May 16, 2008 at 12:21 am #8880
CARSON, Calif. – Tyson Gay, Allyson Felix, Jeremy Wariner, Bernard Lagat and Jenn Stuczynski are just a few of the big names slated to compete Sunday at the 2008 adidas Track Classic at the Home Depot Center on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills, in Carson, Calif.
The second event of USA Track & Field's 2008 Outdoor Visa Championship Series, the adidas Track Classic will begin Sunday at 12:30 p.m., and will be broadcast live on ESPN from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. PDT (4 p.m.-6 p.m. EDT).
World's best headline women's 100 meters
Seven of the world's top-10 women's 100m sprinters will do battle on Sunday, in what could be considered a preview of the Olympic final in Beijing later this summer. The top four finishers at the 2007 World Outdoor Championships in Osaka, Japan, are entered, led by reigning world champion and the top ranked women's 100m sprinter in the world by Track & Field News, Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica.
Americans challenging Campbell-Brown include 2005 World Outdoor champion Lauryn Williams, who was the runner-up to her Jamaican rival in Osaka by less than an eyelash, and reigning World and Olympic 200m champion Allyson Felix. Felix, who last week ran the 2008 world-leading 100m time of 10.93, has a busy weekend on tap, as she will take part in USC commencement exercises on Friday.
Also look for Osaka bronze medalist and local favorite Carmelita Jeter, who not only ran for Bishop Montgomery High School in nearby Torrance, but also later competed on the Home Depot track for California State University, Dominguez Hills. Torri Edwards, who ended 2007 ranked #2 in the world and won here last year (10.90) is slated to compete, along with Lisa Barber (world ranked #5) and Jamaica's Kerron Stewart, who was a finalist at the Osaka World Championships and is #2 in the world so far this year behind Felix. Making a rare appearance in the 100 meters is 400m standout Sanya Richards, who finished the 2007 season ranked #1 in the world in that event.
Felix is also scheduled to compete in the women's 200 meters, where she is the defending champion (22.18). She'll face 2004 Olympian Lashaunte'a Moore, who was the runner-up to Felix last year at this event in setting her personal best time of 22.46 seconds. Also keep an eye on 2007 USA Junior 200m champion and Junior Pan Am Games gold medalist Bianca Knight.
Gay to attempt sprint double
Reigning World 100m and 200m champion Tyson Gay will look to win both events at Carson after capturing the 100m here last year in 9.79 seconds (+2.5 mps). He'll be challenged in the 100 by Osaka Worlds 200m bronze medalist and reigning adidas TC 200m champion Wallace Spearmon, World Championships silver medalist Derrick Atkins of The Bahamas and 2007 World Outdoor Champs 4x100m relay gold medalists Leroy Dixon and Darvis Patton. Also keep an eye on reigning Olympic 200m gold medalist Shawn Crawford.
In the men's 200 meters, Gay will face a strong challenge from Xavier Carter, who is the third-fastest man all-time behind Michael Johnson and Gay. Up and comer Rodney Martin also will be in the mix after finishing fourth at Osaka last summer.
A strong field will look to dethrone reigning World and Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner in the men's 400 meters. Challengers include world and Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist Darold Williamson, 2007 World 400m hurdles champion Kerron Clement and 2007 Pan Am Games silver medalist Tyler Christopher of Canada, who ended last season ranked #4 in the world.
Lagat headlines distance events
In becoming the first man ever to win the 1,500m and 5,000 meters at a World Outdoor Championships last summer in Osaka, two-time Olympic medalist Bernard Lagat confirmed that he is one of the finest middle distance runners in history. He'll take another step towards his quest for a double gold medal performance in Beijing with his entry in the 1,500 meters on Sunday.
Lagat will face 2007 USA Indoor 800m champion and USA Outdoor runner-up Nick Symmonds, 2007 USA Outdoor 1,500m fourth-place finisher Chris Lukezic and Canadian standout Kevin Sullivan, among others.
