U.S. and International stars to compete at adidas Track Classic

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    INDIANAPOLIS – Jeremy Wariner, Sanya Richards, Bernard Lagat, Michelle Perry, Alan Webb, Lisa Barber, Wallace Spearmon, Sanya Richards, Leonard Scott, Bernard Lagat, Michelle Perry, Alan Webb, Rachid Ramzi, Ana Guevara and Veronica Campbell are just a few of the U.S. and international stars expected to compete Sunday at the adidas Track Classic in Carson, California.

    The second event of USA Track & Field's 2006 Outdoor Visa Championship Series, the adidas Track Classic will be televised live May 21 on ESPN from 4-6 p.m., Eastern Time. Nearly 40 Olympic or World Championships medalists, including 13 Olympic gold medalists and 11 individual World Champions, will compete at the Home Depot Center on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills.

    The reigning world and Olympic champion at 400 meters, Jeremy Wariner will take on a strong field in the men's 200 meters on Sunday. Earlier this year Wariner lowered his personal best in the 200m to 20.37 at Arlington, Texas. Wariner will have his hands full going up against 2005 World Outdoor Championships 200m silver medalist Wallace Spearmon, who owns the American record indoors for 200m (20.10), the unofficial indoor World best at 300m (31.88) and brought home a gold medal in the 4x400m relay from the 2006 World Indoor Championships. Also look for 2003 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist Darvis Patton and Jamaica's Usain Bolt, the world junior record holder, who ended the 2005 campaign ranked #4 in the world at 200 meters by Track & Field News. Bolt owns the two fastest men's 200m times in the world this year (20.08 & 20.10).

    The men's 100 meters also should prove interesting as reigning World Indoor 60m champion Leonard Scott takes on two-time Olympic 110m hurdles silver medalist Terrence Trammell. Last year Scott won the men's 100m in 10.03 seconds in a race run into a -1.3 meters per second headwind at Carson, with Trammell the runner-up in 10.17. 2000 Olympic 4x100m relay gold medalist Bernard Williams will be on hand, in addition to Jamaica's Dwight Thomas, who placed fifth at last year's World Outdoor championships in Helsinki, Finland, and ended the season ranked #4 in the world by T&FN. Helsinki men's 200m fourth-place finisher and 2005 World Athletics Final champion Tyson Gay is expected to compete as well in the 100 meters.

    One of the events to keep an eye on Sunday will be the men's 400 meters, headlined by 2005 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist Andrew Rock and 2004 Olympic Games silver medalist Otis Harris. Reigning NCAA 400m champion, and Olympic and World Outdoor Championships 4x400m relay gold medalist Darold Williamson could pose a serious threat, along with Jamaica's Michael Blackwood, who ended the 2005 season ranked #9 in the world.

    American Bernard Lagat will be considered a favorite in the men's 1,500 meters following his win here last year in 3 minutes, 34.34 seconds. Lagat, who also enjoyed 1,500m wins last season in London and Rieti, ended the 2005 campaign ranked #2 in the world. He'll be challenged by Rachid Ramzi of Bahrain, the 2005 world champion at 800 and 1,500 meters. Also look for the resurgent Adam Goucher, who is the reigning USA 4 km cross country champion, and the 2006 USA Indoor 3,000m winner. Goucher posted the highest-ever finish by an American man in the short-course race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, placing sixth on May 1. Other U.S. notables in the field include 2005 USA Outdoor fifth-place finisher Charlie Gruber and reigning U.S. 3,000m steeplechase champion Daniel Lincoln.

    The men's 2-mile race should provide some fireworks as two-time U.S. Outdoor 1,500m champion and 2-mile American record holder Alan Webb takes on two-time U.S. 10,000m champion Abdi Abdirahman. Webb demonstrated his early season fitness on April 30 when he posted the fastest-ever debut by an American at 10,000 meters of 27 minutes, 34.72 seconds, at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. Others to watch in this race include Americans Ian Dobson, Luke Watson, Steve Slattery and Ryan Hall. International stars Alistair Cragg from Ireland and Markos Geneti of Ethiopia also will challenge for top honors.

    Americans featured in the men's 800 meters include reigning U.S. Indoor and Outdoor champion Khadevis Robinson, 2003 World Indoor champion David Krummenacker, 2002 USA Indoor champion Derrick Peterson and 2005 USA Outdoor Championships third-place finisher Kevin Hicks. Headliners in the men's 400m hurdles include 2003 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist Joey Woody and Jamaica's Danny McFarlane, who ended the 2005 season ranked #9 in the world.

