Deena Kastor earns USATF Athlete of the Week honors
Provided by USATF
INDIANAPOLIS -- Deena Kastor wins USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week after a record-breaking performance at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Philadelphia on September 21.
Kastor (Mammoth Lakes, California) turned in a podium finish Sunday, finishing third in 1:09:36, good for a 20-second improvement over the previous world record set in 2008 by Russia’s Irina Permitina. Not only did Kastor set three more Masters world records at 15K (49:03), 10 miles (52:41) and 20K (1:05:52), but also broke her own American Masters half-marathon record of 1:11:38.
Kastor admitted she was focused on setting the record, monitoring her progress during the race. “I went back and forth — I’ve got it, I don’t have it,” she told Philly.com. “I went through that mental battle — should I give up? Should I dig deeper? But you don’t get that many chances, so I went for it.”
The 2004 Olympic bronze medalist, who is also a USATF Board Member, holds six U.S. road racing records and has turned in eight top-10 finishes at major marathons, including wins in London and Chicago.
Other notable performances this week include:
Molly Huddle (Providence, Rhode Island) won her third straight USATF 5 km national title, as she pulled away in the late stages of Sunday’s race for a 15:10.0 victory in front of her hometown crowd. With the win, Huddle earned 15 points in the USARC standings and is now just two points out of the lead with her 45 points.
Diego Estrada (Flagstaff, Arizona) won the men’s USATF 5 km title with his finish in 13:56.4, earning the first national title of his career.
Megan Roche (Mountain View, California) set a new USATF 50 km Trail Championships record with her time of 4:11:28, shaving more than 10 minutes off the previous record set in 2012.
Tim Tollefson (Mammoth Lakes, California) won the men’s title at the USATF 50 km Trail Championships in a course record 3:24:04. Tollefson broke away from the field just six miles into the race and never looked back.
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 www.usatf.org. 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; February 19, Bernard Lagat; February 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; August 21, Gwen Berry; August 27, Myles Marshall; September 3, Gia Lewis Smallwood; September 10, Justin Gatlin; September 17, Dawn Harper-Nelson; September 24, Deena Kastor.
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 http://www.usatf.org/.
Clayton M. Crumell