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Taiwo Named USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS - Jeremy Taiwo of the University of Washington (Renton, Wash.) has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after setting the heptathlon world record in the high jump of 2.25m/7-4.5 en route to his 6,156 point performance at the Boise State Team Classic on Saturday.

Setting personal bests in five of the seven events, Taiwo’s marks are as follows: 60m (7.02); LJ (7.42m/24-4.25); SP (14.18m/46-06.25); HJ (2.25m/7-4.5 ); 60mH (8.08); PV (4.25m/13-11.25); 1000m (2:34.44).

Taiwo’s mark is the fifth-best in NCAA history, and puts him as the third-best NCAA performer only behind Olympic gold and silver medalists Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee. The score is also the current world leading mark, facility record and school record.

Taiwo did not compete for 19 months after the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships. At that event he managed to finish 15th in the decathlon, in spite of competing with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Since then he underwent Tommy John surgery and has made a full recovery.

“It is honestly the biggest 180 ever,” Taiwo said. “When I was going through everything last year, I was just telling myself that everything happens for a reason, and a tried to stay positive.”

Success runs in the Taiwo family. Jeremy’s father Joseph was a two-time Olympian competing for Nigeria at the 1984 and 1988 games where he placed ninth in the triple jump both times.

“I’ve always believed that I was capable of being a great athlete if I could just stay healthy,” Taiwo said.

Now in its 12th 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.

2013 Winners: January 9, Bobby Mack; January 16, Mary Cain; January 22, AjeƩ Wilson; January 30, Duane Solomon; February 6, Chris Derrick; February 13, Jeremy Taiwo

from USATF Statistician Glen McMicken

Year in and year out the Tyson Invitational at Arkansas yields stellar marks in the sprints, and this year the 200m saw UCF's Aurieyall Scott romp to a world-leading 22.68 to move to No. 8 on the U.S. all-time list. Wallace Spearmon took over the American lead in the men's race with a 20.71.

Florida State freshman Marvin Bracy rocketed to a 6.54 to win the 60m, and Vernon Norwood of South Plains claimed the U.S. lead in the 400m with a 46.02 clocking. Kansas jump star Andrea Geubelle bounded 13.91m/45-7.75 to win the TJ, putting her 7th on the all-time U.S. list.

Omo Osaghae and Kevin Craddock lowered the world lead in the men's 60m hurdles twice at Dusseldorf, Germany. on Feb. 8, with former Texas Tech star Osaghae notching a 7.53 in the prelims and Craddock slicing that to 7.50 in the final. Osaghae did set a PR of 7.52 in taking second.

2012 5,000m Olympian Lopez Lomong showed some speed at the Washington Husky Classic in Seattle Feb. 9, running a 1:46.53 800m that rates as the world's fastest on any size track this year.

Geena Gall and Florida's Cory McGee went 1-2 in the women's mile with Gall lowering her PR to 4:31.75 and McGee just behind at 4:32.10. Olympic champ Brittney Reese won the long jump with a 6.55m/21-6 leap.

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