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Joe Gray wins XTERRA Trail Run World Championships, clinches USATF Athlete of the Week honors


INDIANAPOLIS -- For the second time this year, Joe Gray (Colorado Springs, Colorado) collected top honors at a world championship event, this time for winning the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championships at Kualoa Ranch in Oahu, Hawaii on December 4.


Gray quickly took off from the start, followed closely by reigning champion Patrick Smyth (Salt Lake City, Utah) who ran off-course twice and was ultimately disqualified around the sixth mile. Gray maintained his lead throughout the half marathon course to finish six minutes ahead of second place in 1:17:15.


Earlier in September, Gray’s top podium finish led the Team USA men to gold at the World Mountain Running Championships in Sapareva Banya, Bulgaria.


Other notable performances:

  • Patrick Reagan (Savannah, Georgia) was third in the IAU World 100K Championships in Los Alcazares, Spain. Reagan finished in 6:35:42.

  • Polina Carlson (Kailua, Hawaii) was the highest-finishing female at the XTERRA Trail Running World Championships, finishing in 1:38:06.

  • Chris Derrick (Naperville, Illinois) ran 27:38.69 to place third in the 10,000m at Hachioji, Japan.

  • Brie Oakley (Centennial, Colorado) clinched the Nike Cross Nationals title in the girls’ 5K with a time of 17:10.1


Now in its 15th 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. This is the last week of honors for 2016.


2016 Winners: January 13, Garrett Heath; January 20, Donavan Brazier; January 27, Keni Harrison; February 3, Jenn Suhr; February 10, Vashti Cunningham; February 17, Galen Rupp; February 24, John Nunn; March 2, Curtis Beach; March 11, Bill Collins; March 16, Da’mira Allen; March 24, Michelle Carter; March 31, Janet Bawcom; April 8, Maria Michta-Coffey; April 14, Keni Harrison; April 22, LaShawn Merritt; April 28, Courtney Okolo; May 6, Ida Keeling; May 12, Willie Gault; May 18, Marquise Goodwin; June 2, Keni Harrison; June 9, Tia Brooks; June 16, Donavan Brazier; June 23, Sydney McLaughlin; June 30, Tia Jones; July 7, Allyson Felix; July 15, Bernard Lagat; July 22, Allen Woodard; July 29, Keni Harrison; August 5, Chantae McMillan; August 11, Myrle Mensey; August 20, Michelle Carter; August 26, Matt Centrowitz; September 1, Megan Roche; September 8, Christian Taylor; September 14, Joe Gray; September 21, Jenny Hoffman; September 30, Jeff Henderson; October 5, Libby James; October 13, Brian Pilcher; October 20, Andy Wacker; October 27, Pete Kostelnick; November 3, Libby James; November 11, Molly Huddle; November 17, Tony Migliozzi; November 23, Karissa Schweizer; November 30 (Thanksgiving)/December 7, Joe Gray.


We welcome your nominations!

To nominate an athlete for USATF Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about his/her performance to

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