(07-Jan) -- A new, outdoor track meet scheduled for Austin, Texas, on February 26 and 27, will focus on helping athletes to achieve Tokyo Olympic Games and USA Olympic Trials qualifying marks for middle and long distance events. Called the Texas Qualifier, the meet will be held at an undisclosed location because live spectators will not be permitted. The event will be USATF-sanctioned and observe the USATF anti-COVID protocols, according to meet director Dave Alfano.
"We are continuing to closely monitor the COVID situation in Austin, and are in communication with USATF, as well as local health authorities," Alfano explained to Race Results Weekly in an e-mail. "We will be providing more detailed information on the race protocol in the coming weeks, but athletes should expect to have to provide negative tests (or proof of vaccine) and we will be providing detailed instructions about when and how they can enter the facility for their race."
The Friday night program will feature races targeting USA Olympic Trials qualification for both men and women at 800m, 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m. Those marks are as follows:
800m (M/W): 1:46.00 / 2:02.50
1500m (M/W): 3:37.50 / 4:06.00
5000m (M/W): 13:25.00 / 15:20.00
10,000m (M/W): 28:00.00 / 32:25.00
The Saturday night program will begin with developmental races over 800m, 1500m and 5000m, then shift to Olympic Games qualifying events at 800m, 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m. Those marks are as follows:
800m (M/W): 1:45.20 / 1:59.50
1500m (M/W): 3:35.00 / 4:04.20
5000m (M/W): 13:13.50 / 15:10.00
10,000m (M/W): 27:28.00 / 31:25.00
Alfano is also hoping to set Texas state records in some of these disciplines. Some of those marks are quite old, including the women's 1500m (4:00.2+i by Mary Slaney from 1980) and the men's 10,000m (28:05.36 by Kenyan Michael Musyoki from 1984).
Alfano said that there are still some remaining starting spots, but warned that some of the fields were already near capacity. The event has a block of hotel rooms available just a short drive from the track.
For more information, visit the meet website at TrialsofMilesRacing.