BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Athletes from the Southeastern Conference have claimed the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Athlete of the Week honors on both the men’s and women’s sides, following record-setting performances at the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships this past week in Fayetteville, Ark.
Texas A&M’s Deon Lendore and Arkansas’ Makeba Alcide took home this week’s honors, the New Orleans-based association announced on Monday.
Lendore entered the SEC Championships weekend as the fastest man in the world at 400 meters, which is exactly how he left it in even more impressive fashion. He raced to an impressive 45.23 in the finals of the 400 meters to claim gold for the Aggies one day after blazing to a world-leading 45.15 in the preliminaries of the event – giving him the two fastest times in the world for 2013 and making him the fifth-fastest performer in collegiate history. He capped off the weekend with a phenomenal anchor leg in the 4×400 relay, running an incendiary 44.51 last leg to overtake both Florida and Arkansas on the final stretch for the win in 3:04.18. That marks the world’s fastest time in 2013 and the fifth-fastest relay in collegiate history.
Alcide had quite the weekend as her Arkansas Razorbacks defeated the No. 1 LSU Lady Tigers for the SEC Championship team title and she became the collegiate record holder in the indoor pentathlon with a score of 4,569. She set career-bests in three of the five components of the pentathlon (20-2 (6.15m) in the long jump; 8.35 in the 60 hurdles; 2:16.37 in the 800) and an indoor PR in the shot put at 40-5 (12.32m) en route to a score that surpassed two-time NCAA pentathlon champ Brianne Theisen of Oregon’s previous mark of 4,555. The mark is the best in the country this season by more than 351 points, and it came in the same competition as second-ranked Lucie Ondraschkova of Georgia (4, 208). She also finished fourth in the open high jump, marking the second time of the weekend that she cleared a height of at least six feet.
Awarded to six collegiate track and field and cross country athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions) each Monday by the USTFCCCA office, the National Athlete of the Week Award will spotlight exceptional performances by student-athletes from around the nation.
Nominations are open to the public. Coaches and sports information directors are encouraged to nominate their student-athletes; as are student-athletes, their families and friends, and fans of their programs.
The award seeks to highlight not only the very best times, marks and scores on a week-to-week basis, but also performances that were significant on the national landscape and/or the latest in a series of strong outings. Quality of competition, suspenseful finishes and other factors will also play a role in the decision.
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