    The women's 100 meters features an interesting match-up between 2006 USA Indoor Visa Champion Lisa Barber and Jamaica's triple Olympic medalist Veronica Campbell. Barber enjoyed her finest season yet in 2005, highlighted by her fifth-place finish at the World Outdoor Championships and #5 world ranking by T&FN. Her 2006 season got off to a flying start with her 60m win (7.06 seconds) at the USA Indoor Championships followed by her gold medal winning performance in that event at the World Indoor Championships in 7.01 seconds. Campbell was the most successful female athlete of the 2004 Olympic Games, winning the 200, taking bronze in the 100 and gold in the 4×100 relay. Other 100m contenders include 2005 Indoor Visa Championship Series winner Angela Daigle-Bowen, 2003 World Outdoor 100m gold medalist and 200m silver medalist Torri Edwards and 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials champion LaTasha Colander, who ended the 2005 season ranked #10 in the world at 100 meters (#5 at 200m). World Outdoor Championships 100m finalist Muna Lee will also be in the mix.

    Reigning World Outdoor Championships 400m silver medalist Sanya Richards, who entered the 2006 season ranked #1 in the world in that event, leads the entry list for the 200 meters in Carson. Richards ran a wind-assisted (+2.3mps) 22.62 last month at Arlington, Texas. She posted the world's best 400m time this season of 49.89 seconds on May 6 in Kingston, Jamaica. Richards will be challenged by fellow Americans Crystal Cox and LaShauntea Moore among others, and Bahamian star Debbie Ferguson.

    The women's 400 meters will be headlined by Mexican national icon Ana Guevara, who is a three-time World Championships medalist and the gold medalist at the World Outdoor Championships in 2003. Known for her phenomenal 28-meet, three-year winning streak (July 2001-July 2004), Guevara, 29, won the silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. U.S. standouts poised to challenge Guevara include 2005 World Outdoor Championships fifth-place finisher Dee Dee Trotter, 2005 World Outdoor Championships finalist Monique Henderson and Monique Hennagan, who ended the 2005 season ranked #5 in the world.

    The last three World 100m hurdles champions – Michelle Perry (2005), Canadian Perdita Felicien (2003) and Anjanette Kirkland (2001) – will face 2004 Olympic gold medalist Joanna Hayes on Sunday. An added twist finds both Perry (Quartz Hill/Palmdale) and Hayes (John W. North/Riverside) as local favorites. Also keep an eye on 2001 U.S. long jump champion and two-time World Championships finalist Jenny Adams, who owns the second -fastest time in the world this year of 12.68 seconds.

    U.S. standouts in the women's 1,500 meters will include 2005 USA Outdoors fourth-place finisher Sarah Schwald, and Christin Wurth-Thomas, who ended the 2005 season ranked #6 in the U.S. 2006 USA Indoor Championships runner-up Tiffany McWilliams also will toe the line on Sunday. International competitors will include Meskerem Legesse (ETH), Sarah Jamieson (AUS), Liu Qing and Huang Jing (CHN) and Kenia Sinclair and Korene Hinds (JAM).

    Reigning USA Indoor women's 3,000m champion and 2006 U.S. short course cross country champ Carrie Tollefson will lead the U.S. contingent in the 3,000 meters on Sunday against a field led by Olympic 10,000m champion Xing Huina of China. Tollefson will be joined in the hunt by fellow U.S. standouts Blake Russell, Amy Rudolph, Renee Metivier, Sara Slattery, Amy Mortimer and Lindsey Gallo. Adding an international flavor to the field will be Aheza Kiros (ETH), Jin Yuan and Xing Huina (CHN) and Catherine Layne (GBR).

    The only field event of the day will be the women's pole vault headlined by 2006 USA Indoor Championships third-place finisher Jenn Stuczynski, who cleared 4.47 meters/14 feet 8 inches with her win last month at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. Indoors this season she became the #2 American ever in the event with her best jump of 4.68m.15-4.25. 2005 USA Outdoor Championships fifth-place finisher April Steiner also will compete on Sunday, along with 2005 USA Indoor Champs runner-up Becky Holliday.

    Tickets for the adidas Track Classic are $45 (finish line), $30 (homestretch) and $20 (backstretch) are now available by calling Ticketmaster at 213-480-3232 or visiting http://www.Ticketmaster.com. For group sales, call 1-877-AEG-TICKETS, and for more information and frequent updates, visit the event website at http://www.adidasTrackClassic.com.

    For more information on the 2006 Visa Championship Series, visit http://www.usatf.org.

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