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Harrison Named USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS - Queen Harrison (Clemson, S.C.) has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after defeating a loaded field in the women’s 100-meter hurdles at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday.Photo of Queen Harrison

Harrison crossed the finish line in 12.71 seconds to record the fastest time in the world this year. Harrison beat a star-studded field that included 2008 Olympic Gold medalist and 2012 Olympic Silver medalist Dawn Harper, 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist Kellie Wells and American indoor record holder and hometown favorite Lolo Jones.

“It felt great to win. I’m in the early stages of training and really trying to work on my start,” Harrison said. “I started a little bit behind, but I was confident in my training and was able to make a surge for the win.”

Harrison led the field to a fast finish that produced the four fastest times, and seven of the top-ten times in the world this year.

“In America, the 100m hurdles are clearly the deepest event. Depending on the year it can be anybody’s event,” Harrison said. “I’m not so surprised that we had the top four times in the world because when you have a field like that, everyone is going to be competitive and produce quick times.”

Now in its 12th 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 Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.

2013 Winners: January 9, Bobby Mack; January 16, Mary Cain; January 22, Ajeé Wilson; January 30, Duane Solomon; February 6, Chris Derrick; February 13, Jeremy Taiwo; February 20, Alysia Montaño; February 27, Galen Rupp; March 6, Jenn Suhr; March 13, Tia Brooks; March 20, Bridget Franek; March 27, Ben True; April 3, Darvis “Doc” Patton; April 10, Octavious Freeman; April 24, Erik Kynard; May 1, Queen Harrison

Week in Review
From USATF Statistician Glen McMicken

In addition to Harrison’s Athlete of the Week performance, numerous athletes recorded world-leading times at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

American steeplechase record-holder Jenny Simpson showed she is returning to the form that saw her win World gold in the 1500 in 2011, clocking a WL 4:03.35 in a race that saw New York high school phenom Mary Cain drop the prep record to 4:10.77 to take sixth.

Olympic shot put bronze medalist Reese Hoffa popped an outdoor world-leading 21.71m/71-2.75 on his second throw to beat 2012 World Indoor champ Ryan Whiting, while '12 silver medalist Michael Tinsley jumped to the top of the world list in the 400H with his 48.55.

Reigning Olympic and World champion Brittney Reese rode a slightly over-the-limit breeze to a 6.94w/22-9.25 win over London bronze medalist Janay DeLoach-Soukup, who spanned 6.92m/22-8.5w. Triple jump gold medalist Christian Taylor used an abbreviated approach to leap 17.12m/56-2.

In the infrequently-contested 4x100m hurdle relay, Academy of Art from San Francisco ran 52.50 to equal the collegiate record with the seventh-fastest performance in world history.

Two London gold medalists and world record holders tumbled, with Aries Merritt finishing second in the 110H behind Jamaica's Andrew Riley, and Jenn Suhr losing to Cuban Yarisley Silva in the women's pole vault. 2011 World 110mH champ Jason Richardson fell victim to a false start.

Colorado's Emma Coburn, a World and Olympic finalist the past two seasons, turned in a world-leading 9:28.26 in the women's 3000SC, but it was runner-up Jamie Cheever who almost stole the spotlight. A former Minnesota star, Cheever shattered her PR with a 9:29.13 effort that chopped more than 22 seconds off her previous best and moved her to fifth on the U.S. all-time list.

Continuing on the tear that started with his sixth-place finish at the World Cross Country Championships in March, Ben True clipped more than six seconds off his PR with an outdoor WL in the 5000, winning in 13:14.44. The biggest revelation in that race, though, may have been Northeastern's Eric Jenkins. DQ'ed in the 3000 at the NCAA indoor championships after a stellar effort, Jenkins used the ideal conditions in Palo Alto to clock 13:18.57, a massive PR and the No. 10 collegiate time ever.

Finishing third in her section of the 1500, Colorado high school star Elise Cranny moved to third on the prep all-time list with a 4:15.07 that also puts her No. 8 on the U.S. junior all-time list.

2012 Olympian Gia Lewis-Smallwood notched a U.S.-leading 63.26m/207-6 to win the discus at the UCSD Triton Invitational at La Jolla, Calif., and Jeneva McCall added 2.6 meters to her hammer PR with a 72.15m/236-8 toss.

Two collegiate dual meet records fell and another was tied at the Arizona-Arizona State-Northern Arizona meet in Tempe. Olympian Georganne Moline of Arizona lopped almost half-a-second off her own record of 55.37 with a 54.94 to take the 400mH, and hammer thrower Chelsea Cassulo of Arizona State hit 69.52m/228-1 to add more than a foot to the previous standard.

London high jump silver medalist Brigetta Barrett tied the mark of 1.94m/6-4.25 set in 1995 by Amy Acuff of UCLA.

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