INDIANAPOLIS - Bridget Franek (Eugene, Ore.) has been named USA Track & Field's Athlete of the Week after setting a 2,000m steeplechase American record of 6:19.09 at the Oregon Preview meet in Eugene on Saturday.
Franek's time eclipsed the previous American mark of 6:20.66 set by Carrie Messner in 2007.
"The announcement was made of the loudspeaker that it was an American record,and it was hard to believe," said Franek. "It was hard to absorb and appreciate in the moment."
Franek finished first in the event while replacing her old personal best by 19 seconds. No other competitor was close as she crossed the line a full 1:03 ahead of the second place finisher.
"I felt good about opening up the season with that fast of time," said Franek. "I expected this type of result because it was the first event of the season."
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 www.usatf.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2013 Winners: January 9, Bobby Mack; January 16, Mary Cain; January 22, Aje Wilson; January 30, Duane Solomon; February 6, Chris Derrick; February 13, Jeremy Taiwo; February 20, Alysia Montao; February 27, Galen Rupp; March 6, Jenn Suhr; March 13, Tia Brooks; March 20, Bridget Franek
WEEK IN REVIEW - MARCH 11-17
From USATF Statistician Glen McMicken
EATON UPS JAV PR, ALSO SPEEDY IN HURDLES
World record holder and Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton chose San Luis Obispo to open his 2013 campaign, and he collected a PR in the javelin at the Cal Poly meet with a toss of 66.64m/218-8. Eaton also won a windy 110m hurdles in 13.76 and reportedly split 46.3 on the winning 4x400m.
OT CHAMP HUMPHREYS OPENS LONG
Texas A&M's Sam Humphreys, the surprise javelin winner at the Olympic Trials last year, had his second-best throw ever to kick off the outdoor season at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe. Humphreys had four throws over 80 meters, with his winning toss of 81.40m/267-1 coming in the second round.