INDIANAPOLIS – Masters standout Bill Collins
of Houston, Texas has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after he set three American and two World Records last weekend at the USA Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.
Collins won the national title in every flat event under 400m for the men’s 60-64 age division. He ran 24.32 for 200m, 55.68 for 400m, and his time in the 60m is still under review.
“I knew I had trained well, but it was only my second meet of the year,” Collins said. “I didn’t expect to run at the level I did, and I attribute that to my competitors, the tremendous atmosphere in Albuquerque and the fabulous track facility out there.”
Collins has been running at an elite level since high school including competing internationally for Team USA, and now is a fixture in the masters track and field community.
Collins explained, “Once you get to masters, it is a joy. There is so much camaraderie with the athletes; it is like a reunion of family and friends when we get together.”
Now in its tenth 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 the USATF website. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
Winners: January 5, Bill Tribou; January 12, Tyler Sorensen; January 20, Josh Cox; January 26, Ben Shorey; February 2, Ashton Eaton; February 9, Ashton Eaton; February 16, Bernard Lagat; February 23, Ryan Crouser; March 2, Jillian Camarena-Williams; March 10, Bill Collins
WEEK IN REVIEW -- FEBRUARY 28 - MARCH 6
From USATF Statistician Glen McMicken
LAST CHANCE MEETS BRING MORE SUB-4'S, FAST DISTANCE RACES
Collegians looking for a last-gasp chance to qualify for the NCAA Division I championships made hay on oversize tracks at Notre Dame and Seattle, adding three more names to the U.S. sub-4:00 mile list.
At Notre Dame's Alex Wilson meet Friday, Virginia Tech junior Michael Hammond and Iowa sophomore Jeff Thode both cracked the mythical barrier, with Hammond winning 3:58.41-3:58.72. Washington sophomore James Cameron raced to a 3:58.51 on his home track to become the 358th American under 4:00.
Other notable efforts at Seattle included a battle between two of the top U.S. junior-age women at 3000-meters, as Washington freshmen Katie Flood (9:09.85) and Megan Goethals (9:11.56) moved into the all-time top 10 for American under-20 athletes.
Sacramento State senior Lea Wallace took over the collegiate lead with her 2:03.07 in the 800.
Some of history's fastest women's distance medley relays were on view at the Columbia Last Chance meet at the Armory in New York City, topped by Villanova's world-leading 10:56.12. Three other squads dipped under 11-minutes -- a NY/NJ all-star team that featured Frances Koons, Virginia and Connecticut.
U.S. STARS GET EARLY START TOWARD DAEGU DOWN UNDER
With the tightened qualifying window for the 2011 IAAF World Championships forcing many athletes to reconsider their competition schedules, some of Team USA's brightest stars made the long journey to Australia looking for "A" standards Thursday at the Melbourne Track Classic.
Many-time international medalist and American record-holder Bernard Lagat led a quartet of men under the 13:20.00 "A" mark with his winning 13:08.43. 10,000m American Record holder Chris Solinsky clocked 13:10.22 in third, while Matt Tegenkamp (13:16.27) and Andrew Bumbalough (13:16.77) finished 4-5.
Nick Symmonds also collected an "A" qualifier in the 800 with his 1:45.09, and Alan Webb showed an improved level of racing with his 3:37.82 for third in the 1500. Reese Hoffa won the shot put at 21.10 meters/69-2.75.
DENDY DANDY IN LONG JUMP
Team USA long jumper Marquis Dendy (Middletown, Del.), who competed at the IAAF World Junior Championships last summer, uncorked the third best indoor long jump in prep history Saturday at Landover, Md., leaping 25-9.5 at the Mid-Atlantic Championships.