By Jacob Most
Feb. 10, 2014 -
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky track and field’s Dezerea Bryant was named the National Athlete of the Week by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday.
Bryant produced the fastest 200-meter performance by any woman in the world so far this season last Saturday.
Bryant’s time of 22.82 capped a two-day competition in which she won two events (60m on Friday), and was named “Most Outstanding Performer” of the Doc Hale Virginia Tech Elite Meet.
Her nation (and world) leading 200m time of 22.82 means she now has the fastest collegiate time this season in both the 200m and 60 (7.19).
Bryant’s 200m performance was significant on multiple levels as the time smashed her previous school-record of 23.04, set a new personal best for the two-time indoor 200m All-American (nine times in all events) and is just 0.14 seconds outside the all-time collegiate top-10 in the event.
The performance made Bryant the 15th fastest American collegian of all-time at 200m.*
Bryant won the 200m over teammate Kendra Harrison, who ran the nation's 10th fastest 200m this season in Harrison's debut at the distance.
Each of the ten fastest indoor collegiate 200m performances of all-time came at Arkansas’ Randall Tyson Indoor Track, making the fact that Bryant’s performance came at Virginia Tech’s Rector Field House, where the 200m indoor track has less steep banked turns than Arkansas all the more impressive.
She ran a time of 7.27 in the 60m, defeating her teammate Harrison again, who produced the No. 11 time in the nation in that event.
She is undefeated in both 60m and 200m finals this season, including school-record performances in both events and a 60m dead-heat finish with 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Tiana Bartoletta (née Madison).
Bryant was named Southeastern Conference runner of the week on Jan. 21 after she broke the Kentucky school records in both the 60m and 200m in her UK debut, and she is also a school record holder in the 4x400m relay.
*Information provided by Kyle Terwillegar via Track & Field News.