Now It's USA Athlete Of The Week For Taiwo
Feb. 13, 2013
SEATTLE - The latest and most prestigious honor to follow Jeremy Taiwo's record-setting heptathlon performance came today, as USA Track & Field named Taiwo it's Athlete of the Week. Taiwo becomes the first Husky to earn the honor since two-time Olympian Brad Walker in 2008.
"I've always believed that I was capable of being a great athlete if I could just stay healthy," Taiwo said in an interview with the USATF. On Monday he was named the Division-I collegiate athlete of the week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. His 6,156 points scored in the heptathlon ranks him third in NCAA history and seventh in U.S. history.
"It is honestly the biggest 180 ever," Taiwo said, referring to his 2012 year spent rehabbing his elbow and hips after a pair of surgeries. "When I was going through everything last year, I was just telling myself that everything happens for a reason, and a tried to stay positive."
Now in its 12th 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 www.usatf.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
Since the award was created in 2002, Walker is the only other Husky to win it, which he has done on three occasions. Taiwo becomes the first Husky to win the honor while still competing for UW.
The Newport High School product proved to be back and better than ever at the Boise State Team Challenge, held in Nampa, Idaho last Friday and Saturday. He rolled to a number of PRs on day one, including a 7.02 60-meter dash, a long jump of 24-4 ¼, a shot put of 46-6 ¼, and then to top it off, Taiwo high jumped a remarkable 7-4 ½, a new World Record for a heptathlon high jump.
His high jump record broke the mark of 7-4¼ (2.24m) held by Scott Sellers (2007) and Nick Ross (2011). Saturday, he came back to PR in the 60m hurdles (8.08) then clear 13-11 ¼ in the pole vault and win the 1,000-meters in 2:34.44. Taiwo's overall score is the fifth-best in collegiate history. The top three marks are held by 2012 Olympic decathlon gold medalist Ashton Eaton, with 2012 silver medalist Trey Hardee holding the fourth-best mark, putting Taiwo in great company.
He set personal-bests in five of the seven components, including a five-inch PR in his exceptional high jump performance. His overall score places him seventh in US history in the heptathlon. The 6,156 total was also a Jackson Track facility record, and shattered his previous school record of 5,780 points.
Taiwo's 60m hurdles time ties for seventh in school history, his long jump ties for sixth in school history, and his high jump is the second-best all-time at Washington, indoors or out, trailing only Husky Hall of Famer Rick Noji.