USATF has named its male and female Athletes of the Year: Ashton Eaton and Allyson Felix. Were they the appropriate choices?
We talk about it in our discussion from Monday night on The Runaround. Ashton Eaton, who set the Decathlon World Record at the Olympic Trials in July, left his mark in multi-event history by claiming the gold medal at the London Games. His mark of 9,039 points shocked us all; the image of the Olympic Trials Champion hugging his mom in tears is a moment that American track fans will remember forever.
In case you forgot, we talked to Ashton exclusively after he set the world indoor heptathlon record at the World Indoor Track and Field Championships.
But he’s not the only male USATF athlete to have set a world record and to have stood at the top of the Olympic podium this year. What about Aries Merritt? He won the gold medal in the 110m hurdles in London and set the world record of 12.80 seconds in Brussels–an astonishing .07 seconds faster than the previous WR set by Cuba’s Dayron Robles. Should Merritt have been the top honoree?
Prior to 2012, Allyson Felix had only achieved silver in the Olympic 200m run (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008). As if being second-best in the world is a bad thing. She proved to us that she was ready to become the golden girl after wowing fans across the world with her 21.69 run at the U.S. Olympic Trials 200m final. She won convincingly in London, beating Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce–the 2012 100m champion (Ahem…we interviewed her as well.). Felix scooped up two more coveted golds during the Games: the 4×400 and the 4x100m.
But what about Sanya Richards-Ross? She was the Olympic 400m champion and propelled the U.S. to a 4×400 win, as did Felix. Was it Felix’s gold in the 4x100m that made the difference? After all, they did beat a very talented Jamaican squad.
Tune in to Monday’s show to hear Greg, Brad, and Ryan talk about USATF’s Athlete of the Year selections, the marathons that benefitted from the cancellation of the NYC Marathon, and the Maryland State Cross Country Championships.