FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – We're literally a week into the outdoor track and field season, but it has been an extremely busy—and fun—one for Northern Arizona's Brooke Andersen as she was named the "Women's Track and Field Athlete HERO of the Week" Friday afternoon.
The honor, awarded by HERO College Sports News, is given to a recipient with the most votes in an online survey poll on HERO's website. Following a weekend of great performances, HERO selects and/or nominates athletes and lets the fans of their respective universities battle it out on social media to see who can get the most votes.
For Andersen, the accolade comes following a weekend performance at the UC Irvine Spring Break Invitational at which she broke the Big Sky hammer throw record with a 221-03 (67.43m) toss. She went onto win the event, marking her ninth career victory in the hammer. Additionally, she also ranks No. 2 in the NCAA and was named the Big Sky's "Athlete of the Week" earlier this week.
It was anything but a shoe-in for Andersen, who trailed Louisiana State University sprinter Travia Jones by 43 votes with less than two hours left in the voting process. The margin diminished to 36 with an hour left in the poll before the Lumberjack faithful propelled Andersen past Jones with less than ten minutes left.
When the poll closed and it was all said and done, the NAU fans accumulated 402 votes for Andersen, which is impressive to say the least considering she had 267 just an hour and half before voting ended. She garnered 43.04 percent of the votes, beating out Jones by 21 votes (40.79 percent).