INDIANAPOLIS - Stephanie Brown-Trafton has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after setting the American record in the discus with a throw of 67.74m/222-3 last Friday in Maui, Hawaii.
“I think I’m more excited about Athlete of the Week than the record,” Brown-Trafton, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist and Jesse Owens Award winner, said when she was notified of the award. “Of course I’m thrilled about the record, but I’ve been Athlete of the Year before, but never Athlete of the Week.”
Brown-Trafton’s mark improved her own personal best from 2009 by more than five feet, and this was her third personal record set in Hawaii. Brown-Trafton easily won the competition as second place finished more than three meters behind.
“The actual throw where I broke the record didn’t necessarily feel like my best throw,” she said. “I really wasn’t happy with the throw technically. But I know I’ve got so much more in me and I’d love to break the record by 10 feet, not three inches.”
Learn more about Brown-Trafton's career though her website www.StephanieTrafton.com
or through her USATF Bio
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
Week in Review
By USATF Statistician Glen McMicken
JETER BLASTS OPENER IN JAMAICA
World champion Carmelita Jeter made a strong statement to open her Olympic-year campaign in the 100 at the Jamaica International Invitational, ripping a 10.81 to take the world lead and record her fifth-fastest time ever.
U.S. fortunes were boosted by wins from current or former world champions Bershawn Jackson in the 400H, Reese Hoffa in the shot and Brittney Reese in the long jump, while Michelle Carter was tops in the women's shot with another effort over 19 meters. Calvin Smith upset local favorite and World Championships fourth-placer Jermaine Gonzales in the 400 with a 45.47.
Sanya Richards-Ross finished as runner-up in the 400 at 50.11, the fastest time by a U.S. woman this year.
MERRIT-ORIOUS ONE-LAPPER, YURKOVICH 61M JAV AT GUADELOUPE
LaShawn Merritt had a world-leading 44.73 to win the 400 at Baie Mahault (Guadeloupe) on May 1, and former Oregon star Rachel Yurkovich moved to No. 3 on the all-time U.S. performers list with her 61.06m/200-4 win in the javelin.
2008 Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper took the 100H with a nifty 12.71, and indoor world gold medalist Will Claye triple jumped 17.05/m55-11.25 to win.
MERRITT WOWS WITH WL AT ARKANSAS
Not missing a beat in a season that has already seen him win the World Indoor 60H title, Aries Merritt rode a stiff breeze to a 12.99w in the prelims of the 110H and followed with a stunning legal and world-leading 13.03 in the finals at the Arkansas Twilight meet. That time places him as the 12th-fastest performer in U.S. history.
WELLS ON THE WAY IN ST. MARTIN
Defending national champion Kellie Wells had her second-fastest time ever in the 100H at the St. Martin meet on May 5, skimming the hurdles in a U.S.-leading 12.55. The men's 200 went to LaShawn Merritt in 20.16.
FELIX, LEWIS VICTORIOUS AT KAWASAKI
Quadruple 2011 World Championships medalist Allyson Felix took an easy win in the 100 at Kawasaki, Japan, clocking 11.22, and Yvette Lewis grabbed gold in the 100H at 13.08, just ahead of 2005 & 2007 World champion Michelle Perry.
WALLACE WINS WITH PR IN BRAZIL
Latosha Wallace ran her fastest time since 2008 and set a lifetime best by almost .7 seconds in the 400H at the Belem GP in Brazil, winning in 55.18. Aretha Thurmond was the other winning American on the day with a 61.41m/201-5 toss in the discus.
FRANEK GETS WL IN STEEPLE, LUCAS RUNS RAPID 3,000 AT OREGON
Bridget Franek hurdled to a world-leading 9:39.77 in the women's 3,000 steeplechase and Julia Lucas added an outdoor U.S.-leading 3,000 at the Oregon Twilight in Eugene. Lucas, who opened eyes with her 15:08 5,000 at Stanford recently, won in 9:14.44. 2011 World Championships team member Andrew Wheating opened his season with a 3:44.97 win in the 1500.
MATTIS MOVES TO NO. 5 ON PREP PLATTER LIST
Sam Mattis of East Brunswick, N.J., moved to fifth on the all-time boys' high school discus performers list with a 218-4 throw at the Middlesex Relays on May 3. His effort broke the state record, held by former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL star Ron Dayne.
CL FOR ROBERTS IN LUBBOCK
Showing flashes of the form that earned him a World Championships 400 spot in 2009, Texas Tech's Gil Roberts rolled to a collegiate-leading 44.93 at the Red Raider Open in Lubbock, downing Belgium's Kevin Borlee, last year's World bronze medalist.
2010 World Junior 7th-placer Shade Weygandt upped her PR to 4.50m/14-9 to win the women's pole vault.
BAILEY BOOSTS 100 HOPES AT OXY
An intriguing figure in the sprint wars despite recurrent injury problems, Ryan Bailey returned to the track for his first 100 since 2010, and made a big splash at the Oxy Invitational in Eagle Rock, Calif. Bailey, who rumbled to a 9.88 in '10, won in 10.01 on a track not known for swift sprint marks.
Jessica Cosby was the top women's performer, going past 70m in the hammer again to win with a 70.33m/230-9 effort.
MAJOR CONFERENCE ROUND-UP
Princeton's men, led by Connor McCullough's 72.13m/236-7 in the hammer, won the Ivy League title, while Cornell took the women's team trophy. Dartmouth's Abby D'Agostino had the top individual mark for women with a 9:24.64 in the 3,000.
Notre Dame (men) and Louisville (women) were Big East champs. The Irish were led by Chris Giesting's 200/400 double, and Louisville throwers won the women's shot, discus and hammer.