World Leaders, National Records & All-Time Performances Among National Athletes of the Week
NEW ORLEANS – As far as season openers go, Texas A&M standout Deon Lendore’s world-leading 44.90 outdoor 2014 debut in his signature 400 meters event at the Arizona State Sun Angel Classic was a smashing success.
Not only was it a personal best for the reigning indoor national 400 meters champion from Trinidad & Tobago – in the junior’s first race since two weeks ago suffering an injury in the Texas Relays 4×400 relay, no less – but it was the driving force behind him earning Division I Men’s National Athlete of the Week honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the fourth such honor of his career and his first outdoors.
USTFCCCA National Athletes of the Week
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The performance bettered his previous career record of 44.94 in last season’s runner-up national finish and makes him the first man in the world to go sub-45 in 2014.
But he wasn’t done there. Two hours later he was back on the track for the Aggies’ 4×400 relay, which he anchored with a blistering 44.7 split to a winning 3:02.67 for the No. 2 spot on t he 2014 descending order list.
Speaking of personal records, Division I Women’s National Athlete of the Week Julia Ratcliffe of Princeton (Hamilton, New Zealand/Waikato Dicesan HS) shattered hers – which doubles as the New Zealand national record and the Ivy League record – in the hammer throw by nearly a meter with a winning mark of 228-4 (69.60m) by more than 43 feet at the Princeton Quad.
The senior’s toss moved her up to No. 9 on the all-time collegiate performers list and established a new collegiate dual meet record. Each of her three other legal throws traveled farther than 67 meters and would have stood as the 2014 collegiate leader.
While Lendore’s and Ratcliffe’s performances are the best in their respective events since just last season, one has to go all the way back to 1997 to find a Division II performance on par with that of Division II Men’s National Athlete of the Week Drew Windle of Ashland (New Albany, Ohio/New Albany HS) at 800 meters.
Continuing his hegemony over the half mile that includes the past two national indoor titles and an outdoor crown, the junior ran 1:46.91 to win the George Mason Spring Invite over a field of more than 70 other professional and Division I competitors. His performance, which is No. 10 on the all-time Division II list, is the fastest in Division II since Ossie Mdziniso of Augustana (S.D.) went 1:46.54 in July of 1997.
This marks his second National Athlete of the Week award of the year, with the other coming in February during the 2014 indoor campaign.
The Division II Women’s National Athlete of the Week honor went to Livingstone’s Quanera Hayes (Hope Mills, N.C./Gray’s Creek HS), who not only posted a dominant Division-II-leading time at 400 meters at the Johnson C. Smith Invitational but also a No. 3 mark at 200 meters.
The defending outdoor 400 meters champion won in her signature event in 52.49 over Clemson’s redshirted defending Division I outdoor 800 meters champion Natoya Goule to claim the top spot in Division II by nearly a second-and-a-half and the No. 5 position on the 2014 all-college list.
The junior’s weekend also included a win at 200 meters in 23.73 (-0.2 m/s) en route to her second career National Athlete of the Week honor. She also claimed it in January during the 2014 indoor season.
After last weekend racing to the top of the 800 meters list in Division III, Johns Hopkins senior Andrew Carey (Belmont, Md./Belmont HS) earned Division III Men’s National Athlete of the Week honors after this week he also made it to the pinnacle of the 1500 meters list.
He ran 3:48.57 at his home Hopkins/Loyola Invitational to claim victory by nearly nine seconds and a personal record by nearly six seconds. The showing edged him ahead of UW-La Crosse’s David Stilin by less than half a second atop the performance list.
Division III Women’s National Athlete of the Week Shailah Williams of Rowan (Pemberton, N.J./Pemberton Twp. HS) ran a DIII-leader and then some in leading her squad to double-dual victory over Georgian Court and Lehman with a hand in four event victories.
Her 11.98 (+0.6 m/s) win at 100 meters gave her the 2014 DIII lead as the only sub-12 woman this year, while her 24.46 (+1.8 m/s) win at 200 meters moved her up to No. 3 on the performances list in that event.
A team player, she also ran legs of the ninth-ranked 4×100 relay and the 4×400 relay, both of which were winners.
National Athletes of the Week are announced each Monday throughout the season, with male and female awards for all three NCAA Divisions. Nominations are open to the public and can be completed here.