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Davila named Athlete of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS - Desiree Davila has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after she came within two seconds of winning the 115th Boston Marathon on Monday.Desiree Davila

Davila ran in sixth place for much of the first half of the race, as New Zealand’s Kim Smith ran ahead to a big lead. However, after Smith pulled out of the race with leg cramps, Davila eventually moved to the front of the lead pack with three Kenyans. Over the last mile of the race Davila battled with the eventual victor, Caroline Kilel, in a a series of gutsy back-and-forth surges.

Kilel edged Davila for the win in 2:22:36, with Davila only two seconds behind in 2:22:38. Davila now joins the ranks of Deena Kastor and Joan Benoit Samuleson to become the third-fastest American woman in history.

“I gave it all I had. It was the most incredible experience of my running career,” Davila said. “My legs were shot. There was nothing left.”

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.

While the weekly honor typically includes performances from the past Monday - Sunday, the timing of the Boston Marathon on Patriots’ Day Monday warranted an extension of the performance window.

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; March 16, Miles Batty; March 23, Shalane Flanagan; March 30, John Nunn; April 6, Aries Merritt; April 13, Gunnar Nixon, April 20, Desiree Davila

from USATF Statistician Glen McMicken

Carmelita Jeter and Molly Huddle raced to world-leading times at opposite ends of the track spectrum, and field eventers enjoyed spectacular Southern California weather that helped elicit six U.S.-leading performances at the Mt. SAC Relays.

Jeter dipped under 11-seconds in the 100 with her 10.99, taking the measure of the field by more than a quarter-second. Huddle used a 2:53.2 last kilometer to clock 15:10.63 and beat 3,000m steeplechase American Record-holder Jenny Simpson, among others. In 10th place, Neely Spence of Shippensburg set an NCAA Division II record with her 15:33.83. Her father, Steve, was the bronze medalist for Team USA in the 1991 World Championships marathon.

A finalist at the 2009 World Championships, Amber Campbell moved to No. 2 on the U.S. all-time list in the hammer with her 72.59 meters/238-2 toss. Her series included four throws over 230-feet.

2008 Olympian and two-time World Indoors finalist Jesse Williams tied his lifetime outdoor best in the high jump, clearing 2.34m/7-8 to grab the outdoor world lead, with Tora Harris leaping 2.31m/7-7 to place second.

Defending world indoor and outdoor champion Brittney Reese equaled the outdoor U.S. lead in winning the long jump at 6.83m/22-5, and Blessing Ufodiama improved to 13.92m/45-8 to lead the national triple jump list.

Sean Furey, a 2009 World finalist, upped his lifetime best to 81.62m/267-9 to win the javelin, and Washington's Scott Roth set a lifetime outdoor best with his 5.72m/18-9.25 clearance to move atop the U.S. lists. Roth's effort also makes him the first American to notch a vault qualifying mark for the 2011 Worlds in Daegu.

National-leading marks also came in the men's 100 from Mike Rodgers (10.07) and 1500m, where Russell Brown recorded a 3:35.70. BYU's Miles Batty finished third in that race at 3:36.25, making him history's third-fastest American collegian. 10,000m American Record-holder Chris Solinsky nabbed a PR 3:35.89 in second.

Top hurdles marks were turned in by Ginnie Powell in the women's 100H at 12.86, and Texas Tech's Bryce Brown in the men's 400m hurdles in 49.25. Derek Scott knocked more than 20 seconds off his lifetime best to win the 3000m steeplechase in 8:31.52.

Middle distance outdoor national leaders went to Shalane Flanagan in the women's 1500m (4:11.67) and Maggie Vessey in the women's 800 (2:02.51). Arizona's Brigitte Barrett cleared 1.90m/6-2.75 to win the high jump with the best mark by an American this outdoor season.

World Junior Championships team member Avione Allgood, a Nevada prep, dramatically improved her lifetime best to 53.66m/176-0 to take third in the open women's javelin and move to No. 6 on the all-time high school list.

American Record-holder and World No. 1 David Oliver zipped to a windy 13.12 (+4.6) in the prelims and a breezy 13.09 in the final, but it was Kellie Wells who had the most stunning run of the day as she ripped to a 12.35w (+3.7) at the Tom Jones Memorial meet in Gainesville, Fla.

Wells, who suffered a heartbreaking hamstring tear after the Olympic Trials semis in 2008, showed that she will be a major threat for Daegu honors and onward to 2012 as she demolished the field in her prelim section with the fourth-fastest time ever under any conditions by a U.S. athlete.

American Junior 100m record-holder Jeff Demps of Florida also rode the wind to a 9.96w (+2.4) in the 100m.

Miami's most successful female athletic alumna, 2005 World 100m champ Lauryn Williams, doubled her distance and garnered a world-leading 22.65 in the 200m at the Hurricane Invitational.

Oklahoma's Mookie Salaam, the NCAA indoor champ, also took over the world lead in the men's deuce with his 20.27 at the Jacobs Invitational in Norman. Lance Brooks whirled the discus 63.11m/207-0 for a U.S. leader.

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