field President". usatf.org. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- http://www.usatf.org/statistics/champions/OlympicTrials/HistoryOfTheOlympicTrials.pdf Olympic Trials results P.206-207
- "Always Aiming High". Big Ten Conference. Feb 24–25, 2007. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- Hersh, Philip (2012-06-25). "U.S. track officials badly mishandle tiebreaker situation". Los Angeles Times.
- "USATF draws scrutiny with no plan to settle Olympic trial tie". Fox News. 2012-06-27.
- Hersh, Philip (2011-05-23). "Very possible that Hightower could move from board chair to CEO of U.S. track". ChicagoTribune.com. Retrieved 24 May 2011.