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Ashe named USATF Athlete of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS - Shelby Ashe (Stone Mountain, Ga.) has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after breaking the American Junior record and establishing a new meet record in the hammer throw at USA Junior Championships on Saturday.

Ashe’s throw of 68.12m/223-6 moves her up on the world juniors list from seventh to second, just behind France’s Alexandra Tavernier (68.44m/224-6), putting her in good position going into the World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain in July. The nineteen-year-old bettered her own American Junior record of 65.32m/214-3 that she set in 2010.  

“I was surprised because I can’t always tell what I throw so when 68 [meters] came up on the board I was really excited,” Ashe said. “I just don’t think it gets much better than that. I always want to break my own records so it was good to be able to relax and hit a big one.”

Ashe’s throw also gave her an automatic qualifying mark for the Olympic Trials. Ashe is set to compete this Thursday, June 21st, at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

“It certainly is a confidence booster,” Ashe said. “Having a good meet coming into [the Olympic Trials] gives me something to feel good about going into it. I’m only 19, so this is a lot of experience. I have to relax, try to have fun, and not get riled up.”

Recently graduated from St. Pius X Catholic High school in Atlanta, Ashe plans to take a gap year before enrolling in college in 2013.

Now in its 11th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.

2012 Winners: January 5, Landon Peacock; January 11, Kirubel Erassa; January 18, Shalane Flanagan; January 26, John Nunn; February 1, Gunnar Nixon; February 8, Jenn Suhr; February 14, Jillian-Camarena Williams; February 22, Brycen Spratling; February 28, Chaunte Lowe; March 7, Eric Broadbent; March 14, Ashton Eaton; March 21, Jeanne Daprano; March 27, Wallace Spearmon; April 3, Trevor Barron; April 9, Kevin Castille; April 18, Brittney Reese; April 25, Amy Sproston; May 2, Leo Manzano; May 9, Stephanie Brown-Trafton; May 16, Allyson Felix; May 23, Nick Hartle; May 30, Kimberlyn Duncan; June 6, Jessica Cosby and Meghan Vogel; June 13, Jesse Williams; June 20, Shelby Ashe

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