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Merritt named Athlete of the Week

4/6/2011
 
INDIANAPOLIS - Aries Merritt (Knoxville, Tenn.) has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after he ran a world leading time of 13.36 in the 110m hurdles at the Razorback Spring Invitational at the University of Arkansas on Saturday.

Merritt raced against a field of top collegians and finished more than a second faster than his nearest competitor to bring home the win, setting a meet record in the process.

“The race felt pretty easy,” Merritt said. “It was good to shake off the rust and get ready for the rest of my outdoor season.”

Merritt suffered a stress fracture in his ankle during the 2010 season, but with three world leading marks set in 2011 to-date, he has firmly reestablished his place as one of the world’s top hurdlers.

“It gave me confidence, because even though I was injured last year, I was able to see that I didn’t lose much speed,” Merritt said. “I think I can run well. God willing, I’ll be injury free.”

Now in its tenth 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 the USATF website. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.

Winners: January 5, Bill Tribou; January 12, Tyler Sorensen; January 20, Josh Cox; January 26,Ben Shorey; February 2, Ashton Eaton; February 9, Ashton Eaton; February 16, Bernard Lagat; February 23, Ryan Crouser; March 2, Jillian Camarena-Williams; March 10, Bill Collins; March 16, Miles Batty; March 23, Shalane Flanagan; March 30, John Nunn; April 6, Aries Merritt

WEEK IN REVIEW -- MARCH 28 - APRIL 3
From USATF Statistician Glen McMicken

TEAM USA STARS COME OUT TO PLAY AT FLORIDA RELAYS

Two of Team USA's brightest young one-lap hopes raced to world-leading individual efforts and contributed to some rapid relaying at the Pepsi Florida Relays in Gainesville. Former Hampton ace Francena McCorory, runner-up at the US Outdoor Championships last year, rolled to a 50.50 in the 400m, while many-time relay gold medalist Natasha Hastings won the 200m in 22.77.

Hastings teamed up with Lauryn Williams, Bianca Knight and Marshevet Myers to take the 4x100 in 42.75, also a world leader, and ran on the winning 4x200m that set a WL at 1:31.02. She polished off a busy weekend with a leg on the victorious 4x400m at 3:29.67.

Bershawn "Batman" Jackson
, bronze medalist in the 400m hurdles at the last two major international championships, anchored the GW Express to a world-leading 3:00.80 in the 4x400m to highlight the men's relay action, and Florida State's Maurice Mitchell notched a world leader in the 200m with a 20.36.

North Carolina freshman Isaac Presson, who is still eligible for junior competition, anchored the Tar Heels' sprint medley to a 3:18.25 WL and also dramatically lowered his personal best in the 1500m with a 3:42.59 winner.

SPEED TO SPARE ON HOT NEW LSU TRACK

Bernie Moore Stadium at LSU has a storied history as host to many of the nation's best meets, and after a major resurfacing project the track appears to be as fast as ever. The host Tigers got a world-leading women's 200m from Kimberlyn Duncan, who sped to a 22.76, and 2009 World Youth 100 champion Prezel Hardy of Texas A&M dropped his century PR to a 10.21 to equal the US leaders. The Aggies put on one of the best 4x400m shows of depth by any school in NCAA history, with their men's "A" team clocking 3:02.21 to win and the "B" team turning in a 3:04.69 in third place.

LUBBOCK OFFERS UP TWO U.S. DISCUS LEADERS, QUICK HURDLES

Jason Young and Becky Breisch enjoyed the friendly winds at Lubbock, recording the top U.S. men's and women's performances of the year in the discus. Young won with a toss of 61.99 meters/203-4, and Breisch took top honors with a 63.33m/207-9 effort. Texas Tech's Omo Osaghae, a surprise winner in the 60m hurdles at the U.S. Indoor Championships, rode a barely-illegal (+2.2 mps) wind to a 13.29w victory in the 110m hurdles, the fastest time in the world this year in any conditions.

U.S. LEADERS ROUNDUP

Other American-leading marks from the past week included a 56.62 PR in the 400m hurdles by Tennessee's Ellen Wortham in a dual meet with UCLA, and a 49.33 in the men's 400m hurdles Washington State's Jeshua Anderson at the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson. Alicia DeShasier topped the women's javelin list with her 55.03m/180-6 at the Florida Relays.

At Auburn's Tiger Classic, the hosts went 1-2 in the men's 100 with Keenan Brock and Harry Adams sharing the U.S. lead at 10.21.

EATON CONTINUES BUILDING TO BIG 10-EVENTER

More PRs were on the menu for Ashton Eaton at the Cal Poly Invitational, including a 14.74m/48-4.5 in the shot put and a 57.23m/187-9 in the javelin. Eaton added a win in the high jump with a clearance at 2.03m/6-8.




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