By Jacob Most
May 5, 2014 -
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Andrew Evans was named National Athlete of the Week by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday. The senior discus thrower turned in one of the most impressive performances by a competitive collegian in years with the fifth best throw in NCAA history last Saturday.
Evans recorded an American and NCAA-leading discus throw, 66.37 meters/217-9, to win at the Tennessee Challenge on Saturday.
The mark leads the NCAA by more than four feet (1.36m) over two-time National Champion Julian Wruck (UCLA). The throw also ranks No. 3 in the world this year.
With the mark, he moved to fifth on the all-time collegiate list in the discus.
His second-best attempt of the day (during the fourth round) also made the all-time top-10 at 66.06m/216-8 to take the No. 9 spot. He joins Wruck and Nevada’s Kamy Keshmiri as the only three men with two all-time top-10 throws.
His performance was all the more remarkable considering it traveled more than 12 feet (3.59m) further than his previous personal best (recorded in a Bronze Medal performance at the 2013 NCAA Championships).
Evans broke 2008 NCAA Discus Champion Rashaud Scott's school record (65.90m/216-2)
In the win, Evans defeated among others, Tennessee's Tavis Bailey, who threw the third-best discus mark in the NCAA this year: 64.51m/211-8.
Evans' performance sets up an intriguing SEC Championship in the discus as it will feature Evans competing on his home field, Bailey and defending conference champion Rodney Brown (LSU). Evans defeated Brown for the 2012 SEC Title when the meet was held at LSU.
The 2014 SEC Championships will be held at the UK Outdoor Track and Field Complex from May 15-18. The discus championship will be contested on Saturday, May 17 beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Wruck threw farther last year in an unofficial exhibition, but Evans’ 217-9 bettered Wruck’s official collegiate best of 217-7 (66.32m) to jump to No. 4 on the all-time collegiate performers list (Keshmir has two throws from the early 1990s that rank in the top-3).
Evans is the second Wildcat to earn "National Athlete of the Week" this year as defending NCAA Indoor 200m Champion Dezerea Bryant picked up the honor during the indoor season.
Stanford's Aisling Cuffe earned Division I Women's National Athlete of the Week.
Reporting was contributed by Kyle Terwillegar of USTFCCCA