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Cox Named USATF Athlete of Week

January 20, 2011
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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After breaking his own 50K American record, Josh Cox was honored as the USATF Athlete of the Week. (Photo courtesy of Rock 'n' Roll Marathon)

Josh Cox, a 1998 Liberty graduate, has been named USA Track & Field's (USATF) Athlete of the Week. He earned the award by shattering his own 50K American record on Sunday.

Cox became the first American male ever to win the P.F. Chang's Rock ‘n' Roll Arizona Marathon in Phoenix. He then continued on past the finish line to eclipse his own American record in the 50K (slightly over 31 miles), clocking a time of 2:43:45.

Cox fell just seven seconds shy of the 50K world record (2:43:38), which has been held by South Africa's Thompson Magawana since 1988. However, he lopped more than three and a half minutes off of his own American standard, a 2:47:17 effort achieved on the same course on Jan. 18, 2009.

Cox, who lives and trains in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., finished Sunday's marathon in 2:17:32, defeating runner-up Solomon Kandie of Kenya by 1:08. He then headed to nearby Arizona State University, completing the remainder of his 50K at the Sun Angel Stadium track. Cox churned out a 71-second lap on his final revolution of the track, but could not quite chase down the world record time.

This is Cox's first USATF Athlete of the Week recognition since Jan. 20, 2009. That award came after he set the 50K American record for the first time.

Now in its 10th 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.

Please see below for a postrace interview with Cox, conducted by Competitor.com.