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Wednesday, 19 July 2017 13:11

WEEKEND ROUNDUP FROM USATF - July 17, 2017

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Donavan Brazier at the USATF Outdoor Champs in June 2017. Donavan Brazier at the USATF Outdoor Champs in June 2017. www.PhotoRun.net
A wrap-up of the weekend's events from USTAF:
 
USATF OLYMPIANS JOINED RETIRED NBA AND WNBA STARTS IN CELEBRITY BASKETBALL GAME TO BENEFIT 1,500 ATLANTA STUDENTS, PARTICIPATED IN AAAG SPORTS FESTIVAL
ATLANTA -- Nearly 1,500 elementary and high school students met their role models and received needed school supplies as retired USA Track & Field athletes joined forces with retired professional basketball players in an all-star basketball game on Saturday in Atlanta, Georgia.
 
The track & field team comprised of Olympic greats such as John Carlos, Mel Pender, Dannette Young and Dwight Phillips. They matched up with several retired professional basketball players including Drew Barry, Stephanie Dunn and Dale Ellis. 
 
There were also appearances by 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and Atlanta native Kristi Castlin, as well as two-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time World Champion and Atlanta Dreams’ all-time leading scorer Angel McCoughtry.
 
Created in collaboration with several local organizations – African American Association of America – Georgia (AAAG), USATF Georgia Association and Top of the Key – the event included an education fair to inspire the next generation of student athletes toward success.    
 
The following day, USATF alumni participated in the AAAG Sports Festival by presenting awards and signing autographs. 
 
 
CROUSER, WHITING AND BRAZIER SHINE AT RABAT DIAMOND LEAGUE
RABAT, Morocco -- Team USATF Olympians Ryan Crouser and Ryan Whiting highlighted the Diamond League meeting in Rabat, Morocco this past weekend. Crouser, the 2016 Olympic Champion, claimed his third Diamond League victory this season with a meet record throw of 22.47m /73-8.75. Whiting, a 2012 Olympian and 2013 IAAF World silver medalist joined Crouser on the podium with finishing in third with a mark of 20.26m /66-5.75.
 
Youngster Donavan Brazier finished third in the men’s 800m with a 1:44.62. Brazier, who made his first senior national team with his victory at the 2017 USATF Outdoor Championships, has continued to prove he is ready to take on the world’s best in London next month. 
 
Brenda Martinez claimed a top-three finish in the women’s 1500m. She finished 3rd in a season best 4:02.75. Shannon Rowbury finished sixth in 4:06.73. Both women will compete in London at the IAAF Outdoor Championships, Rowbury in the 5000m and Martinez in the 800m.
 
 
101-YEAR-OLD JULIA “HURRICANE” HAWKING SETS PENDING MASTERS AGE-GROUP WR
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- Julia Hawkins arrived at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium determined to continue her dominance left the competition in her wake with a new masters world record in the 100m. The 101-year-old Baton Rouge native ran an inspiring 40.12. Her time is still pending approval. Hawkins spoke to the media and explained that she runs because “exercise keeps you alive, active and mentally sharp”. 
 
While Hawkins stole the show, two Team USATF Olympians also competed in various events. 2008 Beijing Olympian, Walter Dix competed in the men’s M30 100m claiming his first national title at the master’s level. Dix is a two-time medalist from Beijing, where he claimed bronze in the 100m and 200m events. On the women’s side, Amy Yoder-Begley competed in numerous events including the 4x100, 4x400, 10000m, and shot put, for her club, Atlanta Track Club. Begley was a six-time USATF national champion and competed at the 2008 Games in the women’s 10000m, where she finished 26th. 
 
 
NEELY SPENSE-GRACEY REPEATS AS ROCK-N-ROLL CHICAGO HALF-MARATHON CHAMPION
CHICAGO -- Neely Spence-Gracey claimed her second title at the Humana Rock-n-Roll Chicago Half-Marathon on Saturday. Returning as the defending champion, Gracey finished almost three minutes ahead of the second place women, with a time of 1:13:13. Her performance comes after a tremendous top-10 performances at the Boston Marathon in April and the New York City Marathon in November. 
 
Gracey was met by American distance running legend Kathrine Switzer, at the finish line. Switzer was on hand promoting her partnership with a healthcare company to inspiring seniors to stay healthy and active and cheer on the runners.
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