Throwing at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany, courtesy of life.com.
During her collegiate career at the University of Nebraska, Becky earned NCAA All-American status 8 times; twice in the indoor shotput, three times in the outdoor shotput (winning in 2003), and three times in the discus (winning in 2004). After college, Becky turned her primary focus to the discus, and has succeeded soundly. She won her first USATF National Championship in 2005 and competed in her first World Championship meet in Helsinki, Finland that August. She has since competed at two more World Championships; Osaka, Japan in 2007 and Berlin, Germany in 2009. Her personal best 67.37m (221’0”) came in April of 2007 at a meet in Maui. The 2010 season saw Becky throw 66.52m, compete well internationally, win her second U.S. national title (third round throw here, interview here) and throw for the Americas team in the first inaugural IAAF/VTB Continental Cup for a world ranking of 7th–her highest to date-by Track and Field News.
Winning the 2005 USA Half Marathon Championships, courtesy of usatf.org.
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Dan earned NCAA All-American status once each at three different distances while attending West Point Military Academy; the 3000m, 5000m, and 10000m. The only cadet to have ever run a sub-4-minute mile, Dan’s best time at that distance is 3:59.19. He raced at the 1997 World University Games, earning 3rd in the 5000m and 2nd in the 10000m. Upon graduation from West Point, he signed on to the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program, an organization he has been a member of ever since. In the fall of 1997, Dan placed 12th at USA Cross Country (XC) Nationals, and went on to win the USAXC 4km Trials the next year (1998). Also in 1998, he won the 3000m (7:50.49) at USA Indoor Nationals and the 10000m (29:46.06) at USA Outdoor Nationals, as well as the U.S. 5km and 10km road titles. Dan’s international meets of note in 1998 were World XC Championships in Marrakech, Morocco and his first World Cup meet in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he placed sixth in both the 3000m and 5000m. The 1999 season saw Dan race for fifth at 5000m at the Pan American Games, compete in his second World XC Championships, this time in Belfast, UK, and make his first World Championship team, running the 5000m race in Sevilla, Spain. He ran on his third World XC Championships in Oostende, Belgium in 2001, and raced at the World Half Marathon Championships in Bristol, UK. In 2002, in Dan’s marathon debut, he won the USA Marathon Championships in 2:11.35, his personal best. He also won the 2002 USA Running Circuit Men’s title and that year’s 20km road title. He ran in his fourth World XC Championships (in Lausanne, Switzerland) and second World Track and Field Championships (29:01.60 over 10000m in Paris, France) in 2003. Dan made his first Olympic team in 2004, competing in the marathon and placing 12th in the 10000m with a time of 28:14.53 in Athens, Greece. Also in 2004, he was the U.S. 10-mile Champion with a time of 46:32. Dan won the USA Half-Marathon Championships in 2005 with a time of 1:03.56. He won the U.S. 20k and 5k road titles in 2007, and earned victory in the U.S. 25k road race in 2009. Dan made his third World Championships team in 2009, placing 24th in the marathon in Berlin, Germany in a time of 2:16.49. Take a moment to visit Dan’s personal website.
Competing for Harvard, courtesy of gocrimson.com.
Becky was a 6-time Ivy League Champion in the high jump while attending Harvard University. She was named indoor NCAA All-American in 2008 and 2009, and achieved the same honor outdoors in 2007 and 2009. Her international experience began when she placed second at the 2008 North American, Central American and Caribbean Under-23 Championships in Toluca, Mexico. She earned her highest placing yet at a USATF National Championship meet this February in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her second-place showing. Becky achieved her personal record height of 1.91m in 2009, and looks to make her first World Championship team this 2011 season. She competes for the club RIADHA.
Throwing in Berlin, Germany for 7th at 2009 World Championships, courtesy of life.com.
