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Olympian Emma Coburn wins USATF Athlete of the Week honors

INDIANAPOLIS -- Olympic steeplechaser Emma Coburn earns USATF Athlete of the Week after her first-place performance at the Shanghai Diamond League meet, May 18.

Coburn (Crested Butte, Colorado) ran the 3000-meter steeplechase in a world-leading 9:19:80, making her the second-fastest American woman in that event as she finished almost six seconds ahead of the next closest competitor. The Shanghai steeplechase field included all three 2013 World Championships medalists, and the event marked Coburn’s first Diamond League win of her career. 

“It was exciting, said Coburn. “I did not think that was going to be the outcome of the race. I knew I was in good enough shape to run as well as I did, so I wasn’t surprised about the time. I just didn’t think I would finish alone.”

Coburn took first place at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials  - Track & Field and went on to place 9th at the London 2012 Olympic Games. She was also a two-time NCAA Outdoor Champion while at the University of Colorado (2011 and 2013) and a two-time USA Outdoor Champion (2012 and 2013).

Other top performances this week include Courtney Okolo (Carrollton,Texas), who set a collegiate record of 50.03 to win the 400m at the Big 12 Championships in Lubbock, Texas. LaShawn Merritt (Portsmouth, Va.) ran a world-leading 44.14 in the 400m to win at the Ponce Grand Prix in Puerto Rico, and Trayvon Bromell (St. Petersburg, Fla.) had a wind aided 9.77 (+4.2) in the 100m, earning the third fastest time in NCAA history regardless of wind conditions. In Lexington, Olivia Ekponé (Germantown, Maryland) won the 100 (+1.3) and 200m (-0.8) and ran a 49.9 anchor leg for Texas A&M, winning the 4x400 at the SEC Championships. Her 22.23 in the 200m is a world-leading time for 2014 and ties her as the third-fastest woman in collegiate 200m history.

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; May 21, Emma Coburn.

USA Track & Field is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched  events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit

Amber Brooks
Internet Publishing Coordinator

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