INDIANAPOLIS - Jesse Williams has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after winning the high jump and establishing a meet record over the weekend at the adidas Grand Prix in New York.
Williams’ jump of 2.36m/7-8.75 is the second highest jump in the world this year and puts him first in the Diamond League standings. The reigning World Outdoor champion and Jesse Owens Award winner, Williams beat Robbie Grabarz of Great Britain after jumping the same height. Williams was one of four high jumpers to better the meet record, which included American Jamie Nieto who placed fourth and reached the Olympic “A” standard for the first time this year.
“I’ve been in good shape for this entire outdoor season,” said Williams. “I finally just rhythmically found my run up and I jumped high because of that and I wanted to do that before the Trials. Winning a competition like the (adidas) Grand Prix was awesome, but what it comes down to this year is the Trials are more important to place top three because the ultimate goal for me is to win the Olympic Games.”
Looking to make his second Olympic team, Williams will carry the top mark in the U.S. into the Olympic Trials - Track & Field, scheduled for June 21-July 1 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
“When you go into the Trials with the leading mark this year, and I won the World Championships last year, I’m going to be the favorite and I like being in that position,” Williams said. “It makes me work harder and determined not to get taken out. I’m going to do everything I can to win and to show I am the # 1 jumper and I am excited about that.”
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.