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Bednarek’s historic double wins him USATF Athlete of the Week


Kenny Bednarek (Rice Lake, Wisconsin) became the first American to break 20 seconds in the 200m and 45 seconds in the 400m on the same day to earn USATF Athlete of the Week.

Bednarek, a freshman at Indian Hills Community College, ran the fastest wind-aided 200m time in history with a 19.49 (w +6.1) in the prelims at the NJCAA Championships in Hobbs, New Mexico, then proved that wasn’t a fluke in the finals as he zipped to a JUCO national record  and U.S.-leading 19.82 into a 0.8 wind. The 20-year-old earlier in the day won the 400m in 44.73, and his long sprint double matched the feat previously only performed by Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, who did it twice.

Full results are here.

Other notable performances from the previous week:

Keni Harrison — World record-holder Harrison sped to a world-leading 12.47 in the 100m hurdles to win at the Baie-Mahault, Guadeloupe, meet.

Sean Donnelly — Donnelly twice improved his PR in the hammer at the Tucson Elite Classic, winning the Saturday competition with a 77.59m/254-6 that also made him the first American man to achieve the ’20 Olympic Games standard.

Keturah Orji — Orji won the long jump at Baie-Mahault with a U.S.-leading 6.80m/22-3.75 ahead of four-time world champion Brittney Reese.

Noah Lyles — Lyles edged Christian Coleman to win the Shanghai Diamond League 100m in a world-leading 9.86.

Rachel Schneider — Schneider won the 5,000m at the USATF Distance Classic in a world-leading 15:06.71, meeting the qualifying standard for the ’20 Olympics.

Chase Ealey — Ealey upset China’s reigning world champion Lijiao Gong to win the women’s shot put at Shanghai with a throw of 19.58m/64-3.

Nick Christie — Christie was the men’s winner by almost seven minutes in 1:03:55 at the USATF 15K Race Walk Championships in Riverside, California.

Robyn Stevens — Stevens won the women’s title by more than two minutes at the USATF 15K Race Walk Championships, clocking 1:10:23.

Aleia Hobbs — Hobbs won the women’s 100m at the Shanghai DL in 11.03, beating reigning Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson.

Fred Kerley — Kerley was the men’s 400m winner at Shanghai in 44.81.

Now in its 18th 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.


2019 Winners: January 9, Nick Christie; January 16, Hillary Bor; January 23, Taylor Ewert; January 30, Devin Dixon; February 6, Alison Wood; February 13, Ajee’ Wilson; February 20, Abbabiya Simbassa; February 27, Athing Mu; March 6, Neringa Jakstiene; March 13, Grant Holloway; March 20, Robyn Stevens; March 27, Deena Kastor; April 3, Irene Obera; April 10, Stanley Kebenei; April 17, Israel Merkle; April 24, Ryan Crouser; May 1, Emily Sisson; May 8, Kayla White; May 15, Parker Stinson; May 22, Kenny Bednarek.


We welcome your nominations!

To nominate an athlete for USATF Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about his/her performance to


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