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Brooks Named USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS -  Olympian Tia Brooks of Oklahoma has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after winning the women’s shot put at the NCAA Indoor Championships in a collegiate record of 19.22m/63-0.75.Photo of Tia Brooks

Brooks set the collegiate and championship record and became the first woman to break the 63-foot barrier in NCAA history. Her mark bettered the previous collegiate record of 19.15m/62-10.0 set by Laura Gerraughty in 2004.

“It feels amazing. That’s definitely been a goal all year, and to get there feels like a huge weight has been lifted," Brooks said to the University of Oklahoma. "I feel so blessed to be able to do this."

Brooks now owns three consecutive NCAA titles after winning indoors and outdoors in 2012.

Now in its 12th 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.

2013 Winners: January 9, Bobby Mack; January 16, Mary Cain; January 22, Ajeé Wilson; January 30, Duane Solomon; February 6, Chris Derrick; February 13, Jeremy Taiwo; February 20, Alysia Montaño; February 27, Galen Rupp; March 6, Jenn Suhr; March 13, Tia Brooks

from USATF Statistician Glen McMicken

The final big weekend of the 2013 indoor season saw burgeoning dynasties and reborn juggernauts at the collegiate level as well as a bevy of talented preps in action.

Arkansas won its 20th men's team title, the first since 2006, and Oregon's women grabbed their fourth straight indoor crown in spite of winning only one event.

Men's highlights: Texas A&M's Ameer Webb defended his 200m title with a 20.42, and his 20.37 in the prelims was a world-leading time that put him 10th on the all-time U.S. list.

Mississippi State's D'Angelo Cherry added NCAA gold in the 60m to his USA Indoor title from last weekend, the first man to complete an NCAA/USA double since Kevin Hicks in the 800m in 2005.

Sophomores Andrew Irwin and Marquis Dendy set lifetime bests to take gold in the pole vault and long jump. Irwin won his second NCAA indoor title in a row with a 5.70m/18-8.25 effort that leads the U.S. list for 2013, while Dendy improved his national-leading mark to 8.28m/27-2. Bryce Lamb of Texas Tech added another U.S.=leading mark in the triple jump with a 16.96m/55-7.75 PR leap.

Eddie Lovett of Florida became the third-fastest collegiate performer ever in the 60m hurdles with his 7.50, and later watched his Gator teammates set an American collegiate record in the 4x400m with a second-place 3:03.71 that featured two freshmen and two sophomores.

The top three men in the heptathlon scored more than 6,000 points, led by Kevin Lazas of Arkansas, who won with a PR 6,175. Wisconsin's Japheth Cato (6,165) and Georgia's Garrett Scantling (6,017) nabbed silver and bronze.

Women's highlights: 
Two women turned in impressive doubles -- Dartmouth's Abbey D'Agostino upset favored Betsy Saina of Iowa State to win the 5,000m on Friday night with an American collegiate record 15:28.11, and came back to take top honors in the 3,000m Saturday.  Andrea Geubelle of Kansas jumped to gold in the long jump (6.55/21-6) and triple jump (14.18/46-6.25), moving to No. 4 on the all-time U.S. indoor list in the latter.

Olympians Brigitta Barrett and Emma Coburn were easy winners, with Barrett clearing 1.95m/6-4.75 in the high jump and steeplechaser Coburn dropping down in distance to capture mile gold in 4:29.91. Clemson's Brianna Rollins dominated the women's 60m hurdles, setting meet records in the prelims (7.82) and final (7.79).

Indiana State's Felisha Johnson climbed to No. 10 on the all-time world list in the 20-pound weight throw with a toss of 23.52m/77-2, and LSU's Kimberlyn Duncan zipped to her third straight 200m crown in 22.58. Michigan's distance medley relay became the No. 10 team in world history with a 10:56.46, anchored by Amanda Eccleston's 4:32.29 1600m leg.

St. Augustine's men won their 12th indoor title and 32nd overall, and newcomers Academy of Art picked up the women's team trophy behind a 200m/long jump double by Vashti Thomas.

Wisconsin teams took the top four spots in the men's team scoring, led by UW-La Crosse's 16th title. Top honors for the women went to UW-Oshkosh, which picked up its eighth indoor national title. Christy Cazzola garnered three golds with wins in the mile and 5,000 and as anchor of the Titans' DMR.

North Carolina prep Wesley Frazier set a national indoor record in the 5,000m at 16:18.01, but had to outlean Erin Finn of Michigan to win by .01.

Multi-talented Kendell Williams of Georgia set a high school record in the pentathlon with a score of 4,068 to break the old record by almost 150 points, clearing 5-11.5 in the high jump en route.

New Yorker Sabrina Southerland raced to the second-fastest prep indoor 800m ever with a 2:03.59 clocking, and Minnesota's Magie Ewen claimed the No. 2 spot on the all-time shot put list with her 54-1 throw.

Top boys' performers included Rudy Winkler of New York, who won the weight throw at 83-6, and Michael Cherry of Virginia, who rolled to a 46.87 in the 400m.

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