Nike Outdoor Nationals will feature nation’s top prep athletes

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    Ryan
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    Several of the nation's top high school track and field stars will compete this weekend at the 2007 Nike Outdoor Nationals (NON). The meet, which is one of the country's premiere high school events, runs today through Saturday at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro.

    Some of the top athletes to watch include:

    *Tiffany Townsend has the top times of the season in the girls 100 and 200 meters. 2006 World Junior silver medalist and 4x100m gold medalist Gabrielle Mayo, last year's 100m champion and third-place finisher in the 200m, will be among the challengers in both events.

    *2006 World Junior 4x400m gold medalist Jessica Beard headlines the girls 400m. Beard won the 400m at the 2006 NON and the 2006 Finish Line USA Junior Championships. She then went on to win the 2007 Nike Indoor Nationals (NIN).

    *Chanelle Price, who will compete for Team USA at the 2007 IAAF World Youth Championships in July, returns to defend her title in the girls 800 meters. Price won the 2007 Pennsylvania State title and has a season-best of 2 minutes 3.30 seconds.

    *After finishing third at the 2006 NON, Patience Coleman will attempt to claim the championship in the girls high jump. She is the reigning U.S. Junior champion and also won the title at the 2007 NIN.

    *2006 NON and USA Junior champion Emily Pendleton will try to defend her title in the girls discus. Her season-best throw of 55.85 meters/183 feet 3 inches is about five feet short of Suzy Powell's National record (57.40m/188-4).

    *2006 NON and USA Junior champion Walter Henning will look to defend his title in the boys hammer throw. His season-best national record of 78.00m/255-11 is more than 20 feet farther than the American Junior record he set at last year's USA Junior Championships. He was third at the NON in 2004 and second in 2005.

    *In the boys 110m hurdles, 2006 NON champion Johnny Dutch will look to repeat. This season he has a best of 13.79, as well as a wind-aided 13.39.

    *Three athletes in the boys high jump have gone over seven feet this year, including Randal Carter, who leads the nation with a best of 2.23m/7-4. Grant Lindsay and Eddie McClain have bests of 2.21m/7-3 and 2.13m/7-0, respectively.

    *2006 NON champion Ben Stephen will try to defend his title in the boys shot put. He will challenge 2007 NIN and national leader Jimmie Pacifico, who has thrown 22.05m/71-4.75 this season.
    For more information and complete results, visit http://nikeoutdoor.nationalscholastic.org/index.php.

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