Crestwood High School graduate and 2012 London Olympic gold medal finalist Bridget Franek was recently named the USA Track and Field Athlete of the Week.
The member of the Oregon Track Club Elite received the honor after she set an American record in the 2,000-meter steeplechase, running a time of 6:19.09 at the Oregon Preview last Saturday.
Franek's new American record broke the mark set in 2007 by Carrie Messner (6:20.66).
"The announcement was made of the loudspeaker that it was an American record, and it was hard to believe," Franek was quoted at the event by a running publication. "It was hard to absorb and appreciate in the moment."
Franek's first-place finish at the event bested her previous personal record by 19 seconds and she finished ahead of the second-place runner by 1 minute, 3 seconds.
"I felt good about opening up the season with that fast of time," said Franek. "I expected this type of result because it was the first event of the season."
Franek led the Crestwood Red Devils to an OHSAA state championship in 2006, winning three individual events (800 meters, 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters), while also anchoring a relay team that also won a state title. She went on to become a 10-time All-American at Penn State and won a national championship in the steeplechase for the Nittany Lions.