INDIANAPOLIS - Amy Sproston has been named USA Track & Field’s athlete of the week after winning the IAU 100 km World Championships in 7:34:08 on April 22 in Seregno, Italy.
© Raymond Pretat
Sproston won the 100 km (62.137 mile) race by a margin of 1 minute and 15 seconds over Kaisa Berg of Sweden. Sproston led the way for Team USA to win the women’s team competition with a combined time of 22:59:03.
“Winning honestly never crossed my mind,” Sproston said. “I was hoping for top 10 and maybe top five, but I never even considered I had a chance to win it, and I’m still a little shocked by it.”
Sproston got her start running track in junior high, and first got into ultra running in 2006 when she was introduced to the sport through the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club. She works full-time as a compliance officer with Mercy Corps.
Now in its eleventh 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
WEEK IN REVIEW - APRIL 16-22
From USATF Statistician Glen McMicken
MT. SAC BRINGS THE STARS OUT
Always a meet that floods stat lists with super early-season marks, the 2012 edition of the Mt. SAC Relays didn't disappoint. From a barely-windy 9.85 for Walter Dix to another 23-plus leap for Brittney Reese, many of the athletes who will likely populate Team USA in London made their mark.
Dix rode a 2.4 mps breeze to his sub-9.9 clocking, turning back Mike Rodgers, who wasrunner-up at 9.97. A slightly stronger gust pushed 2011 World Champion Jason Richardson to victory in the 110H at 13.20w.
Reese, the reigning indoor and outdoor World champ, spanned 7.12m/23-4.5 on her fourth attempt. She wasn't the only jumper to shine, though, as World Championships finalists Brigetta Barrett and Inika McPherson cleared 1.95/6-4.75 to go 1-2 in the high jump.
Distance races are often a highlight in Walnut, and Evan Jager's 8:26.14 3,000m steeplechase debut made the biggest splash. Jager, who ran the 5K for Team USA at the 2009 Worlds, met the Olympic B standard and showed he will be among the top contenders at the Trials.
American Record holder Molly Huddle notched an outdoor world leader in the women's 5K with her 15:15.91, but the biggest revelation in that race was Dartmouth's Abbey D'Agostino. The bronze medalist at the 2011 NCAA meet, D'Agostino knocked 17 seconds off her PR to take third in 15:23.35.
U.S.-leading outdoor times were turned in by Molly Beckwith in the 800 (2:00.34) and Mason Cathey in the steeple, where she clipped almost five seconds off her PR with a 9:48.67 in second. American Record holder and '11 WC bronze medalist Jill Camarena-Williams had four throws over 19m in the shot and won with a 19.80/64-11.5 toss.
2008 Trials champ Aarik Wilson recorded his best triple jump in four years with a 17.07/56-0, and Jeremy Wariner had the fastest 400 by an American this year with a 44.96 to place second. USC's Bryshon Nellum, the '05 World Youth bronze medalist, zipped to a PR 45.18 in third.
Two other collegians moved atop the NCAA outdoor lists in impressive fashion. Arizona's Georganne Moline lowered her 400H PR to 55.25 to win, while teammate Alyssa Hasslen was second in the shot at 18.35/60-2.5, an almost two-foot PR.
In the decathlon, held April 18-19 at Azusa Pacific, Arkansas freshman Gunnar Nixon, the prep record holder, upped his decathlon PR to 7660 to move to No. 2 on the all-time U.S. Junior list.
SANYA'S SOLO BLAST AT WACO
World Indoor champ and '08 OG bronze medalist Sanya Richards-Ross needed little more than her own company to race to a world-leading 50.18 in the 400 at the Michael Johnson/Dr Pepper Classic.Richards-Ross was making her outdoor season debut in the one-lapper, and she finished more than three seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.
BATMAN, HOFFA WL'S AT KANSAS
Bershawn Jackson, the 2008 OG bronze medalist, dominated the 400H on the way to a world-leading 48.20 and Reese Hoffa wowed a downtown Lawrence crowd to win the shot with a world outdoor-leading 21.73/71-3.5 at the Kansas Relays. Hoffa needed every bit of that to beat '08 OG silver medalist Christian Cantwell, who was second at 21.71/71-2.75.
SHORT HURDLES SIZZLERS FOR OLIVER, MANNING IN FLORIDA
American Record holder and '08 OG bronze medalist David Oliver skimmed to a world-leading 13.17 in the 110H at the Tom Jones Memorial in Gainesville, where Ohio State's Christina Manning added a stellar wind-aided 12.57 100H, making her the third-fastest collegiate performer ever under any conditions.
World Indoor triple jump champ Will Claye had a U.S.-leading 8.25/27-0.75, his second-best leap ever, to win the long jump.
LOWE GOES HIGH, MOOKIE SUB-10 AT AUBURN
World Indoor champion Chaunte Lowe cleared a world outdoor-leading 2.00/6-6.75 to win the high jump at Auburn's War Eagle Invitational. Former Oklahoma sprint star Mookie Salaam dashed to the top of the U.S. 100 list with his 9.98, two places ahead of a fine 10.09 PR by Auburn's Keenan Brock, the '09 World Youth 200 bronze medalist.
GOLDEN SPRINT DOUBLE BY DUNCAN AT LSU
Last year's NCAA 100 runner-up and 200 champ Kimberlyn Duncan of LSU sprinted to a world-leading 11.05 in the short dash and a windy 22.55 in the deuce at the Alumni Gold meet in Baton Rouge.
VA TECH, CLEMSON TAKE ACC HONORS
Virginia Tech won the men's team title and Clemson dominated the women's standings at the ACC Championships in Charlottesville, Va. Nick Vena won the shot for the host Cavs, tossing the 16-pounder 19.51/64-0.25 to become the No. 7 all-time U.S. Junior performer.
Clemson won every women's sprint and hurdle event and added both relay titles on the way to a 185-100 win over Virginia.