The men's 3,000m will feature emerging middle distance star Galen Rupp, who placed second in the 10,000m at both the 2007 USA and NCAA Championships, and placed 11th in that event at the 2007 World Outdoor Championships. He'll be challenged by two-time U.S. 5,000m champion Adam Goucher, 2006 USA 10,000m champion Jorge Torres and his twin brother Ed Torres, who placed 11th in the 10,000m at last year's USA Championships.
In women's middle distance events, 2007 World Championships team member Alice Schmidt is the favorite in the 800 meters, and 2007 USA Outdoor Champs runner-up Christin Wurth-Thomas will look for a win in the 1,500m after placing fourth here last year. Americans to watch in the 3,000 meters include 2007 USA Outdoor Championships 5,000m runner-up and Osaka World Championships finalist Jen Rhines and 2007 World Championships 10,000m bronze medalist Kara Goucher.
Competitive fields featured in hurdles races
1996 Olympic gold medalist and four-time World Outdoor champion Allen Johnson will take on two-time Olympic Games silver medalist and defending adidas and U.S. champion Terrence Trammell in the men's 110m hurdles. Also in the field are up and comer Anwar Moore, who finished the 2007 campaign ranked #4 in the world, and 2004 World Junior and NCAA Outdoor champion Aries Merritt.
The men's 400m hurdles features 2005 World champion Bershawn Jackson, who ended last year ranked #5 in the world. He'll take on Osaka World Outdoor Champs finalist Derrick Williams, who placed fourth here last year and defending adidas champion Kenneth Ferguson, who ended the 2007 campaign ranked #7 globally.
Also look for a hard fought battle in the women's 100m hurdles reigning Olympic champion Joanna Hayes takes on World Indoor champion Lolo Jones and reigning USA outdoor champion Ginnie Powell.
Shot putters, leapers showcased on Sunday
Three of the world's finest men's shot putters will step into the circle for competition at Carson led by two-time Olympic silver medalist, 2005 World Outdoor champion and 2007 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist Adam Nelson. He'll do battle with two-time World Indoor champion and current world leader (21.76m/71-4.75) this season Christian Cantwell, who posted the third best throw in the world last year of (21.96m/72-0.75) in winning at Carson. Also keep an eye on 2007 USA Outdoor runner-up and World Outdoor Championships team member Dan Taylor, who is ranked #6 in the world.
A two-man discus competition is slated for Sunday when two-time USA champion Ian Waltz, who entered this season ranked #1 in the U.S. by T&FN, squares off against two-time national discus champion John Godina, who is best known as a two-time Olympic medalist and three-time World Outdoor champion in the shot put.
Defending adidas TC champion Jenn Stuczynski is the heavy favorite in the women's pole vault after becoming just the third woman ever to clear the 16-foot barrier (4.88 meters) when she cleared that height at the 2007 Reebok Grand Prix in New York City.
She'll be challenged by Olympic gold medalist and former world record holder Stacy Dragila, along with 2007 USA Outdoor Champs third place finisher Lacy Janson, 2007 Pan Am Games silver medalist April Steiner and 2004 Olympian and Osaka World Championships team member Jillian Schwartz.
Three-time Olympian and reigning USA Indoor and Outdoor champion Amy Acuff headlines the women's high jump, where she'll be challenged by 2005 World Outdoor silver medalist and 2006 USA Outdoor champion Chaunte Howard, who returns to competition after becoming a mother last year. Reigning NCAA Outdoor champion Destinee Hooker is in the field along with five-time USA Indoor and Outdoor champion Tisha Waller, who prior to this season last competed in the qualifying round at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
Produced by Global Athletics & Marketing, Inc., tickers for the adidas Track Classic range from $40 (finish line) down to $10, and are available by calling Ticketmaster at 213-480-3232 or visiting http://www.Ticketmaster.com. For group sales, call 1-877-AEG-TICKETS. USATF welcomes you to pay with your Visa. For more information, visit http://www.adidasTrackClassic.com or http://www.visachampionshipsseries.com.
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