Alistair Cragg Named Division I Track Athlete
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After having another record-setting weekend at the Tyson Invitational, junior All-American Alistair Cragg was named the Division I Track and Field Athlete of the Week by the United States Track Coaches Association.
Cragg, the defending NCAA 5,000-meter champion, set a new UA record in the event with a collegiate-leading time of 13:35.93 as he claimed first place in the event. The previous record of 13:36.87 was held by Sean Kaley in 1999. His time also guaranteed him a spot at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships to be held in Fayetteville, Ark., on March 14-15. The mark also placed him in the all-time collegiate top 10 list.
Earlier this month Cragg made history at the Boston Indoor Games when he broke the 3,000-meter collegiate record with a time of 7:45.22. The previous record of 7:46.03 was held by Colorado’s Adam Goucher in 1998. Cragg outran defending 1,500-meter Olympic gold medalist, Noah Ngeny, in the last 500 meters to claim first place and the record.
Cragg’s time also surpassed the UA school record of 7:46.42, previously held by Joe Falcon in 1989, and automatically qualified him for the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Other male nominees this week were sprinter Gary Kikaya of Tennessee, shot putter Carl Myerscough of Nebraska and triple jumper Allen Simms of USC.
An eight-member panel will recognize a man and woman each week through the remainder of the collegiate indoor season and select the athletes from nominations submitted by coaches.
Panelists are James Dunaway of Austin, Texas, senior editor of Track & Field News; Helene Elliott of Los Angeles, Calif., a sports writer for the Los Angeles Times; Don Kopriva of Lisle, Ill., public relations director for the D-I coaches group; Ruth Laney of Baton Rouge, La., a Track & Field News correspondent; Walt Murphy of New York, N.Y., publisher of Eastern Track; Dick Patrick of Arlington, Va., a sports writer for USA Today; and Mike Sandrock of Boulder, Colo., a sports writer for The Daily Camera.
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