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White sprints away with USATF Athlete of Week after NACAC U-23 Championships

INDIANAPOLIS -- Cierra White has won USATF’s Athlete of the Week after her triple gold-medal performance at the NACAC Under-23 Championships on the campus of Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C., Canada, August 8-10. 
White (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), a senior at Texas Tech, had a gold-filled weekend. She blasted off to an 11.32 finish in the women’s 100 meters Friday, ran the opening leg on the first place 4x100m relay team (43.89) Saturday, and she closed out the weekend Sunday, flying out of the curve en route to a 23.05 victory in the 200m.
“I was really nervous going in to the race, so as I was at the line, I was just thinking, ‘C’mon Cierra, you can do it,’ ” White said. “ ‘You’ve been training for this. Just get out hard and do what your coach told you to do, and you’ll come out pretty good.’ I think I executed the race well, and I finished all the way to the line. I’m really proud of myself. I’m really excited. This is my first time here. It’s actually my first time making an international team, so it feels really good.”
White finished eighth overall and second among collegians in the 200m at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Sacramento earlier this June. The Red Raider sprinter also finished eighth in the event at NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, where she also received First-Team All-American honors in the event and Second-Team honors in 4x100m relay.
Other notable athletes include:
  • Sandi Morris (Greenville, South Carolina) of Arkansas broke the NACAC U-23 record in the women’s pole vault en route to a gold medal, clearing 4.40m/14-5.25 this weekend. She beat her next closest competitor by almost two feet (3.80m/12-5.50).

  • Rodney Brown (Chappell Hill, Texas) of LSU set a NACAC U-23 meet record in the men’s discus with his toss of 63.34m/207-10, breaking the previous record by over three feet. Brown was the only competitor to throw over 196 feet, out-throwing the next closest competitor by almost 20 feet.

  • Shelby Houlihan (Sioux City, Iowa) of Arizona State also won gold and set a NACAC U-23 meet record in the women’s 800m, finishing in swift 2:03.00. Houlihan was in second place heading into the bell lap when she made her move on the back stretch catching up to Canada’s Rachel Francois. It was a photo-finish as Houlihan earned the edge, winning by just .18 seconds and breaking the record by .17 seconds.

  • Maria Michta (Nesconset, New York) walked 12,210m at the 2014 USATF National One Hour Race Walk Championships in Gloucester, Massachusetts, winning by more than 400m. 
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; May 28, Brenda Martinez; June 2, Galen Rupp; June 9, Tori Bowie; June 16, Trayvon Bromell; June 23, Charles Austin; June 30, Devon Allen, July 7, Kaylin Whitney; July 14, Emma Coburn; July 21, Florence Meiler; July 28, Kaylin Whitney; August 4, Ed Burke; August 11, Cierra White.
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
Tyler Stevenson
Communications Intern

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