INDIANAPOLIS -- After bettering the American U20 record in the women’s 5,000m, Jenna Hutchins (Johnson City, Tennessee) was selected as USATF Athlete of the Week, and two-time Olympian Kenny Moore was the winner of the 38th USATF Throwback Athlete of the Week award for setting an American best in the men’s marathon on December 7, 1969. In the absence of regular 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.

In the wake of a sub-16 minute cross country victory in Alabama in November, a barrier-breaking run for a female high schooler, the 16-year-old Hutchins turned to the track at the Five and Dime meet at Columbia International University in South Carolina to challenge the existing U20 5,000m AR of 15:36.95, set in 2003 by Molly Huddle. Hutchins cruised through the first 1K in 3:05.39 and kept a reasonably steady pace through the next two kilometers to pass 3,000m in 9:21.18. 
 
Weaving through a field of lapped runners over the final circuit, she was pressed by Annie Rodenfels down the homestretch, but used a 70.63 last 400m to stop the clock at 15:34.47, the fastest outdoor 5,000m ever by an American U20 woman (pending retification). Rodenfels also set a lifetime best in second place at 15:35.18.
 
One of the great American sportswriters of his generation, Moore first caught the American track and field public’s eye in 1964 when he placed fifth in the 5,000m at the NCAA Championships for Oregon. He captured the 1967 AAU cross country title, and then was 14th in the marathon at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City after finishing second in the U.S. Trials at Alamosa, Colorado. Moore also started a six-year winning streak at the Bay to Breakers road race in ‘68.
 
The following year, after taking bronze in the AAU 10,000m, Moore finished seventh at the Fukuoka Marathon in Japan, clocking 2:13:28 to chop a minute off the previous American best, set six years earlier by Buddy Edelen. Moving up to second place in 1970, Moore lowered his marathon PR to 2:11:36, which would end up as his lifetime best.
 
Moore won the AAU marathon title in 1971, and then tied friend and sometime training partner Frank Shorter for the win at the 1972 Olympic Trials in Eugene with a 2:15:58. Shorter would go on to take gold at the Munich Olympics, with Moore tantalizingly close to a medal in fourth place in 2:15:39.
 
Transitioning to a post-competitive career, Moore became a sports journalist, activist and screenwriter. He wrote for Sports Illustrated for 25 years in the heyday of that magazine, penning many of the best pieces in the annals of American track and field journalism, and wrote a screenplay about Steve Prefontaine that became the 1998 movie Without Limits. Moore was one of the major proponents of the 1978 Amateur Sports Act, and also worked to free 1968 Olympic marathon champion Mamo Wolde, who had been falsely imprisoned in Ethiopia. In 2006, he published Bowerman and the Men of Oregon: The Story of Oregon's Legendary Coach and Nike's Cofounder
 
More top performances from last week:

  • Shea Foster clocked 28:40.32 to win the men’s 10,000m at the Five and Dime meet in his debut at the distance
  • Dan King bettered three American men’s 60-64 masters records at the Five and Dime meet, going 4:52.68 in the mile, 9:58.77 in the 3,000m and 16:48.67 in the 5,000m
  • Brooke Rauber dominated the girls 17-18 race at the USATF National Junior Olympics Cross Country Championships in Kentucky with a 16:52.7 on the 5K course

All records are pending ratification.
 
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; May 14, Ramona Pagel; May 21, Brian Oldfield; May 28, Jackie Joyner-Kersee; June 4, Jesse Owens; June 11, Mary Decker Slaney; June 18, Leroy Burrell; June 25, Sandra Farmer-Patrick; July 2, Jim Ryun; July 9, Evelyn Ashford; July 16, Wilma Rudolph & Shelby Houlihan; July 23, Pat Daniels & Ryan Crouser; July 30, Michael Norman & Mildred “Babe” Didriksen; August 6, Valarie Allman & Parry O’Brien; August 13, Sara Hall & Kevin Young; August 20, Justin Robinson & Jackie Joyner-Kersee; August 27, Donavan Brazier & Renaldo Nehemiah; September 3, Ryan Crouser & Mike Powell; September 10, Ryan Crouser & Wilma Rudolph; September 17, Rudy Winkler & Kate Schmidt; September 24, Ryan Crouser & Jay Silvester; October 1, Payton Chadwick & Carl Lewis; October 8, Sara Hall & Florence Griffith Joyner; October 15, Shadrack Kipchirchir & Johnny J. Kelley; October 22, Katie Thronson & Billy Mills; October 29, Jaci Smith & Joan Benoit Samuelson; November 5, Molly Huddle & Julie Brown; November 12, Tierney Wolfgram & Hal Connolly; November 19, Lon Myers; November 26, Earlene Brown & Tom McCormack; December 3, Keira D’Amato & Willye White; December 10, Emily Sisson & Frank Shorter; December 17, Jenna Hutchins & Kenny Moore.
 
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..
 
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