Medalists, record holders on tap for Reebok Boston Indoor Games

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    Ryan
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    INDIANAPOLIS – Reese Hoffa, Jenn Stuczynski, Dwight Phillips, Adam Nelson, Khadevis Robinson, Angela Daigle-Bowen and Galen Rupp headline a top international field that includes Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar for this Saturday's Reebok Boston Indoor Games, the second event of the 2008 Indoor Visa Championship Series.

    Track fans around the country will have limitless opportunities to catch all the action from Boston. ESPN2 will broadcast the meet, hosted at the Reggie Lewis Center, from 3-5 Eastern Time on Sunday. Beginning Tuesday morning, the meet will be available via Webcast, linked from http://www.usatf.org.

    Men's shot put leads the way

    The world's top three men's shot putters will battle it out in what promises to be a memorable competition. Hoffa enters the event #1 world ranked as the reigning world indoor and outdoor champion. He will be challenged by 2007 Indoor Visa Champion and 2004 world indoor champion Christian Cantwell, and 2005 world champion Adam Nelson, who ended last season ranked #2 in the world. The dark horse in this competition is Dan Taylor, who won this event last year with a season's best throw of 21.57 meters/70 feet 9.25 inches, and ended the 2007 campaign ranked #6 in the world.

    Stuczynski looks to improve on great 2007 season

    Reigning Reebok Boston champ Jenn Stuczynski left no doubt in 2007 that she is the new queen of the American women's pole vaulters with wins at the Tyson Invitational, adidas Track Classic and Reebok Grand Prix in New York, where she became the second woman ever to better the 16-foot barrier with her American outdoor record clearance of 4.88 meters, 16 feet. Stuczynski will be challenged Saturday in the women's Nutrilite Pole Vault by 2007 USA Outdoor runner-up Niki McEwen, 2007 USA Outdoor third-place finisher Jillian Schwartz and Canadian record holder Dana Ellis-Buller.

    Robinson, Symmonds square off in men's 800m

    Look for a spirited battle as reigning USA Outdoor champion Khadevis Robinson, who won the 600 meters last week at USA vs. The World at Run for the Dream in Fresno, takes on last year's Reebok Boston Indoor Games winner and USA Indoor champion Nick Symmonds in the men's 800 meters. Symmonds, who was the runner-up to Robinson at the 2007 AT&T USA Outdoor Championships, also won last year at the Prefontaine Classic. Also looking to contend is Sam Burley, who was the runner-up to Symmonds here last year, and three-time SEC champion while at Arkansas, Said Ahmed, who attended Boston English High School.

    Scott, Phillips headline men's 60-meter dash

    2006 World and USA indoor 60m champion Leonard Scott will look to recapture his short sprint dominance in Boston on Saturday, where he'll be challenged by 2004 Olympic and two-time World Outdoor men's long jump champion Dwight Phillips. Other contenders include 2007 World Outdoor Championships 4x100m relay gold medalist Leroy Dixon and 2006 World Cup 4x100m relay gold medalist Jason Smoots.

    Notables in the men's 500 meters include 2005 World Outdoor Championships 400-meter silver medalist and Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist Andrew Rock, who will be challenged by 2004 Olympic relay teammate and fellow gold medal winner Derrick Brew.

    Rupp, Lukezic to meet in men's mile

    One of the brightest young stars in American distance running, Galen Rupp, will take on a strong field in the men's mile. Rupp, who was the runner-up last year in the 10,000 meters at the USA and NCAA Outdoor Championships, finished 11th in that event at the 2007 World Outdoor Championships in Osaka, Japan. He'll be challenged by 2006 USA Indoor 1,500m champion and two-time U.S. Junior 1,500m champion Chris Lukezic. The international contingent in this race features Boaz Cheboiywo of Kenya, Max Smith of New Zealand, Fumikazu Kobayashi of Japan, Ireland's James Nolan, David Freeman of Puerto Rico, Pablo Solares of Mexico and Moise Joseph of Haiti.

    The men's 3,000 meters features a strong international field headed by Australia's Craig Mottram, the 2005 World Championship bronze medalist at 5,000 meters and winner of the 3,000-meter race here last year. He will be challenged by New Zealand's Nick Willis, the 2006 Commonwealth Games 1,500-meter gold medalist. Also in the field are Ethiopia's Markos Geneti, 2004 World Indoor Championship bronze medalist at 3,000 meters, and American Ed Moran, the 5,000-meter gold medalist at the 2007 Pan American Games.

