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American record performance earns Simpson USATF Athlete of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jenny Simpson earns USATF Athlete of the Week honors after her exciting win at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday, Feb. 7 at the Reggie Lewis Center on the campus of Roxbury Community College.
Simpson (Boulder, Colorado) finished with a time of 9:18.35 to set a new American record in the women’s two mile, beating the previous record of 9:23.30 set in 2002 by Regina Jacobs.
“It was really fun to open the 2015 season in Boston, where I have a lot of support,” said Simpson. “When I crossed the finish line, I wasn’t quite sure if I had broken the record, but once I saw the clock I had a complete sense of fulfillment and achievement.”
Simpson will not compete again until the outdoor season, but says she will take this time to mentally prepare for outdoors and is looking toward the World Championships in Beijing this summer.
“[This past weekend] I absolutely had the feeling this is what I do this for. I get so much joy from setting a goal and accomplishing it; whether in practice or if it’s something I’ve worked for over weeks, months, or even years.”
Other standout performances this week included:
  • Chris Derrick (Portland, Oregon) won his third consecutive USATF Cross Country Championship on Saturday, Feb. 7 in Boulder, Colorado. Derrick ran by himself for the entire second half of the 12 km race and finished in 36:18.
  • Laura Thweatt (Durango, Colorado) was the women’s victor at the USATF Cross Country Championships Saturday, Feb. 7 in Boulder, Colorado with her time of 27:42 in the women’s 8 km.
  • Brenda Martinez (Rancho Cucamonga, California) anchored Team NB’s distance medley relay at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday, Feb. 7, helping set a new indoor world record with her 4:27.77 1,600m split.
  • Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Arizona) set a Masters World Record in the men’s 3,000 meters by 13 seconds, dropping the previous time from 8:01.44 to 7:48.33.
  • Paulo Benavides (El Paso, Texas), a senior at Franklin High School, set a high school indoor record in the pole vault with his 5.46m/17-11 clearance at the Cherry and Silver All-Comers meet at the University of New Mexico on Saturday, Feb 7 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Now in its 14th 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 Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2015 Winners: January 15, Chris Derrick; January 21, Demi Payne; January 28, Casimir Loxsom; February 4, Anselm LeBourne; February 10, Jenny Simpson.
USA Track & Field is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the  United States. For more information on USATF, visit

To nominate an athlete for Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about their performance to

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