INDIANAPOLIS - Eric Broadbent has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after winning the USA Indoor Combined Events Championship with 5,908 points March 3-4 in Bloomington, Ind.
Broadbent (Cary, N.C.) was not a favorite going in to the championship. He is a relative newcomer to the multi event world after competing as a jumper and sprinter at Westchester University. Only two years ago he was struggling to meet the standard to compete at the USA Outdoor Championships, but the story has since changed with his steady improvement in the past two years. Last weekend, with five event personal bests, and a heptathlon best by 366 points, Broadbent won his first national title.
“I knew I was capable of a big score,” Broadbent said. “I just had to put it all together on the right day. Hopefully the momentum will carry me through the outdoor season. This summer I’d like to make top-8 at the Trials and hopefully make the Thorpe Cup team.”
Going into the final event of the heptathlon, there were still five men in contention for the gold medal. However, Broadbent turned in an impressive nine second personal best (2:39.17) in the 1,000m to secure his title with a margin of 99 points over runner-up David Klech.
“I crossed the line, looked at my wife and I was like, ‘I think I just won,” Broadbent said. “It took a little while to sink in, but It’s pretty exciting. It has given me a lot of confidence. It is a great boost for the outdoor season.
For Broadbent, this win came at just the right time.
“I was thinking this might be my last year in track and field,” Broadbent said. “But after this, I’ll have to reconsider.”
Now in its eleventh 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
WEEK IN REVIEW - FEBRUARY 27-MARCH 4
By USATF Statistician Glen McMicken
WAYLAND BAPTIST, AZUSA PACIFIC TOP NAIA NATIONALS
MEN: Eastern Oregon's Robbie Haynie had the top individual performance of the meet with his 5781 heptathlon win, a 300+-point improvement on his previous best, but Wayland Baptist picked up golds in seven events to run away with the NAIA team title at the Spire Track in Geneva, Ohio.
WOMEN: Azusa Pacific used superior strength in the mid-distance and distance events to edge Oklahoma Baptist by a half-point, led by a pair of Victoria Martinez wins in the mile and 3000. Breanna Leslie was also a double champ in the 60H and pentathlon.
IOWA CENTRAL SWEEPS NJCAA CROWNS
Led by high jumper James White's 2.26/7-5 clearance for gold, Iowa Central swept the men's and women's team trophies at the JUCO nationals in Charleston, Ill.
WL IN 4x800 KEYS CORNELL IC4A VICTORY
Individual 800 champion J. Rutger Admirand anchored Cornell's 4x800 to a world-leading 7:24.08 to pace the Big Red to the IC4A team title in Boston. Freshman Montez Blair also took gold in the high jump with a 2.20/7-2.5 leap.
ONE POINT THE DIFFERENCE AT ECAC AS CORNELL SWEEPS
It was a lot closer than their men's victory in the IC4A, but one point was enough to give Cornell's women an historic win in the ECAC Championships at the Reggie Lewis Center. The Big Red became the first Ivy League school to win the ECAC, beating Maryland-Eastern Shore, 55-54. Gold in the penultimate relay event, the 4x800, gave Cornell a winning margin.
SWAC BRAGGING RIGHTS GO TO GRAMBLING, ALABAMA STATE
Darwin Price won the mile, 3000 and 5000, and anchored the DMR to gold to lead Grambling's men to the SWAC title at the Birmingham Crossplex, while Alabama State took top honors for the women.
LAST CHANCE MEETS YIELD RAPID DMR'S AND MORE
Ten men's teams dipped under 9:35 in the distance medley relay at the Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational, led by the host's 9:29.72, while Nebraska clocked 10:58.74 for the win in the women's race on the oversized oval.
At the Columbia Last Chance meet at the Armory in New York City, Florida's women became the ninth-fastest school ever with a 10:58.77 effort.
Aisling Cuffe of Stanford moved to No. 2 on the all-time U.S. junior list in the 3000 with her 9:07.79 at the Washington Invitational in Seattle.
PREPS: CAIN NOTCHES SOPH CLASS 1500 RECORD, DAYS POPS BIG SHOT
In winning the New York state girls' title at Ithaca, Mary Cain of Bronxville set a sophomore class record of 4:24.25 in the 1500.
Braheme Days of Bridgeton, N.J., joined the 70-foot club in the boys' shot put with his 70-8 toss at the Eastern States meet in New York City.