    Youth to be served in men's Reebok 60m hurdlesYouth takes center stage in the men's Reebok 60m hurdles on Saturday. Leading the list is 2004 World Junior 110m hurdles champion Aries Merritt, who placed sixth at the 2007 AT&T USA Outdoor Championships. Also in the field is Joel Brown, who was the runner-up here last year.

    Defar and away the best!

    Ethiopia's incomparable Meseret Defar will look to set the world record in the women's two-mile race on Saturday. Defar, who was named 2007 World Athlete of the Year and ended the season ranked #1 in the world at 3,000m and 5,000 meters by Track & Field News, will try to better the existing world record of 9 minutes 23.38 seconds set in Boston in 2002. Other contenders to watch include New Zealand's Kim Smith, who placed fifth in the 10,000m at the 2007 World Championships and Serbia's Marina Muncan. Top Americans include two-time Olympian Jen Rhines and 2005 USA Outdoor 10,000m champion Katie McGregor.

    Defar's Ethiopian compatriot and reigning world 10,000 meter champion Tirunesh Dibaba, who set the world indoor record in the 5,000 meters in Boston in 2005 and 2007, will look to set the world record at 3,000 meters on Saturday. The record of 8:23.72 was set last February by Defar in Stuttgart. Dibaba's sister, Ejegayehu, who ended the 2007 season ranked #8 in the world at 10,000 meters, will serve as the pacemaker for her world record attempt. Other contenders include Ethiopian Meskerem Legesse and 2007 USA Outdoor 1,500m runner-up Christin Wurth-Thomas.

    Daigle-Bowen, Solomon lead women's sprint fields

    2005 USA Indoor Visa Championship winner and 2005 World Outdoor Championships 4x100m relay gold medalist Angela Daigle-Bowen will look to return to form in the MBTA women's 60 meters. She'll be challenged by 2007 Pan Am Games 100m gold medalist and World Outdoor Championships 4x100m relay gold medalist Miki Barber and sprinter/jumper Brianna Glenn.

    The women's 200-meter field will feature the professional debut of Shalonda Solomon, the 2004 World Junior champion and 2006 NCAA champion while at the University of South Carolina. She'll face a strong challenge from 2004 Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist Moushaumi Robinson.

    Lashinda Demus, who as the 2006 USA Outdoor champion and 2005 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist is well known for her prowess in the 400m hurdles, will attempt something different when she toes the line for the women's 800 meters on Saturday. In her first major race since giving birth to twins last summer, Demus will be challenged by Morgan Uceny, who last year finished fourth at the AT&T USA Outdoor Championships and sixth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Two challengers from Canada, Leanna MacLean and Aimee Teteris, will try to upset the Americans.

    Toomey leads field in women's Visa Mile

    Local fans should give a boost to Jennifer Toomey when she answers the gun in the women's Visa Mile. A resident of nearby Salem, Mass., Toomey is the 2004 double USA champion at 800m and 1,500m indoors and the American record-holder at 1,000 meters.

    She'll be challenged by Lauren Fleshman, who ended the 2007 season ranked #6 in the U.S. in the 1,500 meters, and 2006 USA Indoor runner-up and 2004 NCAA Indoor mile and Outdoor 1,500m champion Tiffany McWilliams, among many others.

    Carolina in my mind

    Reigning world and Olympic heptathlon champion Carolina Kluft of Sweden will open her 2008 season by competing in the women's long jump. Kluft, who set the Reebok Boston Indoor Games meet record with her leap of 6.63 meters/21 feet 9 inches in 2005 and ended the 2007 campaign ranked #6 in the world in the long jump, will be challenged by 2001 USA Indoor and Outdoor champion Jenny Adams and Jamaican 2007 World Outdoor Championships competitor Elva Goulbourne.

    Since the Reebok Boston Indoor Games began in 1996, more than 90 Olympic and World Championship medalists have competed in the event, which has also played host to five world records and nine American records. The event is owned and produced by Global Athletics & Marketing, Inc., an athlete-representation and events firm based in Boston.

    The Reebok Boston Indoor Games, the second stop in USA Track & Field's Visa Championship Series, begins at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 26 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College, 1350 Tremont St. Information and tickets are available on-line at http://www.BostonIndoorGames.com or by phone at 1-877-TIX-TRAC.

    The USA Track & Field Visa Championship Series will continue February 1 with the Millrose Games in New York City; February 15 with the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., and February 23-24 with the AT&T USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston. For more information, including TV broadcast schedules, visit http://www.visachampionshipseries.com

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