INDIANAPOLIS - Thirteen-year-old Natalie Rathjen (Dallas, Texas) of the Dallas Metro Striders has been named USA Track & Field's Athlete of the Week after winning the Youth Girls division at the 2009 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno, Nevada.
An eighth-grader at Highland Park Middle School, Rathjen dominated the Youth Girls race, covering the 4 km course in 14:58. She finished 19 seconds ahead of runner-up Sarah Baxter of the So Cal Comets, who took second in 15:17.
Now in its eighth 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 the USATF website. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
Winners: January 6, Mason Finley; January 13, Amber Campbell; January 20, Josh Cox; January 27, German Fernandez; February 3, Ashton Eaton; February 10, Shalane Flanagan; February 17, Galen Rupp; February 24, Dexter Faulk; March 3, Terrence Trammell; March 10, Diana Pickler; March 17, Galen Rupp; March 24, Sumi Onodera-Leonard; March 31, German Fernandez; April 7, Cyrus Hostetler; April 14, Curtis Beach; April 21, Kara Goucher; April 28, Mason Finley; May 5, Chris Derrick; May 12, Natalie Willer; May 19, Will Claye; May 26, Nadine O'Connor; June 2, Tyson Gay; June 9, Dwight Phillips; June 16, Galen Rupp; June 23, Kami Semick; June 30, Dawn Harper; July 7, Raevyn Rogers; July 14, Ryan Crouser; July 28, Anton Krupicka; August 11, Rita Hanscom; August 19, Christian Cantwell; August 26, Trey Hardee; September 1, Dathan Ritzenhein; September 9, Sanya Richards; September 15, Carmelita Jeter; September 23, Tyson Gay; Jamie Donaldson; October 7, Meb Keflezighi; October 14, Dathan Ritzenhein; October 21, Amy Palmiero-Winters; October 27, Sean Quigley; November 3 Meb Keflezighi; November 11, Max King; November 18, Chris Derrick; December 8, Craig Lutz; December 16, Natalie Rathjen.
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 #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.