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College Track and Field Athlete of the Week Awards

posted by The Track & Field Superblog
Monday, December 10, 2012 at 8:10am EST

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The first real weekend of the college season just finished up and it’s time to see who were the outstanding athletes and teams. Let’s get to it!

Men

Athlete of the week: Ryan Hill, North Carolina State
Hill won a deep and competitive 5000 meter race at Indiana’s Hoosier Open with a time of 13:43.52. A time that fast would have placed him 11th on last year’s indoor collegiate list, so it appears likely that it will be fast enough to get him to this NCAA Indoor Championships. The qualifying system has changed slightly, an issue I will address tomorrow.

Video of the race:

Watch more video of Zachary Mayhew on flotrack.org

Team of the Week: Indiana
The deepest series of marks recorded this weekend were by the Hoosiers at their home opener. Big 10 cross country champion Zach Mayhew ran a nice 13:51 for 5000 meters plus a slew of other distance runners with good runs. And then there was the other guy…

Olympic bronze medalist sets two PRs
Indiana high jumper Derek Drouin took an Olympic bronze medal home from London to his native Canada, and he kicked off his final collegiate season on Saturday with two PRs. A fine all-around athlete, Drouin usually competes in one or more multi-event competitions in the early season; he entered and won the pentathlon at the Hoosier Open. In the process he broke his PRs in the 60 meter hurdles (7.98) and 1000 meters (2:49.76). He also cleared 2.15 meters (7′ ½”) in his signature event, off a mere four-step approach. Watch for battles with Kansas State’s Erik Kynard, the Olympic silver medalist; their only matchups in collegiate competition will be at the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships.

Team player: Frank Del Duca, Maine
In a win over New Hampshire, Del Duca did quadruple duty. He won the 55 meters (6.54), 200 meters (23.18) and long jump (6.54m/22′ 4½”) and ran on the runner-up 4×400 relay.

Chris Berman, have you thought of…
Dougie Palacious “Estate”, long/triple jumper at Southern Illinois

Women

Athlete of the Week: Felisha Johnson, Indiana State
Johnson won the shot put and the weight throw in a tri-meet victory over Eastern Illinois and Southeast Missouri. Her distances–57′ 3¾” / 17.47m for the shot put and 75′ 3¼” / 22.94m for the weight throw–were personal records, school records, meet records and fieldhouse records. The weight throw was especially remarkable, as it makes her the #6 collegian of all time.

Team of the Week: Kansas
Led by Paris Daniels, the Jayhawks had the strongest showing of the weekend. Daniels won the 60 and 200 meters at their home Bob Timmons Challenge; both of her winning times broke Anschutz Pavilion records and are the fastest times of the young collegiate season. Alisha Keys (no, not that one) ran the weekend’s second-best time in the 200, pole vaulter Demi Payne cleared a collegiate-leading height, the 4×400 relay had the weekend’s second-best time, and throwers Anastasiya Muchkayev and Alena Krechyk had outstanding competitions as well (Muchkayev broke the Israeli indoor shot put record). The Jayhawks easily dispatched Oral Roberts and UMKC in double-dual scoring.

Small College, Big Mark: Hannah Oneda, Johns Hopkins
Oneda won the 5000 meters at Princeton’s New Year’s Invitational in 16:48.24, the #9 indoor time in Division III history. She got no help at all in this feat, lapping the field and beating the runner-up by more than a minute. Oneda finished tenth at last month’s NCAA Division III cross country championships.

Team Player: Jerika Lewis, Southeast Missouri
In a tri-meet against Indiana State and Eastern Illinois, Lewis did quadruple duty. She won the 400 meters (57.51), took second in the 200 meters (25.67), placed third in the 60 meter prelims (7.81, opting out of the final), and ran second leg on the third-place 4×400 relay.

Sister Act: Jade and Kaila Barber, Notre Dame
The two fastest hurdle times of the weekend were turned in by the Fighting Irish’s twin sophomores. Hailing from Middleburg Heights, Ohio, the two have been teammates in track, basketball, volleyball, baseball, and pretty much anything you can play or do.

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