February 22, 2008 at 1:34 am #7068
INDIANAPOLIS – Many of America's finest athletes will compete this weekend at the 2008 AT&T USA Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center in Boston, Mass, where national indoor titles and Team USA roster spots for the 2008 IAAF World Indoor Track & Field Championships, March 7-9 in Valencia, Spain, are at stake.
The concluding event of USATF's Indoor Visa Championship Series, the AT&T USA Indoor Track & Field Championships is the world's oldest indoor track championship, with the first meet being held in 1888 in New York. The AT&T USA Indoor Championships will be televised Sunday, February 24 from 5-7 p.m., Eastern Time on ESPN2.
The men's 60 meters will feature reigning world indoor champion Leonard Scott, who won at the Millrose Games in New York on February 2 in 6.59 seconds. He'll be challenged by 2007 World Outdoor Championships 4x100m relay gold medalist Leroy Dixon and 2008 Reebok Boston Indoor Games winner Dabryan Blanton. The men's 400m also should prove interesting as 2003 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist Tyree Washington battles three-time World Outdoor and 2004 Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist Derrick Brew and five-time NCAA Outdoor relay winner Kelly Willie, who posted the second-fastest time (46.54) by an American this indoor season with his win in Fayetteville, Ark., on January 26.
Khadevis Robinson and Nick Symmonds will face each other in what always makes for an interesting race. A four-time USA Outdoor champion and two-time USA Indoor titlist, Robinson faces a strong challenge from Symmonds, the reigning USA Indoor champion and 2007 USA Outdoor runner-up to Robinson. The men's 1,500 meters features 2007 U.S. 3,000m steeplechase champion Josh McAdams, 2000 Olympian and 2006 USA Outdoor 1,500m runner-up Gabe Jennings and 2003 NCAA Outdoor 1,500m champion and Pan Am Games bronze medalist Grant Robison.
Matt Tegenkamp enters the men's 3,000 meters following his breakthrough 2007 campaign where he won the USA Indoor 3,000m title and placed fourth in the 5,000m at the World Outdoor Championships, finishing just .03 shy of the bronze medal. He'll be challenged by 3-time indoor champ Jonathon Riley of Brookline, among others.
1996 Olympic 110m hurdles gold medalist Allen Johnson headlines any field he's entered in and this event is no exception. The four-time World Outdoor and three-time World Indoor champion will be challenged in the 60m hurdles by young lions Antwon Hicks, who posted the fastest time (7.53 seconds) by an American this indoor season with his win at the Millrose Games, David Oliver, who ended the 2007 season ranked #96 in the world by Track & Field News and Joel Brown, who finished second at the 2008 Reebok Boston Indoor Games in 7.61. Also look for 20056 World decathlon champion and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Bryan Clay.
The men's pole vault features reigning World Outdoor champion Brad Walker, who ended the 2007 campaign ranked #1 in the world by T&FN, along with reigning Olympic champion Tim Mack, 2004 Olympic silver medalist Toby Stevenson and three-time NCAA Outdoor champion Tommy Skipper. The men's high jumpers are led by Jesse Williams, who ended the 2007 season ranked #87 in the world by T&FN, and owns the highest clearance by an American this indoor season of 2.32 meters/7 feet 7.25 inches.
2007 World Athletics Final runner-up Brian Johnson leads the field in the men's long jump after posting the top mark by an American this season of 8.13 meters/26 feet 8.25 inches on February 1. Reigning USA Indoor and Outdoor champion Aarik Wilson is the heavy favorite in the men's triple jump. He'll be tested by current U.S. leader Kenta Bell, who soared to 16.89 meters/55 feet 5 inches in Gainesville, Florida on January 26.
The world's three finest shot putters will battle for supremacy when reigning world indoor and outdoor champion Reese Hoffa, two-time Olympic silver medalist and 2005 World Outdoor champion Adam Nelson and 2004 World Indoor champion Christian Cantwell do battle on Sunday. Between them they own the eight best throws in the world this year, with Nelson leading the list with his monstrous winning toss of 22.40 meters/73 feet 6 inches last Saturday at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. Dan Taylor, who ended the 2007 campaign ranked #6 in the world, could also challenge for top honors. Elsewhere, look for another impressive thrower in A.G. Kruger, who is a heavy favorite to win his fourth consecutive, and fifth overall, 35-lb. weight throw crown.
