INDIANAPOLIS - Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.) has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after leading Team USA to a third place finish at the Chiba International Ekiden in Chiba, Japan, on Nov. 23.
Rupp, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 10,000m, ran the fifth leg of the relay and covered the 10 km distance in 28:20. Rupp’s time was the fastest of the stage by 26 seconds and the fastest 10 km split of the day. Rupp was able to close the gap on the leaders from Kenya and Japan by nearly a minute.
"We were a little behind when I got the baton," Rupp said. "I tried to go out at a pretty hard pace and see what happened. I wanted to make up as much ground as possible and put our anchor leg in a really good position."
Rupp led the way for the best Team USA finish at the Chiba Ekiden in the coed relay format. Team USA finished third behind first place Kenya and second place Japan.
"It was definitely a different race than what I'm used to," Rupp said. "But it is always fun when you do a realy and you get close with your teammates and you're all working for a common goal."
Now in its 11th 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 www.usatf.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2012 Winners: January 5, Landon Peacock; January 11, Kirubel Erassa; January 18, Shalane Flanagan; January 26, John Nunn; February 1, Gunnar Nixon; February 8, Jenn Suhr; February 14, Jillian-Camarena Williams; February 22, Brycen Spratling; February 28, Chaunte Lowe; March 7, Eric Broadbent; March 14, Ashton Eaton; March 21, Jeanne Daprano; March 27, Wallace Spearmon; April 3, Trevor Barron; April 9, Kevin Castille; April 18, Brittney Reese; April 25, Amy Sproston; May 2, Leo Manzano; May 9, Stephanie Brown-Trafton; May 16, Allyson Felix; May 23, Nick Hartle; May 30, Kimberlyn Duncan; June 6, Jessica Cosby and Meghan Vogel; June 13, Jesse Williams; June 20, Shelby Ashe; June 27, Ashton Eaton; July 4, Allyson Felix; July 12, Christian Cantwell; July 18, Gunnar Nixon; July 25 Evan Jager; August 1, Denzel Harper; August 15, Allyson Felix; August 23, Reese Hoffa; August 29, Carmelita Jeter; September 5, Matt Tegenkamp; September 12, Aries Merritt; September 19, Ben True; September 26, Willie Banks; October 3, Jan Holmquist; October 10, Dathan Ritzenhein; October 17, Alana Hadley; October 22, Sarah Baxter; October 31, Laura Hollander; November 7, Cody Moat; November 14, Neely Spence; November 21,Christy Cazzola; November 28, Galen Rupp