Brazier breaks 50-year-old record to win USATF Athlete of the Week

Brazier breaks 50-year-old record to win USATF Athlete of the Week

Provided by USATF

INDIANAPOLIS -- Donavan Brazier wins USATF Athlete of the Week for the second time in 2016, besting Jim Ryun’s previous American junior record from 1966.

Brazier (Grand Rapids, Michigan), a freshman at Texas A&M, ran 1:43.55 to win his first NCAA Outdoor title. Brazier set a new American junior record and shattered a time that nearly stood the test of time, Jim Ryun's 1:44.9 set exactly 50 years ago.

He showed no hesitation passing competitors Brandon McBride and Shaquille Walker. Brazier trampled his personal best of 1:45.9, set earlier this year, and demolished the NCAA meet record of 1:44.70. He stands number eight all-time on the U.S. 800m list with the third- fastest time in the world this year.

“I knew all the fast guys, like Shaquille and Brandon, will be in the race it would be a fast race,” Brazier told RunnerSpace in a post-race interview. “I knew if I got in the right place - like first, second, or third - would have a good time, but I didn’t expect first.”

“My coach knows my potential and everything. I guess I didn’t know it until [today].”

Other notable performances of this week include:

Courtney Frerichs (Nixa, Missouri) ran the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:24.41 for a national title and NCAA outdoor record. Her marks transcends Jenny Simpson’s 9:25.54 set seven years ago.

Jarrion Lawson (Texarkana, Texas) became the first athlete in 80 years and since Jesse Owens to win three individual events at NCAA Outdoor Championships. Lawson won the 100m (10:22), 200m (20:19) and long jump (26.9/88-3.25).

Keturah Orji (Mount Olive, New Jersey) won her third national triple jump title while setting an American record (14.53m/47-8) Saturday at NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Raven Saunders (Charleston, South Carolina) broke the collegiate shot put record when she tossed 19.33m/63-5 to break the previous mark of 19.22m/63-0.75 set by Tia Brooks in 2013.

Now in its 15th 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.

2016 Winners: Jan. 13, Garrett Heath; Jan. 20, Donavan Brazier; Jan. 27, Keni Harrison; Feb. 3, Jenn Suhr; Feb. 10, Vashti Cunningham; Feb. 17, Galen Rupp; Feb. 24, John Nunn; March 2, Curtis Beach; March 11, Bill Collins; March 16, Da’mira Allen; March 24, Michelle Carter; March 31, Janet Bawcom; April 8, Maria Michta-Coffey; April 14, Keni Harrison; April 22, LaShawn Merritt; April 28, Courtney Okolo; May 6, Ida Keeling; May 12, Willie Gault; May 18, Marquise Goodwin; June 2, Keni Harrison; June 9, Tia Brooks; June 16, Donavan Brazier.

We welcome your nominations!

To nominate an athlete for USATF Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about his/her performance to [email protected]

Contributed by Maya Allen, USATF Communications intern