Many of America's most talented and accomplished track and field stars
will compete Friday night at the 2007 Tyson Invitational at the Randal
Tyson Indoor Track Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas in
The third stop of the 2007 USA Track & Field Visa Championship Series,
the Tyson Invitational will be televised on February 11 from 1-3 p.m.
Eastern Time on ESPN2.
The Tyson Invitational features a $50,000 pool to be shared by athletes
who break a world record, and the women's 300 meters is a big target,
led by world 200m champion Allyson Felix. Fayetteville's track is
considered one of the fastest in the world and is where Kerron Clement
set the existing men's 400m world record of 44.57 seconds at the 2005
NCAA Indoor Championships.
USA Track & Field's Visa Championship Series provides more than $1
million in prize money and athlete-support dollars and gives U.S.
athletes the chance to win bonus money during the indoor and outdoor
seasons. Indoors, top American athletes compete at four elite track
meets during the 2007 season - the Reebok Boston Indoor Games, 100th
Millrose Games, Tyson Invitational and AT&T USA Indoor Track & Field
Championships - for prize money and the chance to share the indoor
Crawford favored in men's 60 meters
2004 Olympic Games 200m gold medalist Shawn Crawford has owned the men's
short sprint thus far on the Visa Championship Series with wins already
at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games (6.55 seconds) and last week at the
Millrose Games in New York (6.56). Crawford will be challenged by up and
comer DaBryan Blanton, who finished second to Crawford at Boston, and
Mark Jelks, who finished third behind Crawford and Blanton at the Reebok
Boston Indoor Games.
Merritt looks for two in a row
Following his impressive win last week at the Millrose Games in New
York, Aries Merritt will attempt to capture his second consecutive Visa
Championship Series hurdles win on Friday. A young talent on the rise,
Merritt won the 2006 NCAA 110m hurdles title and ended the campaign
ranked #6 in the world in the 110m hurdles. He'll be challenged by Joel
Brown, who was fourth at the 2006 AT&T USA Indoor Championships and
ended the season ranked #10 in the U.S. Also keep an eye on former
Howard University star David Oliver, who ended the 2006 season ranked #7
in the world in the high hurdles.
Brilliant men's 400m field to race at Tyson
In what could be the most highly anticipated event of the evening, a
quartet of supremely talented Americans will battle it out in the men's
400 meters. Headlining the field is reigning 400m hurdles world champion
and 2007 Millrose Games 600 yard winner Bershawn Jackson, who ended the
2006 season ranked #2 in the world in the intermediate hurdles by Track
& Field News. Other contenders include LaShawn Merritt, who first became
a star at the 2005 Tyson Invitational, when as an 18-year-old he won the
400m in 44.93 seconds. The 2006 World Cup 400m champion, Merritt, who
also is slated to compete in the 4x400m relay at Tyson (see below) ended
the 2006 season ranked #3 in the world at 400 meters by T&FN. After
breaking the 19.90-seconds barrier five times last season in the 200
meters, 2006 World Indoor Championships 4x400m relay gold medalist
Wallace Spearmon, Jr., is also in the mix, along with reigning USA
Indoor 400m champion Milton Campbell.
Symmonds leads wide open men's mile field
Newly anointed U.S. men's 800-meter star Nick Symmonds will lead a young
and talented field in the men's mile. Symmonds, who surprised many with
his runner-up 800m finish at the 2006 AT&T USA Outdoor Championships,
confirmed his new-found status among the nation's best with his
impressive win at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games in the fastest time by
an American this indoor season of 1 minute, 48.15 seconds. Symmonds
finished ahead of accomplished veterans Sam Burley and 2001 World Indoor
champion David Krummenacker. Rob Meyers, who placed seventh in Boston,
also is in the race, along with local favorite and Arkansas Razorback,
Adam Perkins, who is a five-time All-American and 2006 NCAA Indoor
distance medley relay national champion.
Webb headlines men's 3,000 meters
Originally slated to compete in the men's mile, middle distance
superstar and 2004 Olympian Alan Webb has decided to run in the 3,000
meters Friday night. He'll face former Razorbacks Alistair Cragg and
Josphat Boit, and top Americans Chris Lukezic and Matt Tegenkamp. Cragg
was a 13-time all-American for the Razorbacks in his career and
seven-time NCAA Champion, while Boit took two NCAA titles and earned
eight all-America honors. Lukezic won his first USA championship last
winter and was ranked #2 in the U.S. at 1,500m by T&FN at the end of
last season.A specialist at 5,000 meters, Tegenkamp owns the fourth
fastest time in U.S. history at that event.
