Erassa named USATF Athlete of the Week
INDIANAPOLIS - Kirubel Erassa has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after winning the junior men’s 6 km race at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country International Challenge.
Errasa set the tone for Team USA by winning gold in the first race of the day. Team USA claimed three more podium spots in the subsequent races; however, Errasa was the only one to bring home the gold.
Errasa battled with two athletes from Great Britain over the first 2 km lap before he fell to third place. But over the final lap, Errasa steadily closed the gap and was able to overcome both of the other runners to sprint to the line for the win in 19:56. Kieron Clements finished second in 19:59.
In a post race interview, Erassa told USATF, “It was awesome, there was a lot of mud and good people. It was hard, but the first lap was easy. After that it was hard to run alone, so I decided to run with them, because it is easier to push with them. I just held my position and was thinking with 400 [meters] to go on the hill I was going to go all out, and that’s what I did.”
Errasa recently completed his freshman cross country season at Oklahoma State University, after a decorated prep career at Grayson (Ga.) High School.
Now it its eleventh 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