INDIANAPOLIS -- Olympic medalist Galen Rupp
has been named USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week after breaking the 5,000 meter American men’s indoor record at the Boston University Multi-Team Meet, Thursday, Jan. 16.
Rupp (Portland, Ore.), a six-time national champion, finished Thursday’s race in 13:01.26, knocking off more than five-and-a-half seconds from the previous 13:07.00 mark set by Lopez Lomong in 2013.
“The race went great,” said Rupp. “It was the first race of the season, so I was definitely a little nervous going into it. My coaches had me really prepared, and I was very happy to break an American record.”
Rupp and his 10,000m silver medal made history at the London 2012 Olympic Games, where he became the first American medal winner in that event since Billy Mills took gold in 1964. Rupp is also a Bowerman Award winner and an NCAA Indoor, Outdoor and Cross Country Champion.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be named USATF Athlete of the Week,” he said. “Obviously there are a lot of great names who have won this honor, and it’s tremendous to be mentioned in their company.”
Now in its 13th 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.
2014 Winners: January 15, Chris Derrick; January 22, Galen Rupp.
special by Glen McMicken
Here's a snapshot of the weekend's top action across the U.S.:
Purdue vs. Indiana
-- The battle of the Hoosier State powers produced two of the best weight throw marks ever for Purdue's Chukwuebuka Enekwechi and Dani Bunch. Enekwechi moved to No. 9 on the all-time collegiate list with his 23.31/76-5.75, while Bunch used her 22.35/73-4 toss to take over the No. 8 spot on the American collegiate list. The Boliermaker duo each added shot put victories for good measure.
Virginia Tech Invitational
-- It's not a common event, but Charlotte's Anthony Bynum claimed the No. 7 berth on the all-time collegiate 300 list with his 33.06. Three-time World Championships gold medalist Bershawn Jackson won the 500 in 61.99.
Texas A&M 10-Team
-- Led by Kamaria Brown's sizzling 22.96 world leader in the women's 200, the Aggies swept the team titles at their first big invitational of the season. Prezel Hardy, the 2009 World Youth 100 winner, set an A&M school record with a 6.56 in the 60 and added a 20.70 to win the 200.
-- American Record holder Chaunte Lowe competed for the first time since September 2013. She didn't win, but it was a noteworthy performance nonetheless for the reigning World Indoor high jump champion who cleared 1.77/5-9.75 for sixth.
-- The site of the USA Indoor Championships next month, Albuquerque is known for a fast and friendly facility, and the season opener there elicited a world-leading 6.53 in the men's 60 by former Colorado star Joe Morris.
Last year's USA Outdoor third-placer Ron Taylor was one of a potent group of Olympic Training Center athletes to compete, and he took the long jump with a 7.92/26-0 leap.
Nittany Lion Challenge
-- Pitt's Carvin Nkanata turned in the equal-fastest time in the world this year in the 400 with his 46.36, a time matched by Neil Braddy of Arkansas in the Razorbacks' dual with Texas.
Pole Vault Summit
-- 2012 World Indoor finalist Mary Saxer won the women's elite section with a 4.61/15-1.5 clearance that matched her third highest ever, while Jack Whitt went over 5.60/18-4.5 to take second behind France's Olympic champ Renaud Lavillenie.
-- Patrick Casey won the mile on UW's oversize (307m) oval with a 3:58.06, and in fourth behind him was American Record holder Alan Webb, who clocked 4:02.81 in his first indoor race at the classic distance since 2011. 2013 World Championships team members Shannon Rowbury (4th/2:07.72) and Jordan Hasay (5th/2:08.85) dropped down in distance.
Kansas State Invitational
-- Olympic high jump silver medalist Erik Kynard had his 16th career meet at 2.31/7-7 or better to beat China's Guowei Zhang.
About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org