O’Hare’s Mile Headlines National Athlete of the Week Awards

Courtesy: Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

February 18, 2013   

NEW ORLEANS - Tulsa’s Chris O’Hare blazed into the collegiate record books and a number of student-athletes around the country in all divisions turned in strong conference championship performances to headline this week’s U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Athlete of the Week Awards.

More Info: Previous Winners

O’Hare blew past the men’s indoor mile record in 3:52.98 at the prestigious Millrose Games Wanamaker Mile, finishing fourth in a loaded field of collegians and professionals to earn the Division I men’s award. The women’s DI award went to Indiana State’s Felisha Johnson, who became the fifth-best collegiate performer in the weight throw.

Ashland’s Katie Nageotte earned the DII women’s award with her clearance of 14-0 (4.27m) in the pole vault, placing her second all-time among DII collegiate performers in the event both indoors and outdoors. The Division II men’s award went Micah Chelimo of Alaska Anchorage after his three-for-three sweep of the individual distance events at the GNAC Indoor Championships.

Tyler Hannan of Rose-Hulman contributed 40 points to his team’s HCAC Indoor Championship effort, earning him DIII National Athlete of the Week honors, while Breanna Strupp of UW-Oshkosh turned in the fifth-best shot put in DIII history to take the women’s award.

The Award Winners

Division I Men – Chris O’Hare, Tulsa (Senior)

O’Hare (Edinburgh, Scotland) made his first mile run of the 2012-13 season an incendiary one, streaking to a collegiate-record 3:52.98 in a fourth-place finish at Saturday’s 106th Millrose Games at the Armory in New York City. The mark is the fastest in collegiate history by 1.5 seconds, surpassing BYU’s Miles Batty’s 3:56.54 set at last year’s Millrose Games, and is the second-fastest all-conditions mile of all-time, behind Villanova’s Sydney Maree’s outdoor 3:52.44 in 1981.. In addition to his indoor mile record, he also claimed the collegiate-best 1500 meters with an en-route time of 3:37.25, bettering the 3:38.2h set by Maree in 1979. O’Hare ran with the lead pack for the majority of the race –  finishing fourth behind 2012 Olympians Lopez Lomong (3:51.21), Matthew Centrowitz (3:51.54) and Ciaran O’Lionaird (3:52.10) – and at one point briefly took the lead late in the race for 100 meters just before the bell lap.

Honorable Mention:

Erik Kynard, Kansas State - Collegiate-leading 7-7¾ (2.33m) in HJ
Brycen Spratling, Pittsburgh - BIG EAST Male Track Most Outstanding Performer of the Meet; set an NCAA record at 500 meters with 1:00.37, which is third-best in the world all-time; ran a leg of the BIG EAST champion 4×400 relay team.
Weston Kennedy, Navy - Won 1000 meters/mile, runner-up in DMR en route to Patriot League team championship
James Taylor, Norfolk State – Won 60 and 200 meters and ran anchor on winning 4×400 relay en route to a team MEAC Championship

Division I Women – Felisha Johnson, Indiana State (Senior)

Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) made a statement in the weight throw on the weekend before conference championships, heaving a mark of 75-8 (23.06) to become the No. 5 weight thrower in collegiate history. She is just the sixth woman in collegiate history to record a mark farther than 75 feet, having done so twice dating back to a 75-3¼ (22.94m) showing earlier this season. With the mark she now leads all of Division I by 2½ feet, ahead of Brittney Waller of Clemson. She won Friday’s event at the Eastern Illinois Friday Night Special by more than nine feet. Johnson is also currently second in the weight throw at 58-4¾ (18.76m).

Honorable Mention:

Jade Barber, Notre Dame - Won the 60h; 2nd in 200; leg of winning 4×400 relay team en route to BIG EAST team championship
Joan Blakney, Charlotte – Won 60, 200 and long jump en route to team Atlantic 10 team championship
Emma Coburn, Colorado and Abbey D’Agostino, Dartmouth- Coburn ran a 4:29.86 at the Millrose Games Wanamaker Mile, making her the fifth-fastest performer in indoor collegiate history with the sixth-fastest time. D’Agostino finished just behind at 4:30.03, making her the sixth-fastest performer with the seventh-fastest time.

