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Posted: June 20, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Phillips, Walker & Williams look to soar high and far at USA Outdoor Championships

INDIANAPOLIS - Dwight Phillips, Brad Walker and Jesse Williams will lead a talented group of men's horizontal and vertical men's jumpers 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 2009 USA Outdoor 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 Outdoor 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.

Long Jump

2004 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Outdoor champion Dwight Phillips leaped back on the world stage with a monster leap at the 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic. Phillips easily won the event when he sailed to 8.74 meters/28 feet 8.25 inches, which ties him with Larry Myricks and Erick Walder for the eighth-best outdoor mark in history. The trio are also tied as the #5 performers all time.

In posting the longest jump in the world since National Track & Field Hall of Famer Mike Powell set the world record in 1991, Phillips took over the lead from Tyson Gay in the men's Visa Championship Series race with his total of 1,290 points. Gay's sits in second place with 1,285 points.

Other contenders in the long jump include reigning national outdoor champion Trevell Quinley, who also won the USA Indoor title in 2008. 2001 World University Games champion and 2008 Olympian Miguel Pate will look to make his fourth U.S. World Outdoor Championships team, and 2008 Olympic Trials runner-up Brian Johnson should also be in the mix along with Olympic Trials fifth-place finisher Matt Turner.

Pole Vault

Beijing Olympians Brad Walker and Derek Miles will be the favorites in the men's pole vault following the 2008 campaign where each of them ended the season ranked top four in the world by Track & Field News.

The reigning World Outdoor champion and the 2006 World Indoor Championships gold medalist, Walker is the American outdoor record holder and a three-time USA Indoor champion. He'll be challenged by Derek Miles, who finished fourth at the Olympic Games, won at the Olympic Trials, and was victorious last year at Berlin and at the World Athletics Final.

Others to watch include 2004 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Outdoor Championships team member Tim Mack, 2004 Olympic silver medalist Toby Stevenson, 2008 Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher and 2006 USA Outdoor champion Russ Buller, and 2009 USA Indoor champion Jeremy Scott. Also keep an eye on former University of Oregon standout and three-time NCAA Outdoor champion Tommy Skipper.

High Jump

2008 Olympic Trials champion Jesse Williams is the favorite to win again in Eugene after ending last year ranked #1 in the U.S. and #6 in the world by T&FN. A two-time NCAA Outdoor champion that has been ranked #1 nationally the last two years, Williams will be challenged by 2009 USA Indoor champion and 2008 Olympian Andra Manson, who currently sits atop the 2009 world outdoor list with his April 4 clearance of 2.35m/7-8.50 in Austin, Texas.

Look for young up-and-comer Dusty Jonas, who competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and posted the fourth-best clearance in the world last year with his personal best jump of 2.36m/7-8.75, to be in the mix, along with 2004 Olympic Games fourth-place finisher and two-time USA Outdoor champion Jamie Nieto. Others who could challenge for top honors in Eugene are Cedric Norman who placed fourth, and Keith Moffat who was fifth, at last year's Olympic Trials.

Triple Jump

Two-time Olympian and 2003 USA Outdoor champion Kenta Bell will be one of the favorites in what should be a highly competitive men's triple jump competition. Additional contenders include 2005 World Outdoor champion and 2007 World Outdoor Championships bronze medalist Walter Davis, who will look to improve upon his fourth-place finish at the 2008 Olympic Trials.

Reigning USA Indoor champion Brandon Roulhac, who placed fifth at the 2008 Olympic Trials, will be in the mix, along with University of Oklahoma freshman Will Claye, who won the NCAA D-I Outdoor title with his 2009 U.S. list leading leap of 17.19 meters/56 feet 4.75 inches.

2008 Olympic Trials champion Aarik Wilson, who in recent months has battled a series of stress fractures, has resumed training but will not compete at the Championships.

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.


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