Jessica has won three USATF Outdoor National Championships in the hammer throw; in 2006, 2008 and 2009. She made the Osaka, Japan World Championships team in 2007 when she earned third place at USAs. Jes became a United States Olympian in grand fashion, setting an Olympic Trials record of 70.72m (232’0”) at Hayward Field in 2008 (pictures here). At the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany, she heaved a personal record 72.21m to earn 7th place in the final! Her 2010 season best of 71.24m (233'9") came at the USATF National Championships, and was good for second place.
Throwing for 12th at the Berlin, Germany World Championships in 2009, courtesy of flickr.com/DyeStat.com.
Sean was a two-time NCAA All-American in the javelin while attending Dartmouth. He has competed in two Olympic Trials, the first in 2004 and the second in 2008, where he placed 7th. His personal record of 80.45m (263’11”) came in July of 2008 in Joensuu. Sean made his first World Championship team by throwing 76.16m (249’10”) for third place at the 2009 USATF Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon. At those World Championships in Berlin, Germany, he made the final with a qualifying-round throw of 79.28m (260’1”) and went on to finish 12th. Sean won his first national title in 2010 with a toss of 79.86m (262’0”) and earned his first #1 U.S. ranking by Track and Field News.
Jumping for 9th at World Championships in Berlin, Germany in 2009, courtesy of daylife.com.
Brianna excelled in field and sprint events alike at the University of Arizona. She became the first female athlete in NCAA Track and Field history to win the long jump and a sprint event at an NCAA National Championship when she did so in 2001. She chose to focus on the long jump post-college; she won her first USATF National Championship in 2002 with a jump of 6.46m (21’3.5”), and has steadily increased her distances since. Brianna’s current personal record of 6.81m (22’4.25”) came at the 2010 outdoor U.S. championship meet, where she placed third. The 2009 season saw Brianna make the final and place 9th with 6.59m (21’7.5”) at her first Outdoor World Championship meet in Berlin, Germany. In 2010, she placed 10th at the World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar and jumped for third at outdoor USAs. Check out Brianna’s personal website and blog.
Jumping for 2nd at 2010 USAs, courtesy of Asics America.
Tora was a five-time NCAA All-American in the high jump while at Princeton University. He won indoor and outdoor NCAA titles in 2002, and just one centimeter separated the heights he jumped to win each (2.26m/7’5” indoor, 2.25m/7’4.5” outdoor). Tora made the indoor and outdoor World Championships teams in 2003, traveling to Birmingham, Great Britain for the indoor meet and Paris, France outdoors. In 2004, he competed in Budapest in his second Indoor World Championships and went on to earn a spot on his first U.S. Olympic Team with a third-place height of 2.27m (7’5.25”) at the Olympic Trials in Sacramento, California. Tora has won two USATF Indoor National Championships; the first in 2005 and the second in 2007, after which he received a #10 world ranking by Track and Field News. After making his third indoor World Championship team in 2006 and competing in Moscow, Russia, he won his first outdoor national championship with his personal best height of 2.33m (7’7.75”) and was ranked 8th in the world that year. Tora earned his second outdoor U.S. victory at the 2009 meet, clearing 2.31m (7’7”), and competed at his second outdoor World Championships in Berlin, Germany that summer.
Throwing for 2nd at 2009 USA Championships, courtesy of photorun.
Mike kicked off his international success in the men’s javelin with a silver medal performance at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 2008 season was his breakout year, as he threw over 80 meters eleven times and set his personal record of 82.21m (269’8”) in Doha, Qatar. Mike made the Beijing 2008 Olympic Team, his first, and ended 2008 by earning a #1 U.S. ranking by Track and Field News, as well as a world ranking of tenth by the IAAF. He has come in second at each of the last four USATF Outdoor National Championships (’07, ’08, ’09, and ’10 (interview here)), and looks to earn his first national victory during this 2011 season. Mike grabbed a spot on his first World Championship team in 2009, competing in Berlin, Germany. The 2010 season saw him throw the farthest distance of any American man (80.05m/262’7”) and compete in Split, Croatia at the first inaugural IAAF/VTB Bank Continental Cup. Mike was ranked #1 in the U.S. by the IAAF after last season. His top ten average throws rank him third in American history. You can read his blog and check out his personal website.
