INDIANAPOLIS -- Dawn Ellerbe (Northridge, California) set an American record in the women’s hammer throw on April 29, 2000 and was voted by fans as winner of the sixth USATF Throwback Athlete of the Week award. In the absence of competition during the Covid-19 pandemic, we are taking a weekly look back at some of the great efforts by American track and field athletes through the years.

A pioneer in American women’s hammer throwing, Ellerbe was the 1999 Pan Am Games champion and was an Olympian in 2000, finishing seventh. She made three U.S. teams for the IAAF World Championships, with a best placing of 10th in ‘99. At the 2000 Penn Relays, Ellerbe broke her own AR by a foot with a 70.46m/231-2 toss in round two to notch the sixth of her career seven record-setting performances. She returned to Philadelphia one year later to set her final AR of 70.62m/231-8.

Ellerbe is in her seventh year as Associate Athletics Director for Marketing, Branding and Fan Development at Cal State Northridge, where she also serves as the sports administrator for the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field programs.
Other historical performances of note from the April 27-May 3 period in USATF history:

  • April 27 — Sheila Hudson-Strudwick American record in women’s triple jump, 14.38m/47-2.25 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1996
  • April 28 — Meyer Prinstein American record in men’s long jump, 7.50m/24-7.25 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1900
  • April 30 — John Thomas World record in men’s high jump, 2.17m/7-1.5 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1960
  • May 1 — Chris Solinsky American record in men’s 10,000m, 26:59.60 at Stanford, California in 2010
  • May 2 — Glenn Hartranft world record in men’s discus throw, 47.89m/157-1 at San Francisco, California in 1925
  • May 3 — Deena Drossin (Kastor) American record in women’s 10,000m, 30:50.32 at Stanford, California in 2002

Now in its 19th 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 USATF.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2020 Winners: January 9, Miranda Melville; January 16, Paul Perry; January 23, Natosha Rogers; January 30, Tyler Day, February 6, Devin Dixon; February 13, Elle Purrier; February 20, Tori Franklin; February 27, Sandi Morris; March 4, Abdi Abdirahman; March 12 Marielle Hall; March 19, Tim Tollefson; April 2, Louise Ritter; April 9, Francie Larrieu Smith; April 16, Erin Gilreath; April 23, Suzy Powell; April 30, Joe Dial; May 7, Dawn Ellerbe.
We welcome your nominations!
To nominate an athlete for USATF Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about his/her performance to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..