Spratling Named USATF Athlete of the Week

WATCH HIGHLIGHTS OF SPRATLING'S RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE AT 2012 BIG EAST INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP

INDIANAPOLIS - Brycen Spratling of the University of Pittsburgh has been named USA Track & Field's Athlete of the Week after setting a collegiate record in the 500-meters Saturday at the Big East Conference Championships.

Spratling (Webster, N.Y.) entered the weekend having only ever run one 500m race; however, he excelled at the distance and clocked a quick 1:00.63 to set a new collegiate record and claim the top spot on the current world list.

"I had no idea coming into this weekend what the record was," Spratling said. "I heard the announcer say it was a collegiate and American record over the loudspeaker and I couldn't believe it. Everyone was congratulating me, and it was an amazing feeling."

Spratling's time is the fourth fastest ever run in the world for this odd distance, and it is the fastest time in 20 years.

Spratling was instrumental to his team placing third at the conference meet. Spratling also won the 200m in 21.16, finished sixth in the 60m in 6.89 and ran the first leg of the 4x400m relay that ran 3:23.59. Including the relay, Spratling contributed 29 points of Pittsburgh's 84.50 points.

Spratling is in his sophomore year at Pitt, and only started running track during the spring of his senior year of high school. He will compete this weekend at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., in the 400m.

Now in its eleventh 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 www.usatf.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.

2012 Winners: January 5, Landon Peacock; January 11, Kirubel Erassa; January 18, Shalane Flanagan; January 26, John Nunn; February 1, Gunnar Nixon; February 8, Jenn Suhr; February 14, Jillian-Camarena Williams; February 22, Brycen Spratling.

Courtesy of USA Track & Field