Posted by: Joe English | November 26, 2008

Racing: Rupp named athlete of the week by USATF

Galen Rupp, University of Oregon

Galen Rupp, University of Oregon

INDIANAPOLIS – 2008 Olympian and University of Oregon runner Galen Rupp has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after winning the men’s individual national title Monday at the 2008 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.

Rupp out-dueled Samuel Chelanga of Liberty University down the stretch to win his first NCAA individual title in leading his University of Oregon teammates to the NCAA team championship for the second consecutive year.

Over the final loop of the course, Rupp was content to let Chelanga lead until the pair hit the final straight away. With about 400 meters to go, Rupp made his final push and pulled clear for the title.

This marks the second consecutive week that Rupp has been named USATF’S Athlete of the Week. He previously earned the distinction on November 18 after compiling his second straight NCAA West Regional title on November 16 in Stanford, Calif. Rupp crossed the finish line in a blistering 27 minutes 41.24 seconds for the win on a course that was just 85m shy of 10,000 meters. With his victory, Rupp became the third Oregon runner to win back-to-back Regional titles, joining Jim Hill in 1982-83 and Karl Keska in 1995-96.

Rupp set junior national and American high school records while competing for Portland, Oregon’s Central Catholic High School. Originally a soccer player, he caught the eye of American marathon legend Alberto Salazar, who coached him to great high school success. In 2004, he broke Gerry Lindgren’s revered 40-year old U.S. high school record for 5,000 meters by almost seven seconds, running 13:37.91 for the distance. Rupp also broke the U.S. high school record for 3,000 meters at 8:03.67 (since broken by German Fernandez).

Rupp went on to the University of Oregon and has distinguished himself with a second-place at the NCAA cross-country championships last year and now an overall title this year. He also represented the USA in the Olympics in Beijing, finishing 13th in the 10,000M in 27:36.99.

Now in its seventh 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 the USATF website. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.

Source: USATF
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