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Posted: June 25, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Past champions return to USA Junior Champs looking to repeat

EUGENE, Ore. -Familiar names such as Connor McCullough, Anastasia Jelmini, and Elijah Greer will compete at the 2009 USA Junior Track & Field Championships, June 25-28, at the University of Oregon's historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

The 2009 USA Junior Championships will serve as the selection meet for the 2009 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships, which will be held at the Hasley Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad from July 31 thru August 2. The top two finishers in Eugene in each event will qualify to compete in these Championships.

Having competed in the shadow of 2008 World Junior champion Walter Henning for the past two years, 2008 World Junior silver medalist Connor McCullough is ready to show America that he is now the top junior hammer thrower to beat. McCullough holds the High school national record and broke his own U.S. and National record in the weight throw this past March at the Nike Indoor Nationals in Boston.

The 2008 USA Outdoor Junior runner- up in the shot put, Becky O'Brien has just completed her freshman year at the University of North Carolina. A two-time national champion, O'Brien has been named to the Track & Field News All-American Team in the shot put and is a five-time Nike All-American. O'Brien is looking to improve on her second place finish from last year.

Smashing her competition last year at the USA Junior Championships in winning the discus with a throw of 52.75 meters, Anastasia Jelmini will look to defend her title this year. She competed at the 2008 Olympic Trials in the discus and took 19th place overall.

2008 USA Junior 800m champion Elijah Greer of Lake Oswego enters the 2009 USA Junior Championships as one of the top ranked high school 800m runners. Greer has his eyes set on bringing home another championship this week.

The men's hurdles looks strong with previous champions from 2007 and 2008 entered in the 110m hurdles and the 400m hurdles. University of South Carolina freshman Booker Nunley, the winner of the 2008 USA Junior Championships in the 110mH, is hoping to repeat his performance from last year.

2007 USATF Youth Athlete of the Year William Wynne, the 2007 400mH USA Junior champion, 2008 third-place finisher and a 2009 All-American at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with a third place finish in the 110mH, is entered in both events. Wynne is a freshman from the University of Florida and is currently the world's top-ranked junior in the men's 400m hurdles.

Hometown favorites competing this weekend in the Junior Championships include Oregon freshman and school record-holder in the 100m and 200m Amber Purvis, who will compete in both events. Both of Purvis' half-sisters, Julian, a freshman at Michigan, and Ashton, a senior-to-be at St. Elizabeth High School in Oakland, are expected to compete in the meet. Other University of Oregon athletes in the meet are 400m hurdler Lindsay Pearson and triple jumpers Ashley Potter and Brian Schaudt.

Junior Champs webcast by Flotrack for first time

Fans can watch the action live on USATF.org. Flotrack will supplement USATF's official television coverage with live, real-time coverage and race calls of every event at the USA Junior Outdoor Championships while also providing bonus, live, real-time coverage and race calls of select open events during the USA Outdoor 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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