INDIANAPOLIS – LaShawn Merritt has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after setting a world-leading mark in the 400 meters Sunday at the Gator Invitational in Gainesville, Florida.
A triple World Junior Championships gold medalist and the 2004 Verizon Youth Athlete of the Year, Merritt ran 45.94 to win the men’s 400m in Gainesville. A freshman at East Carolina University, Merritt’s world-leading time was also a new school record, bettering Brian Irving’s 46.19 set in 1991.
Another notable performer was four-time world outdoor champion and 1996 Olympic gold medalist Allen Johnson, who won his fourth career Millrose Games 60m hurdles title Friday night overcoming a rough early part of his race to win in a world leading time of 7.53 seconds.
Now in its fifth 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 the USATF website. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2005 USATF Athlete of the Week Winners: January 4, Amy Rudolph; January 11, Dathan Ritzenhein; January 18, Janine Davis; January 25, Wallace Spearmon Jr.; February 1, Erin Gilreath; February 8, LaShawn Merritt.