INDIANAPOLIS – Former University of Oregon great Ashton Eaton has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after bettering his own indoor heptathlon world record with an amazing two-day performance that concluded Sunday in Tallinn, Estonia.
Eaton, who the previous week defeated reigning Olympic decathlon champion Bryan Clay and 2009 World decathlon champion Trey Hardee at the Millrose Multi Challenge at the 104th Millrose Games in New York, rode that momentum to a world record Sunday in the indoor heptathlon of 6,568 points. Eaton’s performance easily bettered his previous world record of 6,499 points set at last year’s NCAA Indoor Championships, March 12-13, 2010, in Fayetteville, Ark.
Eaton began the competition Saturday by running a personal best 6.66 seconds in the 60 meters, which gave him an opening tally of 1,007 points. The next event was the long jump, where Eaton soared to 7.77 meters/25 feet 6 inches, which gave him 1,002 points.
The third event was the shot put, where Eaton posted a personal best distance of 14.45m/47 feet 5 inches, which was worth 756 points. Day 1 concluded with Eaton clearing 2.01m/6-7 in the high jump, which gave him a first day total of 3,578 points, which was a 17-point improvement over his world record setting effort in 2010.
Day 2 began with a stellar effort in the 60m hurdles, which saw Eaton set a combined events indoor world record of 7.60 seconds, which added 1,085 points to his total.
Eaton matched his personal best when he cleared 5.20m/17-0.75 in the pole vault for 972 points before concluding his world record effort with his right fist raised over the final 30 meters of the 1,000m run that he completed in 2:34.74 (933 points).
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.
WEEK IN REVIEW -- JANUARY 31-FEBRUARY 6 (From USATF Statistician Glen McMicken)
OLIVER INCHES AWAY FROM 60H AR
Coming off a 2010 season that saw him go undefeated in the 110H and twice claim the American Record in that event, David Oliver is off to a stellar start in the 60H. Oliver zipped to a 7.37 at Stuttgart on Feb. 5 to come within .01 of the AR and chop .07 off his pre-'11 best. He added a 7.40 in the prelims.
BROWN MILES TO WORLD LEAD
Russell Brown moved to No. 8 on the all-time U.S. performers list in the mile at the New Balance GP in Boston with his 3:54.81 win. The former Stanford runner, who represented the U.S. at the '08 World Indoors, knocked almost a second off his previous mile PR. World-leading marks were also turned in by Calvin Smith (32.93 in the 300m) and Duane Solomon (1:17.00 in the 600m).
2005 World 100 champ Lauryn Williams hasn't run indoors for five years, but she showed that she is ready to battle again for top honors with an American-leading 7.17 in the 60m. Natasha Hastings continued to show that a return to her college coach, Curtis Frye, has done a world of good, romping to a 51.88 AL in the 400m. Jenny Simpson (nee Barringer) ran a U.S.-leading 8:50.78 to finish second in the 3,000m.
5K WORLD LEADER FOR SPENCE AT ARMORY
Shippensburg's Neely Spence, the daughter of 1991 World Championships marathon bronze medalist and '92 Olympic Trials marathon champion Steve Spence, lowered her PR in the 5,000m to 16:01.09 at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational at the Armory in New York to take over the world lead.
2010 World Junior bronze medalist and relay gold medalist Errol Nolan of Houston ran a U.S.-best 46.46 in the 400m.
PORTER MOVES UP WEIGHT LIST AGAIN
Former Tennessee thrower Garland Porter moved to No. 5 on the all-time U.S. 35-pound weight throw performers list with his massive 24.40 meters/80-0.75 toss at the Findlay (Ohio) Open.
SUB-8 60H EFFORTS BY CARRUTHERS, LOLO
Danielle Carruthers won the Moscow women's 60H in 7.94 on Feb. 6, one day after Lolo Jones ran that same time to place third at Stuttgart and establish an American-leading mark. Also at Moscow, Jesse Williams moved atop the U.S. men's high jump list, clearing 2.31m/7-7 to take third.
IMPRESSIVE SOLO EFFORT BY CASEY IN MONTANA MILE
Montana State's Patrick Casey became the 352nd U.S. man to break 4:00 for the mile, but he did it the hard way. Running virtually solo on a gently-banked 200m track in Bozeman at almost 5,000 feet of altitude, Casey pushed the pace from start to finish to stop the clock at 3:59.76.
ROUND-UP OF AMERICAN-LEADING MARKS
Field event American leaders were turned in by veterans Jill Camarena and Shakeema Welsch, as well as Nebraska's Chantae McMillan. Camarena threw the shot put 18.64m/61-2 at the Armory, while Welsch assumed the triple jump lead with her 13.84m/45-5 at Virginia Tech. McMillan became the 10th-best U.S. all-time pentathlon performer with her 4,378-point effort at the Sevigne Invitational in Lincoln.
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