INDIANAPOLIS - Fifteen-year-old Alana Hadley has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after winning the Queens Royals Challenge 5 km Friday at the McAlpine Greenway Park in Charlotte, N.C.
The high school sophomore bested a field of 217 runners, nearly all of them collegiate athletes. Teams competing in the meet included Florida State, Duke, Davidson and Elon. Hadley led the race from the 800-meter mark and never looked back as she won in a time of 17:16.74.
“I could hear people behind me, and I focused on staying ahead of them,” Hadley said. “I didn’t want anyone to pass me, and it helped me out in the end because I was constantly pushing because I didn’t know how much of a lead I had.”
Hadley is coached by her father, and she hopes to one day be a professional marathon runner.
“When I found out about the award I was ecstatic,” Hadley said of being named Athlete of the Week. “When I found out that it was Dathan Ritzenhein last week, I was so surprised that it went from this elite runner to a high school sophomore.”
Now in its 11th 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; January 18, Shalane Flanagan; January 26, John Nunn; February 1, Gunnar Nixon; February 8, Jenn Suhr; February 14, Jillian-Camarena Williams; February 22, Brycen Spratling; February 28, Chaunte Lowe; March 7, Eric Broadbent; March 14, Ashton Eaton; March 21, Jeanne Daprano; March 27, Wallace Spearmon; April 3, Trevor Barron; April 9, Kevin Castille; April 18, Brittney Reese; April 25, Amy Sproston; May 2, Leo Manzano; May 9, Stephanie Brown-Trafton; May 16, Allyson Felix; May 23, Nick Hartle; May 30, Kimberlyn Duncan; June 6, Jessica Cosby and Meghan Vogel; June 13, Jesse Williams; June 20, Shelby Ashe; June 27, Ashton Eaton; July 4, Allyson Felix; July 12, Christian Cantwell; July 18, Gunnar Nixon; July 25 Evan Jager; August 1, Denzel Harper; August 15, Allyson Felix; August 23, Reese Hoffa; August 29, Carmelita Jeter; September 5, Matt Tegenkamp; September 12, Aries Merritt; September 19, Ben True; September 26, Willie Banks; October 3, Jan Holmquist; October 10, Dathan Ritzenhein; October 17, Alana Hadley