April 22, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
The University of Louisville continued its strong outdoor track and field season by capturing three BIG EAST track and field Athlete of the Week awards as announced by the conference office on Wednesday. Junior Jere' Summers was named the BIG EAST women's field Athlete of the Week. The BIG EAST men's track Athlete of the Week was senior Cory Thorne, while redshirt junior Steven Hnat was tabbed the BIG EAST men's field Athlete of the Week.
"It's certainly a great honor for these athletes to be recognized for their outstanding achievements this past weekend," said U of L head coach Ron Mann. "We are proud of them and hope that they can continue this going forward."
Louisville swept both team titles at the second annual Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational on April 18 at Cardinal Park. Summers set the tone with three regional qualifying marks and a pair of event titles. Her throw of 199-10 (60.91m) in the hammer increased her position to the 11th-best throw in the nation and ranks third on the school's all-time list. In addition, her throw is the best in the BIG EAST this season. Her throw of 173-07 (52.91m) in the discus was the fourth-best mark in school history and is tied for the eighth-best in the country. Summers also placed second in the shot put with toss of 50-05.25(15.37m).
Also at the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational, the Cardinal men were led by the school record breaking performance of Hnat in the shot put. Hnat won the event, breaking his own school record for the fourth time this season, with a heave of 58-09.25(17.91m). That mark is the 23rd-best in the nation. Hnat also finished fifth in the discus with an NCAA Mideast Regional qualifying and personal best throw of 170-11 (52.09m).
The Cardinals also competed at the Mt. SAC Relays held at the Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, Calif., on April 16. Thorne set a school record while running an NCAA Mideast Regional qualifying mark and the nation's fastest time of 8:39.19 in the invitational 3,000-meter steeplechase. Thorne surpassed the previous record of 8:49.41, which he had set two years ago at the Mt. SAC Relays, by more than 10 seconds. He also ran a personal best in his first attempt at the event this season.
This is the seventh weekly award and third consecutive for the Cardinals. Rachel Gehret garnered recognition along with Hnat on March 25, while Tone Belt earned honors on April 8. Hnat received the award a week ago on April 15.
The Cards will return to action on April 23-25 at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa and the WKU Invite in Bowling Green, Ky. on April 25.