NEW ORLEANS – Texas A&M freshman Donavan Brazier received a national honor Tuesday as he was selected as the men’s National Athlete of the Week by the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association following his record performance in the 800 meters this past weekend.
Brazier, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, broke the American junior indoor record with a stellar time of 1:45.93 to win the race at the Texas A&M Team Invitational this past Saturday. The previous record of 1:47.84 was set in 1982 by Villanova’s John Marshall in New York City.
Among conference honors awarded today, Brazier was named the SEC men’s Runner of the Week while fellow freshman teammate Jacob Wooten (Tomball, Texas) earned the SEC men’s Field Athlete of the Week.
In addition to breaking the Texas A&M school record of 1:47.14 set by Joey Roberts in 2012, Brazier just missed the U.S. collegiate best of 1:45.88 set by Missouri’s Derrick Peterson in 1999. Brazier’s performances ranks sixth on the American all-time indoor list and fifth on the collegiate all-time indoor list.
Among the World junior indoor list, Brazier ranks fourth behind three individuals who have medaled at the Olympics or World Championships. The World junior record of 1:44.35 was set in 2000 by Russia’s Yuri Borzakovskiy, who won Olympic gold in 2004, the World Indoor title in 2001, as well as World Outdoor silver medals in 2003 and 2005.
The top three marks on the World junior indoor list also include 1:44.81 by Abubaker Kaki of Sudan in 2008 as well as 1:45.05 from Mohamed Aman of Ethiopia in 2013. Kaki claimed a pair of World Indoor titles in 2008 and 2010 along with a silver medal at the 2011 World Outdoor Championships. Aman, meanwhile, won the 2013 World Outdoor title along with World Indoor championships in 2012 and 2014.
Among collegians Brazier’s effort is the fastest non-championship collegiate time in history and the fastest collegiate time, overall, since 2001. His time is the current world leader for the 2016 season ahead of a 1:49.12 run on an oversized track by Kenya’s Eliud Rutto of Middle Tennessee.
Wooten won a jump-off in the pole vault with Aggie teammate Audie Wyatt as both set personal best heights during the event. Wooten cleared 17-9 (5.41) to move to No. 6 on the A&M all-time indoor list. He’s currently the top freshman in SEC pole vault as well as the second best freshman in the NCAA and fourth among all collegians this indoor season.
Prior to clearing career best heights of 17-7 and 17-9 during the jump-off, Wooten’s previous best marks were 17-0 ¾ indoors and 17-4 ½ outdoors.
Texas A&M hosts a quadrangular meet this Saturday, with finals starting at noon, against Arizona State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.