INDIANAPOLIS -- Ending the season on a high note, Gwen Berry
peaked right on time when she won a gold medal for Team USA at the Pan American Sports Festival last weekend to capture USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week honors.
Berry (St. Louis, Missouri) took home the gold in the women’s hammer throw, turning in a season’s best 72.04m/236-4 on her last throw of the first flight. Berry sat in second after the first two rounds but moved to the top of the leaderboard with her third attempt to close out the preliminary throws. Berry held her lead throughout the rest of the competition, winning by more than seven feet.
As a collegian at Southern Illinois, the Pan American Sports Festival gold medalist qualified for her first national team in 2010, when she represented Team USA at the NACAC Under-23 Championships in Miramar, Fla. Berry is also a two-time USATF Indoor Champion in the women’s weight throw.
Other notable performances of the week are as follows:
Nick Ross (Oceanside, California) was strong in the men’s high jump at the Pan American Sports Festival, edging Jamal Wilson from the Bahamas for the win last weekend. Ross cleared 2.26m/7-5 before winning the jump-off to take high jump gold in the event. Ross, just 23 and a seven-time All-American at Arizona, was one of the youngest competitors in the event.
Jordan Clarke (Anchorage, Alaska), also competed at the Pan American Sports Festival, where he nabbed the top podium spot in the men’s shot put, registering a mark of 20.57m/67-6 on his final attempt of the day. Clarke had already taken the lead in the event on his third throw and improved his mark again before his final toss of the day.
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; January 29, Galen Rupp; February 5, Alexa Efraimson; February 12, Mike Rutt; Feb. 19, Bernard Lagat; Feb. 26,Sharon Day-Monroe; March 3, David Torrence; March 13, Francena McCorory; March 19, Irene Obera; March 26, Duane Solomon; April 2, Maria Michta; April 7, Noah Lyles; April 14, Kendell Williams; April 21, Meb Keflezighi; April 28, Kristi Castlin; May 7, Maria Michta; May 14, Erik Kynard; May 21, Emma Coburn; May 28, Brenda Martinez; June 2, Galen Rupp; June 9, Tori Bowie; June 16, Trayvon Bromell; June 23, Charles Austin; June 30, Devon Allen, July 7, Kaylin Whitney; July 14, Emma Coburn; July 21, Florence Meiler; July 28, Kaylin Whitney; August 4, Ed Burke; August 11, Cierra White. Aug. 21, Gwen Berry.
USA Track & Field 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 No. 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 http://www.usatf.org/