INDIANAPOLIS - Mary Cain (Bronxville, N.Y.) has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after setting the American junior and high school 1500m record at the USATF Oxy High Performance meet with her incredible time of 4:04.62 on May 18.
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Cain finished second to Katie Mackey by only two-hundredths of a second as Mackey crossed the line in 4:04.60. The race saw six athletes dip under the previous meet and stadium record of 4:05.92 held by Shannon Rowbury. Cain and Mackey were joined by Nicole Sifuentes and Sarah Brown to dip under the World Championships A standard of4:05.30.
Cain’s performance shattered Suzy Favor Hamilton’s previous American junior record of4:09.10 by more than five seconds. Cain also bettered her own high school record of 4:10.77 from last month’s Drake Relays. Can has now broken nine records this year - six indoors, three outdoors.
“It is always exciting for me to break a record, even when it is my own,” Cain said. “It is especially sweet, since it [came] as a surprise to me. I run to compete and learn, so, as I am racing, I don't worry about the clock. It wasn't until I crossed the line that I realized the true meaning of all that had just happened.”
Cain was in seventh place going into the final lap of the race, and remained mid-pack through 200m to go. It wasn’t until the final 100m that Cain swung wide into lane three to unleash her kick and move to the front of the field.
“Although there are certain aspects of the race I need to improve on, such as not letting myself fade during lap three, and getting boxed in, I'm just thrilled I didn't let my poor position with 200 to go dishearten me,” Cain said. “It also was exciting, for that race was far from ideal that last 300m, but I was still able to run a really fast time. This race will definitely give me confidence in the future.”
Now in its 12th 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 onwww.usatf.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2013 Winners: January 9, Bobby Mack; January 16, Mary Cain; January 22, Ajeé Wilson; January 30, Duane Solomon; February 6, Chris Derrick; February 13, Jeremy Taiwo; February 20, Alysia Montaño;February 27, Galen Rupp; March 6, Jenn Suhr; March 13, Tia Brooks; March 20, Bridget Franek; March 27, Ben True; April 3, Darvis “Doc” Patton; April 10, Octavious Freeman; April 24, Erik Kynard; May 1, Queen Harrison; May 8, Tyson Gay; May 15, Jon Olsen; May 22, Mary Cain
Week in Review - May 13-19
from USATF Statistician Glen McMicken
CAIN NOT THE ONLY BIG BREAKTHROUGH AT OXY
Lost in the hubbub around Mary Cain's audacious AJR in the 1500m (see AOW above), event winner Katie Mackey also notched a solid PR and the Moscow “A” standard with her 4:04.60, more than two seconds faster than she ran at the meet last year. Colorado's Emma Coburn, best known as an Olympic steeplechaser, moved to No. 5 on the all-time collegiate list with a 4:06.87 PR in eighth.
U.S. steeplechase record-holder and 2011 World 1500m champ Jenny Simpson sprinted to a PR win in the 800m at 2:00.45, leading the top four women under 2:01. In the men's 800m, 2004 World Junior 400m hurdle silver medalist Brandon Johnson had an eye-opening PR win at 1:44.85, nearly a second and a half faster than his previous best.
Indoor mile champ Will Leer took over the U.S. lead in the 1500m with his 3:36.67 in the first heat, but 800m Olympian Nick Symmonds overtook that mark with his 3:36.07 in a later section.
Molly Huddle's AL 15:05.56 took the women's 5000, with Treniere Moser (15:11.00) and Brie Felnagle(15:14.33) grabbing PR's behind her. Dathan Ritzenhein went sub 13:20 in the men's 5K, taking second behind Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah of Great Britain in 13:17.38.
DOUBLE DELIGHT AT TUCSON THROWS
The Tucson Elite meets on May 16 and 18 produced three U.S.-leading marks and a big PR for a 2012 Olympian.
American record holder Jessica Cosby-Toruga had the top performance in the first meet with a 73.58m/241-5 hammer win that was the No. 4 all-time U.S. performance. Amanda Bingson, last year's revelation after making the Olympic squad, turned the tables in the second meet, besting her PR by almost three feet with a 72.95m/239-4 throw to become the No. 3 all-time U.S. performer.
A.G. Kruger opened his hammer series in the second competition with an AL 76.75m/251-9, and followed up with another big toss on his fourth effort to win at 77.10m/252-11.
2011 Pan Am Games fourth-placer and 2012 Olympian Gia Lewis-Smallwood flew to the top of the U.S. women's discus list with a 65.49m/214-10 that gave her the Moscow A standard and was the second best throw of her career.
In the men's javelin, 2005 Pan Am Junior silver medalist Corey White tied the U.S. lead with his 81.40m/267-1 toss.
BIG-TIME TRACK BACK IN THE ATL
For the first time since the 1996 Olympics, Atlanta had an infusion of pro track and field stars as the city hosted an Atlanta Grand Prix that saw Lolo Jones win the 100m hurdles in 12.74. Other top efforts came from Olympic sixth-placer T'erea Brown, who won the 400m hurdles in 55.13, and 2009 NCAA winnerJoanna Atkins, who took the 400m in a season-best 51.25.
Trey Hardee won the battle of decathlete superstars in the shot put, throwing 15.28/50-1.75 to top Ashton Eaton's 14.84/48-8.25.
SKY'S THE LIMIT FOR WALKER
2007 World Indoor PV champion Brad Walker vaulted to the outdoor world lead with a clearance at5.83m/19-1.5 on May 17 at the Sky Invite in Phoenix. Walker attempted 6.00m/19-8.25.