Throwing at the 2010 Nike Prefontaine Classic, courtesy of Image of Sport.
Britney was a three-time NCAA All-American while attending the University of Oregon, once in the weight throw (indoor, 2007), and twice in the hammer throw (outdoor, 2006 and 2007). She made her first international team in 2006, traveling to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for the North American, Central American and Caribbean Under-23 Championships, where she placed second. Britney threw a personal-best 71.27m at the 2010 Tucson Elite meet and earned third place (her highest to date) at last year’s USATF National Outdoor Championships (watch her throw and interview). Follow her on her personal blog, Olympian In Progress, and check out The Britney Henry Project.
Vaulting at the Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden, courtesy of daylife.com.
Becky set a then-NCAA record of 4.47m (14’8”) in the pole vault during her senior year at the University of Oregon in 2003. That same year, she won an NCAA Outdoor Championship title and placed third at the USATF National meet to grab a spot on the Paris, France World Championship team (her first). She earned sixth place at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, and moved to Chula Vista shortly after that season. Becky jumped a personal best 4.60m (15’1”) at the outdoor championships in 2010 to earn second place, and competed in the IAAF/VTB Bank Continental Cup that summer. At this February’s USATF Indoor National Championship, Becky again got silver with a jump of 4.55m (14’11”). Take a look at her personal website.
Jumping a personal best at 2009 USA Championships, courtesy of life.com.
Yvette won one indoor (2006) and one outdoor (2007) NCAA Championship in the triple jump while at Hampton University. In 2004, the then-college freshman competed at the World Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy. Yvette jumped for fourth at the 2006 North American, Central American and Caribbean Under-23 Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She earned third at USATF Outdoor Nationals in 2006 and second in 2007. Her personal record in the triple jump of 13.88m (45’6.5”) came at the 2009 outdoor national championship, where she placed fourth. Yvette was sidelined for the entire 2010 season with an ankle injury, and made a strong return to competition this 2011 indoor season with a third-place showing in the 60-meter hurdle race at the USATF Indoor National Championships with a time of 8.03 seconds.
Jumping at Kansas Relays in 2009, courtesy of LJWorld.com.
Crystal was a two-time NCAA All-American in the triple jump during her career at Kansas University, once indoor and once outdoor. She has placed in the top three at two USATF Indoor National Championships, earning 2nd at the 2009 meet with an indoor personal record of 13.76m (45’1.75”), and grabbing third in 2010. Crystal was 8th at the 2008 Olympic Trials, competing at the all-important meet while still a junior in college. Her personal best distance came during the 2010 season at Mt. SAC Relays, where she jumped 13.96m.
Jumping a personal record at Mt. SAC in 2006, courtesy of iaaf.org.
Akiba emerged on the U.S. National scene in the women’s long jump when she placed third at the 2004 Olympic Trials. She was third at the 2009 Indoor USATF National Championship meet and fourth in 2006 outdoors. She is a two-time USA Indoor Champion, leaping 6.62m (21’8.75”) in 2006 and 6.55m (21”6”) in 2007. Akiba's personal record distance of 6.83m (22’5”) was recorded in 2006 at Mt. SAC Relays, and she was ranked third in the U.S. that year by Track and Field News.
Winning the 2010 200m USA Outdoor National title, courtesy of life.com.
Connie was an outdoor NCAA All-American in the 200m dash all four years of her career at Penn State University, achieved the honor twice at indoor NCAA’s, and has a collection of four other All-American awards from other sprint events. She competed in the 100m at the 2000 World Junior Championships in Santiago, Chile, setting a Penn State school record of 11.85 seconds as a freshman. She earned a spot on the U.S. team’s 4x100m Athens Olympic relay pool with her fifth place showing in the 200m at the 2004 Olympic Trials. Connie had not competed since 2007 before returning to Track and Field for the 2010 season, in which she set a personal record of 22.40 seconds over 200m in winning her first USATF National Championship (interview here). She returned to fine form in the 100m as well, running a full tenth of a second faster in 2010 (11.34s) than she did in 2007. She also represented the Americas team at the 2010 IAAF/VTB Bank Continental Cup, where she placed fourth.
