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High Jumper Erik Kynard named Athlete of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS -- Olympic high jumper Erik Kynard earns USATF Athlete of the Week after matching a personal best for the silver medal at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha, Qatar, May 9.

Kynard (Toledo, Ohio), who was up against several of the same competitors from the London 2012 Olympic Games, equalled his top performance when he cleared 2.37m/7-9.25 on the first attempt. He nearly cleared 2.39m/7-10 on his third attempt, but skimmed the bar for a second place finish.

“I knew it was going to be a tough competition,” said Kynard. “It was great to match my personal best, but the goal is always to come out on top.”

Kynard was one of four men to clear 2.37m/7-9.25 Saturday, the first time at a single meet where four men have reached that height.

A London 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the event, Kynard also holds both the 2014 USA Indoors and 2013 USA Outdoors titles. He next competes June 5 at the Diamond League meet in Rome.

Other top performances from the week include Kellyn Johnson Taylor (Flagstaff, Ariz.), who won the USA 25 km Championships in Grand Rapids, Mich., with her time of 1:25:25 and Christo Landry (Ann Arbor, Mich.), the men’s 25 km champion, who tied the American Record, winning in 1:14:18. In Doha, LaShawn Merritt equaled his world-leading, season best in the 400m with a 44.44 win at the Doha Diamond League meet, and World Indoor champion Chanelle Price (Easton, Pa.) lowered her 800m PR to a U.S.-leading 1:59.75 for second place.  Ky Westbrook (Chandler, Ariz.), the 2013 World Youth 100m champion, won four state of Arizona high school titles, including the 100m, 200m, 100mH and shot put as he led Chandler to the team title.

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 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.

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