INDIANAPOLIS - USA Track & Field has named two individuals as Athletes of the Week. Jessica Cosby has received the honor after establishing the American record in the women’s hammer throw Friday at the Prefontaine Classic, along with high school athlete Meghan Vogel, who showed selfless sportsmanship at the Ohio High School Division III state meet.
“I knew that it was a good opening throw and that it could possibly be a new personal best,” said Cosby, “but I wasn't thinking American record.”
Cosby’s throw of 74.19m/243-5 bested the previous American record of 73.87m/242-4 set by Erin Gilreath in 2005. The same night, Cosby also recorded three of the top five throws in American history. With the Olympic Trials at the end of the month, Cosby recognizes the importance of her performance at the Prefontaine Classic.
“Prefontaine was a big test for me, I really wanted to throw well and I knew that I needed to be on top of my game because the field was loaded with talent,” said Cosby, who will participate in Hammertime at the Olympic Trials, scheduled for June 21 in Beaverton, Ore. “It was a step in the right direction for what I want to accomplish at the Olympic Trials and Olympic Games this summer.”
Meghan Vogel of West Liberty-Salem High School in Ohio had a remarkable weekend, winning the Ohio Division III 1,600m title. But it was her assistance of competitor Arden McMath in the final stretch of the 3,200m for which she earned this unprecedented honor.
In the spirit of sportsmanship, Vogel helped a fallen McMath across the finish line in the race, and insisted on McMath finishing ahead of her in the official results. Video of the finish can be found here.
“I had about 100m to go and I saw her go down and then I kind of sped up a little bit to help her,” said Vogel. “I didn’t think twice about it. I just knew it was the right thing to do and I knew I was going to do it.”
While aiding a competitor would normally call for a disqualification, Ohio race officials chose not to disqualify McMath or Vogel allowing them to finish 14th and 15th, respectively.
“Jessica and Meghan this weekend embodied the excellence all athletes, of any age, should aspire to,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel. “They both demonstrated the highest levels of sportsmanship and showed everyone what is great about our sport. We congratulate them both.”
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; May 16, Allyson Felix; May 23, Nick Hartle; May 30, Kimberlyn Duncan; June 6, Jessica Cosby and Meghan Vogel