Jumping for 2nd at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, courtesy of daylife.com.
A three-time NCAA All-American at Eastern Michigan University, Jamie had personal collegiate-best heights in the high jump of 2.29m (7’6”) indoors and 2.25m (7’4.5”) outdoors. He competed at the World University Games in Mallorca, Spain in 1999. In 2003, Jamie won the USATF National Outdoor Championships with 2.30m (7’6.5”), earned a silver medal at the Pan American Games, jumped for 7th place at his first World Championships in Paris, France, and was ranked #5 in the world by Track and Field News. The year 2004 was even more stellar for Jamie, as he earned his first Indoor USATF National Championship, placed ninth at the World Indoor Championships in Budapest, won the Olympic Trials, and placed fourth with a personal record height of 2.34m (7’8”) at the Athens Olympic Games. At the end of 2004, Track and Field News ranked him 4th in the world. He made his second World Championship team in 2007, competing in Osaka, Japan, and barely missed a spot on his second Olympic Team in 2008, despite placing second at the Olympic Trials. Jamie came in third at the 2010 USATF Outdoor National meet, and improved his placing to second at the 2011 indoor meet, jumping 2.25m (7’4.5”). Follow his progress on his personal website.
Jumping at 2010 USA Outdoor Nationals, courtesy of Team Elite Athletics.
Melinda was an indoor NCAA All-American in 2007 in pole vault while attending the University of Idaho. She cleared a college-leading height of 4.40m (14’5.25”) during the 2008 season, and was the top finisher among collegians at the 2008 Olympic Trials, placing 10th. Melinda earned third place at the 2009 USATF Indoor National Championships with a jump of 4.00m (13’1.5”), and went on to clear a season-best 4.35m (14’3.25”) for sixth at the outdoor meet. The 2010 season saw her heights improve, as she jumped her first-ever World A Standard during the indoor season and got over 4.45m (14’7.25”) at indoor nationals. Outdoor, she cleared 4.52m at a Gill Factory Vault in July. At the 2011 indoor USA Championship, Melinda vaulted 4.55m (14’11”) to match her best-ever national placing with third. Check out her personal website and blog.
Kara was twice an NCAA All-American in the javelin while attending Purdue University: She finished fifth at the collegiate championship meet in 2008 and was second in 2009. Following her freshman year as a Boilermaker, she earned silver at both the 2005 USATF Junior National Championships in Carson, California and the Pan-American Junior Championships in Windsor, Ontario. She made the 2006 North American, Central American and Caribbean team after throwing a season-best 56.19m as a sophomore. Kara made the 2008 Beijing Olympic team with an Olympic Trials record and winning throw of 58.44m (191’9”) and had a season-best toss of 61.56m at that year’s Big Ten Championships. The 2009 season saw her throw 63.95m to win the USATF Outdoor National Championships and make the Berlin, Germany World Championship team. Kara moved to Chula Vista before the 2010 season and won her second USATF National Championship, setting an American Record of 66.67m (218’9”), and earned a national #1 and world #6 ranking from T&FN last year. Read her blog, Javelin Journal.
Throwing in Berlin, Germany at 2009 World Championships, courtesy of life.com.