Division II Men – Micah Chelimo, Alaska Anchorage (Senior)

Though his Seawolves didn’t take home the team GNAC Championship, Chelimo (Kapkoi, Kenya) did everything in his power to try to make it happen in sweeping the three individual distance events (mile, 3000 and 5000 meters). He won the mile in 4:12.46 by about two seconds, claimed the 3000 in 8:29.35 for a more than five second victory, and proved his DII-leading 5000 credentials with a 14:55.17 for the win. He currently leads DII in the 5000 with a mark of 13:51.19 set at last weekend’s UW Husky Classic.

Honorable Mention:

David Thomas, New Haven – Northeast-10 Athlete of the Meet with wins in 60 and 200, runner-up finish in long jump and a leg of the third-place 4×400 relay team
Corey Thomas, Stonehill – Won the 60 hurdles and high jump en route to a Northeast-10 team championship

Division II Women – Katie Nageotte, Ashland (Senior)

Nageotte (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) had a career-weekend at the Kent State Tune-Up on Saturday, etching her place into the DII all-time record books with a vault of 14-0 (4.27m). With the clearance she became the second-best performer in the history of DII women’s pole vault both indoors and outdoors, and is one of just two women in division history to clear 14 feet or higher. She won by 10½ inches over the runner-up, and needed just seven attempts for her clearances at five different heights. She missed on three attempts at 4.42, which would have given her sole possession of the title of best DII women’s pole vaulter of all time. She currently ranks sixth among all collegians.

Honorable Mention:

Antoinette Toussaint, UMass Lowell –  Northeast-10 Championship Athlete of the meet with win in high jump; runner-up in long jump and 500; third in 60 hurdles en route to NE-10 Team Championship
Hannah Wilt, King – Won 3000 and 5000 and runner-up in mile for Conference Carolinas team champion King

Division III Men – Tyler Hannan, Rose-Hulman (Senior)

Hannan (Winchester, Ky.) played a very large role in his team’s HCAC Indoor Team Championship with wins at 200 and 400 meters, as well as a leg of the 4×200 and 4×400 relay teams, for a total contribution of 40 team points. He won the 200 in 22.88, just barely edging out the runner-up finisher from the previous heat at 22.89. His win in the 400 was more decisive, running a 50.41 to claim the event by nearly a full second. His 4×200 relay team claimed victory by nearly two seconds with a 1:30.92, while the 4×400 relay team won by a similar two-second margin at 3:25.31.

Honorable Mention:

Tom Postema, Defiance - Recorded DIII’s all-time second-best weight throw mark at 67-11¾ (20.72), and also won the shot put at the HCAC Championships

Division III Women – Breanna Strupp, UW-Oshkosh (Senior)

Strupp (Slinger, Wis.) launched a career-best mark of 51-4½ (15.66m) in the shot put at the UW-Stevens Point Eastbay Invitational this weekend to become the fifth-best mark in DIII indoor history. She became just the fifth woman in DIII history to surpass 51 feet in the shot put, and the first to do so since 2011. The mark is an improvement by more than half a foot from her previous career-best of 50-7.25 (15.42m) set a few weekends ago, and it leads DIII throwers by three-and-a-half feet. She won Saturday’s competition by more than eight feet.

Honorable Mention:

Briahna Chambers, Hanover – Won the 60 and 20, and ran a leg of the winning 4×400 relay; finished runner-up as a leg of the 4×200 relay and finished third in the long jump en route to a HCAC team championship
Zakiyyah Richardson – Named Track Athlete of the Meet at the Mason-Dixon Conference Indoor Championships with wins at 60 and 200 meters.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ATHLETE OF THE WEEK AWARD

Awarded to six collegiate track and field and cross country athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions) each Monday by the USTFCCCA office, the National Athlete of the Week Award will spotlight exceptional performances by student-athletes from around the nation.

Nominations are open to the public. Coaches and sports information directors are encouraged to nominate their student-athletes; as are student-athletes, their families and friends, and fans of their programs.

The award seeks to highlight not only the very best times, marks and scores on a week-to-week basis, but also performances that were significant on the national landscape and/or the latest in a series of strong outings. Quality of competition, suspenseful finishes and other factors will also play a role in the decision.

Nominations should provide qualitative detail to explain the noteworthiness of the student-athlete’s performance. The manner in which his or her event(s) was won or nearly won; any records (school, conference, collegiate, etc.) broken as a result; the national significance of the time, mark or score; and the credentials of the competition are all pertinent details for quality nominations.

Photos, videos and interviews are also encouraged.

Nominations, which can be competed here, are due each Monday by 12 p.m. EST, and winners will be announced by 4 p.m. EST.