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Posted: February 26, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Trio of Olympic medalists lead men's field at USA Indoor Champs

BOSTON - Olympic and World Outdoor Championships medalists Terrence Trammell, Adam Nelson and Dwight Phillips will headline a stellar men's field at the 2009 USA Indoor Track & Field Championship, February 28-March 1 at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College in Boston.

The concluding event of USATF's Indoor Visa Championship Series, the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships is the world's oldest indoor track championship, with the first meet being held in 1888 in New York. The USA Indoor Championships will be televised live on ESPN 2 on Sunday, March 1 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

A two-time Olympic Games 110m hurdles silver medalist, Terrence Trammell has enjoyed a highly successful indoor campaign this year. It began January 30 at the 102nd Millrose Games in New York, where Trammell won the 60m hurdles in the fastest time in the world this year of 7.45 seconds, and followed that with a runner-up finish in the Millrose men's 60 meters in 6.54. At the Reebok Boston Indoor Games on Feb. 7, Trammell won the 60m hurdles in 7.53, and the next week he won the 60 meter dash (6.56) Feb. 13 at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. Trammell, who will run only the 60m hurdles at the championships, will be challenged by Dexter Faulk, who won in Karlsruhe earlier this year in 7.50 seconds.

The 2005 World Outdoor men's shot put champion and a two-time Olympic silver medalist, Adam Nelson enters the championships in the Visa men's shot put following his win earlier this year at the Millrose Games (20.79 meters/68 feet, 2.50 inches). Nelson, who owns four USA outdoor titles, will be gunning for his third national indoor crown, and his first since 2002. His chief competitor likely will be 2004 Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher Dan Taylor, who ended the 2008 season ranked #10 in the world by Track & Field News.

2004 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Outdoor champion, Dwight Phillips will compete in Boston this weekend, but not in his specialty. One of the finest long jumpers in U.S. track and field history, Phillips will compete in the Nike men's 60 meter dash, where he'll be looking for his first national title in that event. Phillips will do battle with 2007 USA Indoor 60m champion Dabryan Blanton, who finished first in Dusseldorf on February 13 in a season's best time of 6.59 seconds, and 2007 USA Outdoor Championships fourth-place 100m finisher Mark Jelks.

Look for an interesting matchup in the men's 800 meters as 2004 Olympian Khadevis Robinson does battle with 2008 Olympic team member Christian Smith. In one of the most unforgettable moments of the Trials, Smith's desperate dive across the finish line gave him the third and final Olympic Team berth in the men's 800 and and barely kept Robinson from qualifying for Beijing. Robinson will be in search of his fifth U.S. Indoor crown, while Smith will attempt to earn his first.

Also in the 800 meters, keep an eye on 25-year old Tetlo Emmen, who won the 2007 Big West Conference outdoor title while at UC-Santa Barbara. Emmen, who battled injuries in 2008 and is reportedly in the best shape of his life, lowered his personal best last year to 1:46.04.

Three-time U.S. Outdoor 1,500m champion and American mile record holder Alan Webb will headline the Visa men's 1,500 meters. Webb will be challenged by two-time USA Outdoor Championships fourth-place finisher Chris Lukezic and 2008 Olympic Trials finalist Rob Myers, who ended last season ranked #10 in the U.S. by T&FN.

American record holder Bernard Lagat, who had previously announced his intent to compete in the men's 1,500m for the first time at the national indoor championships, has withdrawn from the race. Lagat sustained an ankle injury while competing in Birmingham, England, on Saturday and is resting the ankle as he continues to get it evaluated and treated.

In the men's 3,000 meters, 2008 Olympic Trials 10,000m fifth-place finisher Josh Rohatinsky has the fastest qualifying time of 7 minutes 49.55 seconds, and look for two-time Olympian Tim Seaman in the men's 5,000m race walk. Seaman won this event 10 times in a row between 1998 and 2007.

2008 Olympic Trials champion Jesse Williams, who ended the 2008 campaign ranked #6 in the world and set a new personal best with his clearance of 2.36 meters/7-8.75 earlier this indoor season, headlines the men's high jump. He'll be challenged by his two Beijing Olympics teammates Andra Manson and Dusty Jonas. Last year Manson won the bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships and Jonas was the NCAA Indoor champion while competing for Nebraska.

Other field event standouts to keep an eye on include Olympic Trials fifth-place finisher Jacob Pauli in the Gill men's pole vault, 2008 Pac 10 Outdoor champion and NCAA runner-up Matt Turner in the long jump, 2008 USA Indoor Champs fourth-place finisher and Olympic Trials fifth-place finisher Brandon Roulhac in the triple jump and reigning Olympic Trials hammer throw champion and four-time USA Indoor champion A.G. Kruger in the 35 lb. weight throw.

For more information about the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships or to purchase tickets, log onto www.visachampionshipseries.com or USATF.org. For questions regarding tickets, please call (317) 713-4680. USATF welcomes you to purchase tickets with your Visa Card. Visa is the only credit card accepted by USATF.

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.


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