INDIANAPOLIS - Jeremy Taiwo of the University of Washington (Renton, Wash.) has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after setting the heptathlon world record in the high jump of 2.24m/7-4.5 en route to his 6,156 point performance at the Boise State Team Classic on Saturday.
Setting personal bests in five of the seven events, Taiwo’s marks are as follows: 60m (7.02); LJ (7.42m/24-4.25); SP (14.18m/46-06.25); HJ (2.24m/7-4.5 ); 60mH (8.08); PV (4.25m/13-11.25); 1000m (2:34.44).
Taiwo’s mark is the fifth-best in NCAA history, and puts him as the third-best NCAA performer only behind Olympic gold and silver medalists Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee. The score is also the current world leading mark, facility record and school record.
Taiwo did not compete for 19 months after the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships. At that event he managed to finish 15th in the decathlon, in spite of competing with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Since then he underwent Tommy John surgery and has made a full recovery.
“It is honestly the biggest 180 ever,” Taiwo said. “When I was going through everything last year, I was just telling myself that everything happens for a reason, and a tried to stay positive.”
Success runs in the Taiwo family. Jeremy’s father Joseph was a two-time Olympian competing for Nigeria at the 1984 and 1988 games where he placed ninth in the triple jump both times.
“I’ve always believed that I was capable of being a great athlete if I could just stay healthy,” Taiwo said.
Now in its 12th 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 www.usatf.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2013 Winners: January 9, Bobby Mack; January 16, Mary Cain; January 22, Ajeé Wilson; January 30, Duane Solomon; February 6, Chris Derrick; February 13, Jeremy Taiwo
About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country's #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit USATF.org.