FAYETTEVILLE - Darvis Patton, Shawn Crawford, Terrence Trammell, Galen Rupp, Reese Hoffa, Adam Nelson, Muna Lee, Carmelita Jeter, Jenn Stuczynski and Stacy Dragila headline a stellar international field for this Friday's Tyson Invitational at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.
The third stop of USA Track & Field's 2009 Indoor Visa Championship Series, the Tyson Invitational will be televised on February 15 from 5-7 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN.
Olympians lead sprints
The Puma men's 60 meter dash will see youth take on veterans as two-time Olympic 200m medalist Shawn Crawford and 2003 World Outdoor 200m silver medalist Darvis Patton are challenged by 2008 U.S. Indoor champion Michael Rodgers who is undefeated in the 60m so far this year, 2007 NCAA 60m champion Travis Padgett and 2008 NCAA Indoor runner-up Trindon Holliday. Also watch for two-time Olympic 110mH silver medalist Terrence Trammell, the Visa Championships Series leader, to toe the line. Rodgers is also entered in the Nutrilite men's 200m.
2008 NCAA Indoor champion and Collegiate record-holder Bianca Knight leads the field in the Tyson Foods women's 200m that includes 2008 Olympic 4x400m gold medalist Natasha Hastings. Knight will first run in the Visa women's 60m where she will face 2006 World Indoor champion Lisa Barber, 2007 World Outdoor bronze medalist Carmelita Jeter and 2008 Olympians Marshevet Hooker and Muna Lee.
Rematches take center stage on the track
2006 U.S. Indoor champion Chris Lukezic, currently in third place in the Race for the Visa Championships, and American record-holder Alan Webb will take on 2008 Olympic 1,500m bronze medalist Nick Willis (NZL) in the Tyson Foods John McDonnell men's mile. Willis is fresh off his win at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games in a race where Lukezic finished third and Webb fourth.
Oregon's Galen Rupp will face Liberty's Sam Chelanga in the men's 5,000m. At the 2008 NCAA Cross Country Championships, Chelanga raced out to an early lead that but Rupp bided his time and closed the gap and the two ran shoulder-to-shoulder the last half of the race until Rupp made his move with 200 meters remaining. Rupp then sprinted away and edged Chelanga in the final straightaway to win his first individual title.
Three-time USA Outdoor champion Treniere Clement leads the entries in the Nutrilite Women's Invitational Mile. Two-time USA Outdoor 800m runner-up Alice Schmidt will step up in distance to challenge Clement and will be joined by 2008 Olympic Trials steeplechase champion Anna Willard.
Also watch for four-time USA Outdoor champion Khadevis Robinson, 2008 Olympic Trials champion Nick Symmonds and 2003 World Indoor champion David Krummenacker in the Tyson Foods Men's Invitational 800m. Four-time NCAA Outdoor champion Xavier Carter will take on Millrose Games and Reebok Boston Indoor Games champion Renny Quow of Trinidad and 2007 NACAC champion Calvin Smith. 2006 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor 200m champion Shalonda Solomon will run the women's 300m.
Field eventers in the spotlight
The Visa men's shot put field from last year will be back in action with the reigning champion, two-time Olympic silver medalist and three-time World Outdoor medalist Adam Nelson looking to improve upon his facility-record throw of 22.40 meters/73 feet 6 inches. Joining him will be 2007 World Outdoor champion and two-time World Indoor medalist Reese Hoffa, former NCAA champion Dan Taylor, three-time Southeastern Conference champion and All-American Cory Martin and 2006 NACAC champion and Jamaican record-holder Dorian Scott.
American record holder and Olympic silver medalist Jenn Stuczynski is set to defend her 2008 winning jump of 4.64m/15-2.75 in the Nutrilite women's pole vault. Chasing her will be former Razorback and 2008 Olympian April Steiner Bennett, 2000 Olympic gold medalist Stacy Dragila, and 2008 Olympian Erica Bartolina.
The USA Track & Field Visa Championship Series will continue February 28-March 1 with the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston. For more information, including TV broadcast schedules, visit www.visachampionshipseries.com.
About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.
For more information on USATF, visit USATF.org.