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Sonja Friend-Uhl’s record mile earns her USATF Athlete of the Week


Sonja Friend-Uhl (Boca Raton, Florida) became the oldest American woman to break five minutes in the indoor mile to earn USATF Athlete of the Week.


Friend-Uhl, a 2000 Olympic Trials qualifier in the 1500m who will turn 47 in March, clocked 4:59.99 at the KMS Invitational at Birmingham’s Crossplex on Jan. 28 to break the listed W45-49 American record of 5:04.02, set by Alisa Harvey in 2011. For good measure, she also ran 62.39 for 400m at the meet.

Other notable performances:

  • Lynna Irby — A freshman at Georgia, Irby ran world-leading times in the 200 (22.96) and 400 (51.48) at the Razorback Invitational in Arkansas.

  • Karissa Schweizer — Schweizer, a Missouri senior, ran the third-fastest collegiate women’s indoor 1500m (4:10.68) ever en route to the fourth-fastest collegiate women’s indoor mile ever (4:27.54) at the Dr. Sander Invitational at New York’s Armory.

  • Shadrack Kipchirchir — 2017 World Championships 10,000m ninth-placer Kirpchirchir won the mile and 3,000m at the Thomas Terrier Classic in Boston in U.S.-leading times of 3:55.52 and 7:42.71.

  • Jordan Geist — Still only 19, Geist became the No. 7 all-time collegian in the indoor shot put with his 21.45m/70-4.5 bomb at the Washington Invitational. He is also the youngest man to throw 70-feet with the 16-pound implement.

  • Rodney Atherton — Atherton broke the American masters M60 record in the heptathlon with a score of 5,519 points at the USATF Indoor Masters Heptathlon Championships in Kenosha.

Now in its 17th 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.

2018 Winners: January 4, Brian Herron; January 11, Katelyn Tuohy; January 18, Molly Huddle; January 25, Christian Coleman; February 1, Sonja Friend-Uhl.

We welcome your nominations!

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

Fans can follow along with #USATF on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

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