A new men's U.S. 5,000m indoor race walk champion will be crowned due to an injury to two-time Olympian Tim Seaman, who has owned this event for the past 10 years. Favorites to claim the crown include U.S. Olympic Trials – 50 km Race Walk runner-up Matt Boyles and 1999 World 50 km Championships bronze medalist Curt Clausen.
Two-time World Indoor 60m silver medalist Angela Williams, who owns the second and third fastest times in that event in the world this year, leads a strong field that includes 2007 World Outdoor Championships 100m bronze medalist Carmelita Jeter, 2007 Pan Am Games 100m gold medalist Mikele Barber and 2005 USA Indoor champion and Indoor Visa Championships Series winner Angela Daigle-Bowen. The women's 400 meters is a wide open affair with 2005 World Outdoor Championships 400m hurdles silver medalist Lashinda Demus, 2007 World Outdoor Championships 4x400m relay gold medalist Mary Wineberg (U.S. Leader – 52.23 seconds) and 2004 Olympic Games 4x400m relay gold medalist Moushaumi Robinson considered the favorites.
2006 USA Indoor Championships 1,500m runner-up Tiffany McWilliams will take on 2004 Olympic Trials 800m runner-up Nicole Teter in the women's 800 meters and 2005 USA Indoor 1,500m champion Jen Toomey is favored in the women's 1,500 meters along with Christin Wurth-Thomas, who posted the fastest time by an American this indoor season in the mile with her 4:27.18 clocking February 15 at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. Keep your eye on USA Outdoor 5,000m runner-up Jen Rhines in the women's 3,000 meters, along with 2005 USA Outdoor 10,000m champion Katie McGregor.
Reigning USA Indoor champion Lolo Jones and 2006 USA Indoor and Outdoor runner-up Damu Cherry have dominated the women's 60m hurdles all season and the championship should be decided between them. On February 10 in Valencia, Spain, Jones set the fastest time by an American this season of 7.77 seconds and Cherry ran the second-fastest U.S. time this season of 7.85.
In women's field event action, three-time USA Indoor high jump champion Amy Acuff will look to defend her title against 2006 USA Indoor and Outdoor champion and 2005 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist Chaunte Howard, who is returning from maternity leave. Favorites in the women's pole vault include reigning USA Indoor and Outdoor champion Jenn Stuczynski, 2008 Millrose Games winner Jillian Schwartz, 2007 Pan Am Games silver medalist April Steiner and 2007 USA Indoor Champs runner-up Lacy Janson. At the Tyson Invitational February 15, Stuczynski, Schwartz and Janson all surpassed the 15-foot mark.
2007 World Outdoor Championships finalist Tianna Madison is the favorite in the women's long jump, and reigning USA Indoor and Outdoor champion Shani Marks will look for another U.S. crown in the women's triple jump, along with 2004 Olympic Trials champion and American record holder Tiombe Hurd, who will be vying for her fifth career national indoor title.
The women's shot put features returning champion Jillian Camarena, who ended the 2007 season ranked #1 in the U.S. by Track & Field News. She'll face a strong challenge from reigning USA Outdoor champion Kristin Heaston. In the women's 20 lb. weight throw, defending champion Amber Campbell will try to hold off three-time national indoor champion Erin Gilreath.
After winning her first USA Indoor 3,000m race walk title last year, Sam Cohen will face a strong challenge from six-time USA Indoor champion Teresa Vaill, who is looking for her first Indoor crown since 1991 and five-time USA Indoor champion Joanne Dow.
For more information on the AT&F USA Indoor Championships, including status of entered athletes, visit: http://www.usatf.org/events/2008/USAIndoorTFChampionships/entry/status.asp
For more information on the Visa Championship Series, visit: http://www.visachampionshipseries.com
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