Jarred was a three-time discus NCAA All-American and also achieved the honor three times in the shotput at Boise State University. In 2001, he placed 8th in the discus at the World University games in Beijing, China. Jarred won the 2004 Olympic Trials in the disc with a throw of 65.77m (215’9”) and secured a spot on the Athens Olympic Team, his first. The 2005 season saw him make his first World Championship team, traveling to Helsinki, Finland to make the final and place 7th with a throw of 64.22m (210’8”). In 2006, Jarred was ranked ninth in the world by Track and Field News, due to his international success and season-best throw of 67.25m (220’7”). He made his second World Championship team in 2007 and competed in Osaka, Japan. His personal discus record of 68.44m (224’6”) came in May 2008 in Salinas, California. He also owns a shotput personal best of 20.40m (66’11.25”). Jarred made the second World Championships final of his career in Berlin, Germany in 2009, where he placed 11th.
Alice, who hails from Omaha, Nebraska, holds her state’s high school record in the 800m race at 2:08.84. During her collegiate career at the University of North Carolina, she earned NCAA All-American status 11 times; each time she ran the indoor and outdoor 800m race for a total of 8 individual honors, and three times on the Tar Heels’ Distance Medley Relay. Alice won the outdoor NCAA Championships in the 800m in 2002 and 2003, and her DMR won indoors in 2003. She placed third at USA Outdoor Championships in 2005 to make the Helsinki, Finland World Championships team. That summer-her first as a professional-she dipped below the 2:00 barrier with a time of 1:59.29 in Lignano, Sabbiadoro. Alice won the 2006 National Indoor Championships (2:01.93), putting her on the Moscow, Russia World Indoor Championship team, and placed second Outdoors (2:00.00). In 2007, she ran 1:59.63 for third at Outdoor USAs, earning a trip to Osaka, Japan for her second World Championship meet. At the 2007 Nike Prefontaine Classic, Alice set her personal record of 1:58.75 to finish in third place. She became a United States Olympian when she placed second at the 2008 Olympic Trials in a time of 2:00.46, and earned her first U.S. #1 ranking by Track and Field News after competing at the Beijing, China Olympic Games that summer and running a season-best time of 1:59.67 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
At the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, courtesy of USA Today.
JaRod took sixth place in the men’s long jump at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials with a distance of 8.09m (26’6.5”) to kick off his international aspirations. In the qualifying round two days earlier, he set his personal record of 8.16m (26’9.25”), making him the second-best qualifier for the final. JaRod moved to the Olympic Training Center before the 2009 season, and earned his highest placing yet at the 2011 USATF Indoor National Championships with second.
Running in a qualifying round in the Beijing 2008 Olympics. She went on to place second. Courtesy of life.com.
Sheena began her stellar hurdling career at a young age, competing at the World Junior Championships in the 400m hurdles in 1998 at the age of 15. She was an 11-time high school All-American, winning the 400m hurdle race at the USATF Junior National Championships in 1998 and 2000, she competed at the 2000 Olympic Trials as a 17-year-old, and she was named the Outstanding Female High School Indoor Track and Field Performer by Track and Field News for both the 1999 and 2000 seasons. Sheena again won the USATF Junior Championship in the 400m hurdles as a freshman at UCLA in 2001. She was named NCAA All-American 12 times as a Bruin, participating in all hurdle events and earning many honors as part of 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams. She won outdoor NCAA titles in the 400m hurdles in 2003 (where she set an NCAA meet record) and 2004, and went on to break the collegiate, Olympic Trials and U.S. Championship records in winning that race at the 2004 Olympic Trials, crossing the finish line in 52.95 seconds. Sheena came in fourth at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in a time of 53.83 seconds and was ranked #7 in the world by Track and Field News that year. She was ranked tenth in the world by T&FN in 2005, and in 2007, won the Pan American Games in a time of 54.64 seconds and made her first World Championships team, traveling to Osaka, Japan to place fifth in the semifinals. At Sheena’s second Olympic Games in Beijing, China in 2008, she became an Olympic silver medalist, finishing the race in 53.70 seconds! She ended 2008 ranked second in the world by T&FN. She was sixth in her semifinal at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany, and earned an 8th-place world ranking by T&FN.
Clearing an American Record 6.04m (19'9.75") at the 2008 Nike Prefontaine Classic, courtesy of life.com.
