EUGENE, Ore. - Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards, Dawn Harper and Sheena Tosta highlight extremely competitive women's sprints and hurdles fields 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.
100 and 200m
The women's 100 and 200m are stacked with U.S. stars. Two-time Olympic silver medalist and World Outdoor champion Allyson Felix is entered in the 100 and 200, as are 2008 Olympic 100 and 200m finalist Muna Lee, two-time World Outdoor 100m medalist Lauryn Williams, 2003 World Outdoor 100m and 200m medalist Torri Edwards, 2007 World Outdoor 100m bronze medalist Torri Edwards, and 2008 Olympian Marshevet Hooker. Keep an eye on 2009 NCAA Outdoor 100m champion and 200m third-place finisher Alex Anderson who also will compete in the double.
The fastest American over 100m so far this year with a 10.96 at Mt. SAC, Jeter is looking to make her second World Outdoor team roster following 2007 where she was the surprise bronze medalist. Jeter also had wins at the adidas Track Classic (11.09), the Reebok Grand Prix (10.85w) and the Nike Prefontaine Classic (10.85w). It was her win at xxx that gave Jeter the lead in the race for the Visa Championship title with 1,207 points.
Felix, winner of three gold medals at the Osaka World Championships, headlines the Visa women's 200m and will face stiff competition from Lauryn Williams, the fastest American over 200m so far this year (22.34). Also watch for 2009 NCAA champion Porshca Lucas of Texas A&M, 2006 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor 200m champion Shalonda Solomon and collegiate indoor record-holder Bianca Knight.
In the Visa women's 400m, having been world-ranked #1 multiple-times by Track and Field News, Sanya Richards is the class of the field. Having run a world-leading 49.86 at the Nike Prefontaine Classic and following it up with another world-leader with her 49.57 to win the DKB-ISATF meeting in Berlin, Richards is the hands-down favorite.
Other athletes to watch include 2008 Olympians Natasha Hastings and DeeDee Trotter. Earlier in the season, Hastings ran her entire leg of the winning 4x400m at USA vs. the World at the Penn Relays with one shoe on and followed that up win at the adidas Track Classic. 2009 NCAA Outdoor champion Jessica Beard currently is the fourth fastest woman in the world over 400m so far this year and will also be in the hunt for a top-three finish and spot on the Team USA roster. Also watch for 2008 World Indoor bronze medalist Shareese Woods.
Three-time Olympian Hazel Clark leads the way in the women's 800m. Clark is on track to win her fifth USA Outdoor title. She will face off against Maggie Vessey, who came out of nowhere to win the 800m at the 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic in a personal best 2:00.18, and will look to claim her first USA national title. Morgan Uceny, who took sixth at last year's Olympic Trials, hopes to improve upon that finish this year.
2007 USA Outdoor and NCAA Indoor and Outdoor champion Alysia Johnson is on the road to recovery from an injury sustained at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and is hoping to round back into form and claim her second national title and World Outdoor roster-spot. Rounding out the field are the top three finishers from this year's NCAA Championships: Geena Gall, Laura Hermanson and LaTavia Thomas.
2008 Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper and fellow Olympians Lolo Jones and Damu Cherry lead the field in the women's 100m hurdles. Cherry currently has the fastest time by an American this year (12.69) and Harper is fresh off wins in Kingston, Jamaica and at the adidas Track Classic. This will be Jones' first competition since she was felled by injury at the Drake Relays. Jones, who finished the 2008 season ranked #1 in the world after being stopped by the ninth hurdle in the final at the Beijing Olympic Games, started slowing down in the middle of the race at Drake before hitting the eighth hurdle hard and coming to a complete stop while grabbing her right hamstring.
Two-time World Outdoor champion Michelle Perry, returning after an injury plagued 2008, is off to a good start this year, recently winning at the Nike Prefontaine Classic in 12.74. Three-time NCAA champion Tiffany Ofili also is entered in the women's high hurdles and has a season-best of 12.88.
2008 Olympic silver medalist Sheena Tosta headlines the women's 400m hurdles. Tosta has run the second-fastest time in the world so far this year (54.19), trailing only 2005 World Outdoor silver medalist Lashinda Demus (54.17), who also is entered.
Two-time USA Outdoor champion and 2007 Outdoor Visa champion Tiffany Ross-Williams will be racing to win her third consecutive national title. Not to be forgotten, two-time NCAA Outdoor champion Nicole Leach also is in the mix.
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.