April 8, 2011
Courtesy of USA Track & Field
INDIANAPOLIS - Aries Merritt, a former Tennessee standout, has been named USA Track & Field's Athlete of the Week after he ran a world-leading time of 13.36 in the 110m hurdles at the Razorback Spring Invitational at the University of Arkansas on Saturday.
Merritt, a seven-time All-American and two-time NCAA champion as a three-year letterwinner for the Vols from 2004-06, raced against a field of top collegians and finished more than a second faster than his nearest competitor to bring home the win, setting a meet record in the process.
"The race felt pretty easy," Merritt said. "It was good to shake off the rust and get ready for the rest of my outdoor season."
Merritt suffered a stress fracture in his ankle during the 2010 season, but with three world-leading marks set in 2011 to-date, he has firmly reestablished his place as one of the world's top hurdlers.
"It gave me confidence, because even though I was injured last year, I was able to see that I didn't lose much speed," Merritt said. "I think I can run well. God willing, I'll be injury free."
Now in its tenth 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 the USATF website. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
Winners: January 5, Bill Tribou; January 12, Tyler Sorensen; January 20, Josh Cox; January 26,Ben Shorey; February 2, Ashton Eaton; February 9, Ashton Eaton; February 16, Bernard Lagat; February 23, Ryan Crouser; March 2, Jillian Camarena-Williams; March 10, Bill Collins; March 16, Miles Batty; March 23, Shalane Flanagan; March 30, John Nunn; April 6, Aries Merritt