Brad enjoyed much success in the men’s pole vault at the University of Washington, where he was twice an indoor NCAA Champion (2003 and 2004) and once an outdoor NCAA All-American (2002). His winning mark of 5.80m (19’0.25”) at the 2003 NCAA indoor meet set a Pac-10 record. Brad won both indoor and outdoor 2005 USATF National Championships, and went on to earn a silver medal at the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, jumping 5.75m (18’10.25”). He was ranked #1 in the world in 2005 by Track and Field News. Brad won his second USATF Indoor National Championship in 2006, and went on to win the Indoor World Championships in Moscow, Russia; he cleared the exclusive 6.00-meter barrier outdoors and ended that season with a #2 world ranking by T&FN. Brad followed up the 2006 season’s indoor success with matching outdoor merits in 2007; he won USATF Outdoor Nationals, and jumped 5.86m (19’2.75”) to win gold at the outdoor World Championships in Osaka, Japan. Again, T&FN ranked him first in the world. The 2008 season saw Brad win another indoor USAs title, set an American Record of 6.04m (19’9.75”) at the Nike Prefontaine Classic, and earn a spot on the Beijing, China Olympic Team, his first. He won USATF Outdoor Championships again in 2009, and looks to return to form internationally this 2011 season. Check out his website.
Ian (EYE-an) was an 8-time NCAA All-American in the throwing events while attending Washington State University. Originally from Post Falls, Idaho, he holds his state’s high school discus record. Ian earned a spot on the 1996 World Junior Championships team and threw for fifth in the discus and sixth in the shotput in Sydney, Australia. In 2004, Ian placed second at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the discus, making his first Olympic Team and competing in Athens, Greece. The 2005 season saw him win his first USA Outdoor Championship title with a discus mark of 64.54m (211’9”), and go on to place fifth with 64.27m (210’10”) at the World Championship meet in Helsinki, Finland. Ian’s international success combined with his 2005 season-best toss of 66.95m (219’8”) earned him a #8 world ranking by Track and Field News. He again won USAs in 2006, threw his personal best 68.91m (226’1”) at Salinas, California, and finished the year ranked fourth in the world by T&FN. He made his second World Championship team in 2007, traveling to Osaka, Japan. The next year, Ian won the 2008 Olympic Trials and competed on his second Olympic Team in Beijing, China. He threw at his third World Championships in Berlin, Germany in 2009. Ian was ranked first in the U.S. by Track and Field News for four straight years (2005-2008), and looks to return to strong competition this season after battling injury during 2010.
Putting the shot at 2010 USATF National Championships, courtesy of Asics America.
Russ, a Colorado Springs, Colorado native, earned NCAA All-American status five times in the shotput and once in the discus while competing for the University of Idaho. He was runner-up at the NCAA Indoor Championships three years in a row (2006-2008), and ended college with an overall personal record of 21.29m in the shotput. During his sophomore season (2005) for the Vandals, Russ placed ninth at the USA Outdoor Championships with 20.05m, a then-personal record. He made the North American, Central American and Caribbean Under-23 Championship team that competed in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 2006, earning a silver medal in the shotput with a throw of 63’6” at his first international meet. In 2007, Russ came in fourth at the Nike Prefontaine Classic, throwing 20.81m; the tenth-longest shotput internationally that year. He was the only men’s thrower to make the final at the 2007 USA Outdoor Championships in both the shot and disc, placing sixth and seventh, respectively. At the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, he finished in fifth place in the shotput. The 2009 season, Russ’s first one as a professional, saw him finish in his highest spot yet at a national championship, earning second at Indoor USAs (ESPN video here). He moved to Chula Vista prior to the 2010 season, and recorded personal records in the outdoor shotput (21.25m), outdoor discus (62.88m) and indoor discus (59.03m) last year. His shot distance was the 10th-farthest in the world in 2010. Read Russ's blog, Chalk Chronicles.