INDIANAPOLIS - National Track & Field Hall of Famer Willie Banks has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after becoming the oldest American to ever clear six feet in the high jump as he won his age division at the San Diego Senior Games Saturday.
Banks used a three-step approach and the straddle technique to clear 1.82m/6-0 on his first attempt at the height. Banks improved the masters 55-59 age group American record by an inch and a quarter. Olympian Jim Barrineau previously set the record of 1.79m/5-10.75 in August of this year.
Banks was a member of the 1980, 1984 and 1988 Olympic teams and held the world record in the triple jump at 17.97m/58-11.5 for ten years. Banks was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1999 and has served as a USATF board member since 2008.
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 www.usatf.org. 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; June 27, Ashton Eaton; July 4, Allyson Felix; July 12, Christian Cantwell; July 18, Gunnar Nixon; July 25 Evan Jager; August 1, Denzel Harper; August 15, Allyson Felix; August 23, Reese Hoffa; August 29, Carmelita Jeter; September 5, Matt Tegenkamp; September 12, Aries Merritt; September 19, Ben True; September 26, Willie Banks