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Posted: November 15, 2012  

Athletics: Marra named Nike Coach of the Year; Spence named USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week

Marra named Nike Coach of the Year

Legendary coach Harry Marra has been named USA Track & Field's 2012 Nike Coach of the Year, USATF announced Wednesday. Marra will be honored during the Jesse Owens Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday, December 1, as part of the USATF Annual Meeting in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The combined events coach for the Nike Oregon Track Club Elite, Marra coached 2012 Jesse Owens Award winner Ashton Eaton to two world records, a World Indoor title and an Olympic gold medal in 2012 -- all in just three competitions.

"This year has been great," Marra, 65, said. "Getting an award like this is a direct reflection on the athletes. For me being the age I am, thanks needs to go to every athlete I have coached and to all the mentors I had as a young coach and athlete coming up. I'm also very thankful to Nike and to USA Track & Field."

Eaton's 2012 season will mostly be remembered for the world record he set in the decathlon at a rain-soaked Hayward Field at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Ore. He set world decathlon records in the 100m and long jump in the process before running a personal best in the 1,500m to set the world record of 9,039 points. Eaton then went on to London and claimed Olympic gold. His season also included setting the world record for the third consecutive year in the heptathlon in winning the World Indoor title and winning a USA Indoor championship in the long jump. Click here to continue reading the full release.

©PhotoRun

Speence named USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS - Neely Spence (Lake Orion, Mich.) has been named USA Track & Field's Athlete of the Week after setting the course record at the HCA 8 km race in in Richmond, Va., on Nov. 10.

After running the first three miles of the race with her father Steve Spence, the 1991 World Outdoor Championships marathon bronze medalist, the younger Spence went on to win the women's race in 25:22.

"I knew what the course record was going into the race, but it wasn't a familiar distance for me," Spence said. "I'd never run an 8 km before, so I felt like it might be a little bit ambitious to run the record pace of 5:05, when my goal was to run around 5:10 pace."

The pace didn't present a challenge to Spence as she broke the course record with two seconds to spare. Spence won the women's race with more than 25 seconds separating her from second place. Her father, who served as her high school and college coach, finished in 25:45. Click here to continue reading the full release.

©PhotoRun

About USA Track & Field

USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track & field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, the World's #1 Track & Field Team, the most-watched events at the Olympics, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport, and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States: USATF.org.


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