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Gardner named Athlete of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS - University of Oregon freshman English Gardner has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after turning heads at the Pac-10 Championships with a new 100 meter U.S. junior record of 11.03 seconds.
English Gardner
© Kirby Lee   

The New Jersey native’s mark was fast enough to equal the third fastest junior women’s performance of all-time, and Gardner now owns the Pac-10 meet record, previously held by Olympic champion Gail Devers.

Gardner admits that she was not trying to run a personal best or break any records when she stepped onto the track. “I didn’t imagine in a million years that I would win at Pac-10’s. I was just amazed that I won. Once I looked at the time on the scoreboard, I almost passed out.”

Gardner initially didn’t realize that she had set any records. When the meet record was announced in-stadium, Gardner was shocked to learn that she broke the record that previously belonged to Devers.

“When I was 13, I was at a Nike event at the Penn Relays, and Gail Devers taught me how to start out of the blocks,” Gardner said. “I thought it was cool that I’m now using that start to break her record.”

While Gardner isn’t sure what her goals are beyond the NCAA championships, she knows she wants to continue to turn heads on the track.

“I’m going to be around for a while, I hope I’m able to continue to put on a show for everyone. I’m excited for the years to come.”

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; 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; April 27, Nolan Shaheed; May 4, Emma Coburn; May 11, Willie Gault; May 18, English Gardner

From USATF Statistician Glen McMicken


The second weekend of May is traditionally the weekend for the bulk of major collegiate conference championships. Here's a look at some of the top U.S. performances:

Big Ten -- Iowa's men won their first league title since LBJ was president (1967) by only 2 1/2 points over Minnesota. Purdue's Shane Crawford knocked almost two-tenths off his previous 100m PR to win in 10.18, with four others under 10.25, while 2010 World Junior runner-up Casimir Loxsom of Penn State won the 800m in 1:47.70.

Ohio State took home the women's team trophy, led by a sweep of the medals in the 100m by Christina Manning, Madison McNary and Chesna Sykes, and a 1-2 finish in the 100m hurdles by Manning (12.86) and Letecia Wright (12.94).

Big 12 -- Texas A&M swept the team titles, but it was Mookie Salaam of Oklahoma who stole the show in the men's 200m, zipping to a U.S.-leading 20.05. USA Indoor 60m hurdle champ Omo Osaghae of Texas Tech added another sterling 110m hurdle race to his CV with a PR 13.23.

Chantae McMillan of Nebraska moved to ninth on the American Collegiate all-time list with her U.S.-leading 5,951 heptathlon win, and A&M's Jeneba Tarmoh used a PR 22.46 to take over the collegiate lead in the 200m. Kansas freshman Diamond Dixon moved closer to the all-time American Junior top 10 in the 400m with her 51.55 winner.

Big West -- Robin Martin of UC-Santa Barbara and Charles Jock of UC-Irvine staged an epic battle in the men's 800m, with Martin taking a 1:45.34-1:45.40 win in one of the fastest conference championship races in several years. Long Beach State's Tyler Wallace added more than 20 cm to his pole vault PR to clear 5.50/18-0.5.

Conference USA -- Aiesha Goggins of East Carolina continued the tradition of top-notch 400m runners at the Greenville school, dropping her PR by more than a full second to 51.94.

IC4A -- Better known as a future Olympic decathlon prospect, Curtis Beach helped his Duke men to the team title with a 7.40/24-3.5 win in the long jump.

Missouri Valley -- Illinois State's Tim Glover uncorked a monster winning toss in the javelin with a PR 78.88/258-9 to move to No. 10 on the all-time American Collegiate list.

Mountain West
-- BYU's men won their 12th straight, and final, MWC team title, while the Cougar women picked up their third. TCU's Charles Silmon, the 2010 World Junior 100m silver medalist and 400 relay gold medalist for Team USA, swept the dashes and anchored the Frogs to 4x100 victory.

Whitney Gipson of TCU moved into the American Collegiate lead in the long jump with her 6.61/21-8.25 leap.

Pac-10 -- Oregon swept the team titles. 2008 World Junior gold medalist Jeshua Anderson of Washington State clipped three-tenths off his PR with a nifty 48.13 400m hurdle win, his fourth straight conference title and the fifth-fastest collegiate time ever. UCLA's Alec Faldermeyer, a 2009 World Youth finalist for Team USA, climbed to No. 3 on the all-time U.S. junior hammer list with his 68.20/223-9 silver-medal effort. In the 400, Mike Berry of Oregon, a 2010 WJC 4x400 gold medalist, cracked the 45-second barrier with his 44.91, and behind him in third place, USC's Bryshon Nellum ran 45.56, his fastest time since 2007.

While Oregon's English Gardner was the story of the meet with her AJR in the 100m (see AOW story), Brigetta Barrett of Arizona upped her PR in the high jump to an American-leading 1.93/6-4. The hurdles saw Nia Ali of USC lower her 100m hurdles PR to 12.77, a collegiate leader, and Turquoise Thompson of UCLA won the 400m hurdles in a PR 55.84. Washington State's Marissa Tschida took the collegiate lead in the javelin out to 56.02/183-9.

SEC -- Kevin Lazas of Arkansas, who finished 14th at the 2010 World Juniors, claimed the American Junior Record in the decathlon with his 7,703 points, breaking the old mark of 7,638 set by BYU's Keith Robinson in 1983. His victory helped the Hogs claim the men's team title. Florida's Will Claye stamped his claim as the next great U.S. jumper with a LJ/TJ double that saw him span 8.29m/27-2.5 and 17.24m/56-6.75w. Teammate Christian Taylor, the 2007 World Youth gold medalist, was second at 17.15m/56-3.25.

LSU won the women's team race, and Kimberlyn Duncan had another rapid and windy 200 win, this time in 22.27w. 2007 World Youth fourth-placer Jasmin Stowers of LSU trimmed almost three-tenths off her 100m hurdle PR with a 12.88, while Tennessee's Ellen Wortham grabbed the collegiate lead in the 400m hurdles at 55.70, almost a full second better than her previous PR.

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