INDIANAPOLIS - 2008 Olympic silver medalists Hyleas Fountain and Jenn Stuczynski highlight stellar fields in the women's jumps and multi events at the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, June 25-28 at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene.
The final event of the 2009 USATF Outdoor Visa Championship Series, the USA Championships will be televised on the following dates:
June 26: Live on ESPN from 8-10 p.m.
June 27: Live/tape on ESPN from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
June 28: Live on NBC from 4-6:00 p.m. (All Times Eastern)
The USA Championships will feature the nation's finest professional track and field athletes competing for national honors and spots on the Team USA roster for the 2009 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Berlin, Germany. The World Championships will be held at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Stadium, where National Track & Field Hall of Famer and American icon Jesse Owens won gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump.
The dominant force in American women's pole vault, three-time USA Outdoor champion and 2008 Visa Outdoor champion Jenn Stuczynski is looking to win her fourth consecutive USA Outdoor title. Accustomed to setting American records at the Championships having set the American outdoor record at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and the American indoor record at the 2009 USA Indoor Championships, Stuczynski need only vault 4.86 meters/15 feet 11.25 inches to overtake the lead in the race for the title of Visa champion. The current American record is 4.92m/16-1.75.
Stuczynski could face a challenge from 2000 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Outdoor champion Stacy Dragila who is enjoying her best, although last, season since 2004 when she was world-ranked #3 by Track & Field News. Also in the mix will be 2008 Olympians April Steiner Bennett and Erica Bartolina.
2008 Olympic silver medalist Hyleas Fountain leads the field in the women's heptathlon. She had an impressive season in 2008 that saw her set a personal best 6,667 points at the Olympic Trials, become the only American woman not named Jackie Joyner-Kersee ever to win an Olympic medal in the heptathlon, and ended her season ranked #2 in the world by T&FN.
Other entrants in the heptathlon include 2008 Olympian Diana Pickler and two-time World Outdoor team member Gi-Gi Miller-Johnson. A 2008 Olympian in the high jump and the 2009 USA Indoor pentathlon runner-up, Sharon Day also is entered.
The women's long jump should be a highly competitive event between 2008 Olympic finalists Brittney Reese, Funmi Jimoh, Grace Upshaw and heptathlete Fountain. Reese and Jimoh have both set personal bests already this year with marks of 7.06 meters/23 feet 2 inches and 6.96m/22-10, respectively, and are currently leading the world list. Fountain's listed mark of 6.88m/22-7 comes from the personal best leap she had at last year's Olympic Trials.
The top three finishers from the 2008 Olympic Trials will once again face off in the women's triple jump. Two-time Olympic Trials runner-up Shakeema Welsch leads the field with the farthest jump by an American so far this season at 13.92m/45-8. Three-time USA Outdoor champion and two-time USA Indoor champion Shani Marks and 2008 NCAA champion Erica McLain also will challenge for the title.
2006 NCAA Indoor and 2007 NCAA Outdoor champion Yvette Lewis is also entered and could be a contender with a best jump this season of 13.82m/45-4.25 at the adidas Track Classic.
Three-time NCAA Outdoor champion Destinee Hooker and 2005 World Outdoor silver medalist Chaunte Howard are the favorites in the women's high jump, each having cleared 1.98m/6-6 this year. 2008 Olympian Sharon Day will be out to make her first World Outdoor Championship team during Thursday's final before preparing herself for the heptathlon, which begins on Saturday.
Not to be overlooked is four-time Olympian and seven-time World Outdoor team member Amy Acuff, who is entering her final USA Outdoor Championships and is hoping to go out with a bang. Acuff's best season came in 2004, when she placed fourth at the Olympic Games and ended that season ranked #5 in the world by T&FN.
For ticket information to the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships visit: www.visachampionshipseries.com or www.tracktown.net. USATF welcomes you to purchase tickets with your Visa Card. Visa, the only credit card accepted by USATF.
For more information on the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships and the USATF Visa Championship Series, 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.