The COROS Distance Athlete Of The Week (3/25-3/31)

* Niwot's Addy Ritzenhein got off to a thrilling mark this outdoor season in the 1,600m

Photo Credit: Bobby Reyes/MileSplit

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Another week, another slate of distance athletes excelling all around the country.

For the 5th week of the COROS Distance Athlete of the Week, a pair of accomplished stars out of Kansas and Colorado opened up their outdoor campaigns in the best way they could have imagined.

Take a look at both Week 5 winners along with a full list of this season's winners.

Clay Shively, Trinity Academy (FL)

Class of 2024

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Over the last year, Clay Shively has come super close to breaking a handful of barriers and records on the track. 

A year ago, he came the closest any Kansas athlete ever has to breaking the longstanding two mile and 3,200m state records and then was less than a second shy of breaking 4:00 in the mile on multiple occasions this winter.

Over the weekend at the Shawnee Mission South Relays, Shively finally captured one of the elusive state records he'd been chasing.

In the 3,200m, Shively knocked roughly nine seconds off of his best from a year ago, stopping the clock in a new state record time of 8:41.29, which converts to 8:44.29 for 2 miles, breaking both state records. The previous record of 8:46.99 (2 Mile) had stood since 1979, lasting an incredible 45 years.

Shively now owns the Kansas indoor mile and 3,200m records, as well as the outdoor 3,200m, two mile and cross country 5000m record.

Addison Ritzenhein, Niwot (CO)

Class of 2026

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In just her third race since winning big at Nike Cross Nationals in December, the Niwot standout made her sophomore debut on the outdoor oval, winning the 1,600m at the Niwot Invitational.

Ritzenhein had a comfortable gap behind her as she won in 4:44.3, with 12 seconds separating her from the chase pack.

Besides earning the win, Ritzenhein also checked off a few boxes and moved up on some all-time lists as well. She broke the 10-year-old school record held by Elise Cranny, lowering it by over three seconds. She also moved up to No. 4 all-time in state history, and now sits just five seconds shy of a state record.

Ritzenhein also ran the 400m this past weekend, running 59.85, which isn't too shabby for a distance runner.