Alysia Montaño, a 2004 Canyon High graduate, has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after setting an American record of 1:23.59 in the 600m at the Millrose Games in New York on Saturday.
“We were warming up and I could hear the crowd. It was so phenomenal,” Montaño said. “It was impossible not to get amped up for my race. I don’t typically like racing indoors, but the crowd makes me want to run there again.”
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Montaño’s time smashed the previous American record of 1:26.56 set by Delisa Walton in 1981. Her performance was the seventh fastest in history (indoors or outdoors) and was less than two-tenths of a second off the world best.
Montaño’s record came on the heels of Bernard Lagat’s two-mile American record of 8:09.49.
“We were waiting to start as Bernard was taking his victory lap,” Montaño said. “I decided I would run over to Bernard and give him a hug so his American record could rub off on me.”
Montaño is at a loss for words to describe her record-breaking performance. “I don’t have a word for it, and I am usually a very talkative person,” Montaño said. “But I can’t put a word on how I feel. I’m more than happy, I’m overjoyed.”
USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is in it’s 12th year and 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.
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