NEW ORLEANS--For the second week in a row, an athlete who attended high school in the state of Washington has received the top weekly honor given by the USTFCCCA this indoor season.
The University of Washington's Jeremy Taiwo (left/photo courtesy University of Washington), a product of Newport HS in Bellevue, received the USTFCCCA's Division I athlete of the week award for his scintillating performance in the heptathlon at the Boise State Team Challenge meet in Nampa, Idaho last Friday and Saturday.
Taiwo scored 6156 points, a Washington school record, a US leading mark this season, and for one day, the best score in the world, until Eelco Sintnicolaas of the Netherlands topped that mark by scoring 6341 points in his national championship meet on Sunday.
He was competing in his first multi-event since the 2011 NCAA outdoor meet, after surgeries on his elbow and hips kept him out in 2012. Taiwo was scheduled to compete in the heptathlon at the UW Invitational in late January, until he came up with a minor injury in training after the season opening UW Preview meet on January 12th.
The Husky senior's score was topped by a world record in the heptathlon high jump, as he cleared 7-4 1/2 (2.25m), topping the previous world hep high jump mark of 7-4 1/4 (2.24m) shared by Arizona's Nick Ross and Kansas State's Scott Sellers.
Taiwo's high jump mark is also the second best all time indoors or outdoors as a Husky behind hall of famer Rick Noji's 7-6 1/2 (2.30m) set in 1990.
This is the first year that the USTFCCCA has given national weekly honors, making Taiwo, the son of two-time Nigerian Olympian and WSU standout Joseph Taiwo, the first Husky to earn the award. Given to six collegiate track and field athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions), the National Athlete of the Week Award seeks to highlight not only the very best times, marks and scores on a week-to-week basis, but also performances that were significant on the national landscape and/or the latest in a series of strong outings.
Last week, Curtis HS grad Andrea Geubelle of the University of Kansas received the USTFCCCA women's Division I honor for her nation-leading long jump of 21-11 1/2 (6.69m) at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York on February 1st.
Courtesy of Scott Gordon, here is video of Taiwo's world heptathlon high jump in Nampa.
NOTE: The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.