INDIANAPOLIS - Stephanie Brown Trafton and Jenn Stuczynski will headline Team USA's women's field eventers at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, August 15-23 in Berlin, Germany.
Brown Trafton favored in discus
Stephanie Brown Trafton, the gold medalist at the 2008 Olympic Games, leads the field in the women's discus throw and is the hands-down favorite to become the first American woman to take home the World discus title.
She ended the 2008 season ranked #1 in the world and won her first U.S. national title in that event with a best throw of 64.25 meters/210 feet 9 inches. Brown Trafton set the world leader earlier this season, throwing a personal best 66.21m/217-2 in winning the USATF Pacific Association Championship, and owns four of the worlds top ten throws.
Brown Trafton will be joined on the Team USA roster for Berlin by Nationals runner-up and four-time Olympian Aretha Thurmond (62.51m/205-1), and two-time World Outdoor Championships team member Becky Breisch, who finished third with a toss of 62.08m/203-8.
Stuczynski reaching for gold
The dominant force in American women's pole vault, three-time USA Outdoor champion and 2008 Visa Outdoor champion Jenn Stuczynski is looking to follow up on her silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Stuczynski's main competition comes in the form of Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time World champion (two outdoor, three indoor), who could be vulnerable this year after suffering a rare defeat at the London Grand Prix on July 24.
Winner of the first-ever world crown in the women's pole vault, Stacy Dragila will make what is expected to be her last appearance on the world stage. Dragila has had a long and prosperous career, winning the 2000 Olympic gold medal and two World Outdoor titles ('99, '01). Also competing for the United States will be 2006 NCAA Indoor champion Chelsea Johnson.
Carter ready after personal best in Stockholm
Two-time USA Outdoor champion Michelle Carter leads the American contingent in the women's shot put. The 2004 World Junior champion, Carter traveled to Stockholm after winning her second U.S. title, where she threw a personal best 19.13m/62-9.25. It is the farthest throw by an American since 2001. Joining Carter will be four-time USA Indoor champion Jillian Camarena and three-time USA Outdoor champion Kristin Heaston.
Brittney Reese, after finishing fifth at the 2008 Olympics, has had a stellar 2009 campaign that saw her win her second-consecutive National title in the women's long jump and set a personal best 7.06m/23-2 with her win in Belem, Brazil. In her pursuit of the medal stand in Berlin, Funmi Jimoh has recently taken a few lessons from Erich Drechsler, ex father-in-law and ex-coach of former Olympic champion Heike Drechsler. Jimoh currently has the third-farthest jump in the world with her personal best 6.96m/22-9.75 from her runner-up finish in Doha. 2009 USA Outdoor runner-up Brianna Glenn should also be in the mix.
Howard rounding back into '05 form
2005 World Outdoor silver medalist Chaunte Howard will lead the American contingent of female high jumpers. With a season best 1.98m/6-6 so far this year, Howard seems back to the form she had in 2005 before taking off in 2007 to become a mother. Four-time Olympian Amy Acuff is back for her eighth, and according to her, final World Championships team. 2008 Olympian Sharon Day qualified for her first World Outdoor Championships with her third-place finish at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships.
Other athletes to watch
2009 USA Outdoor women's triple jump champion Shakeema Welsch will be joined by three-time USA Outdoor champion Shani Marks and 2008 Olympian Erica McLain. Three-time USA Outdoor champion Jessica Cosby leads the way for the red, white and blue in the women's hammer throw field that includes three-time USA Indoor champion and 2008 Olympian Amber Campbell and two-time USA Outdoor champion Erin Gilreath. Also watch for two-time USA Outdoor champion Kara Patterson and two-time NCAA champion Rachel Yurkovich in the women's javelin.
This will be the first time Team USA has returned to Berlin for a major international championship competition since the 1936 Olympic Games, where National Track & Field Hall of Famer Jesse Owens won gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump.
NBC, Versus to broadcast meet
The 2009 World Championships will be broadcast in the United States daily on NBC and Versus. The broadcast schedule is as follows. All times Eastern; subject to change; check local listings.
August 15: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. NBC
August 16: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. NBC
August 17: 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Versus
August 18: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Versus
August 19: 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. Versus
August 20: 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Versus
August 21: 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Versus
August 22: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. NBC
August 23: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. NBC
For more information on Team USA at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, visit: USATF.org.
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.