Relay world record in jeopardy?
A talented quartet of U.S. men's quarter milers will attempt to break
the existing world record in the indoor 4x400m relay on Friday night.
Team members include superstar in the making Xavier Carter, who won four
NCAA Outdoor titles in 2006, and later posted the second fastest
200-meter time in the history of the event last spring in Lausanne,
Switzerland, with his shocking time of 19.63 seconds. Other members of
the Team USA relay squad expected to participate include 2004 Olympic
4x400m gold medalist and 2005 World Outdoor 400m silver medalist Andrew
Rock, Fayetteville native and 2005 World Outdoor 200m silver medalist
Wallace Spearmon, Jr., and 2005 World Outdoor 4x400m gold medalist
LaShawn Merritt. The current world indoor 4x400m record was set by the
Team USA quartet of Andre Morris, Dameon Johnson, Deon Minor and Milton
Campbell on March 7, 1999 at the World Indoor Championships in Maebashi,
Anybody's race in women's 60 meters
Coming off impressive performances at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games
where they finished in the top two positions, Marshevet Hooker and Miki
Barber are the favorites in the women's 60 meters. Hooker won in Boston
in the second fastest time by an American this season of 7.24 seconds,
with Barber, who was fourth at last year's AT&T USA Indoor
Championships, the runner-up in 7.28. Also keep an eye on reigning U.S.
200m outdoor champion and World Outdoor silver medalist Rachelle Smith.
Hayes, Felicien to battle it out in women's hurdles
2004 Olympic 100m hurdles gold medalist Joanna Hayes will take on 2004
World Indoor champion Perdita Felicien of Canada in what should be a
competitive women's 60m hurdles race. Hayes looked impressive in her
runner-up finish last week at the Millrose Games, finishing ahead of
Felicien, who placed fourth. Felicien hopes for a similar result to what
happened at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games on January 27 when she won in
7.97 seconds. Also watch out for Jenny Adams, who ended the 2006 season
ranked #9 in the world in the 100m hurdles by T&FN.
Felix, Danner, Trotter to chase women's 300m world record
World outdoor 200-meter champion Allyson Felix will headline a
star-studded field that will attempt to break the 14 year-old women's
world 300m indoor record of 35.45 seconds set by Russia's Irina
Privalova. Felix, who enters the 2007 season ranked #1 in the world at
200 meters, enters Friday's race with career bests of 22.11 in the 200
and 51.12 for 400 meters. She'll be joined in the world record chase by
2007 Millrose Games 400m winner and 2006 AT&T USA Indoor Championships
runner-up Mary Danner and 2006 USA Outdoor 400m runner-up Dee Dee
Trotter, who ended last season ranked #6 in the world.
Gallo, Wurth-Thomas, Deatherage favored in women's mile
Three of America's finest middle distance runners will do battle in the
women's mile in what should be an exciting race. Lindsey Gallo enjoyed a
strong season in 2006, finishing as the 1,500m runner-up at the AT&T USA
Outdoor Championships and ending the season ranked #2 nationally by
T&FN. Also keep an eye on Arkansas grad Christin Wurth-Thomas, who
finished third in this event last month at the Reebok Boston Indoor
Games and won the 800 at Millrose, and Jennelle Deatherage, who was
eighth in Boston and finished last year ranked #10 in the U.S. Longtime
U.S. middle distance stalwart at Sarah Schwald, who won an NCAA indoor
3,000m title while at the University of Arkansas, will be in the mix,
along with University of Arkansas junior Dacia Barr.
Stuczynski favored in women's pole vault
The only field event of the evening features America's best women's pole
vaulter Jenn Stuczynski, who will be challenged by a talented group of
veteran performers. Stuczynski ended the 2006 season ranked #1 in the
U.S. by T&FN, and posted the third best performance in the world this
year with her personal best clearance of 4.70 meters/15 feet 5 inches in
winning the USATF Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada. Stuczynski, who won
in Boston (4.63m/15-2.25) and was the runner-up at Millrose
(4.53m/14-10.25) will be challenged by the third U.S. woman ever to
break the 15-foot barrier, Mary Sauer, who was the runner-up at Boston.
Other challengers include two-time NCAA Outdoor champion Tracy O'Hara
and reigning NCAA Indoor champion Chelsea Johnson, who ended the season
ranked #3 in the U.S. by T&FN. Also in the field is local product April
Steiner, who cleared 4.60m/15-1 to finish second to Stuczynski at the
Pole Vault Summit.
For more information on the Tyson Invitational and the Visa Championship Series, please visit www.usatf.org.
Subscribe to the Runner's Web Weekly Digest