returns to Visa Championship Series
INDIANAPOLIS – A host of USATF’s Indoor Visa Championship Series for the past 10 years, Fayetteville, Arkansas, will host the USA Track & Field Classic February 11 as part of the nationally televised series, USA Track & Field announced Tuesday.
The USATF Classic will be held in conjunction with the 2012 Tyson Invitational, one of the nation’s premier collegiate meets, on the campus of the University of Arkansas. The USATF Classic will be televised from 12-2 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, February 12.
The meet joins USATF’s 2012 Indoor Visa Championship Series that also includes the U.S. OpenJanuary 28 in New York City; the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix February 4 in Boston; and the2012 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships Feb. 25-26 in Albuquerque, N.M.
Rejoining the field
Fayetteville hosted the Visa Championship Series from 2000-2009. In 2012 it re-enters the series thanks to a 10-event professional lineup that will feature some of the strongest fields of the indoor season.
“When we saw the fields that the University of Arkansas and Nike had put together, it was obvious that this meet would be a highlight of the indoor season,” said USATF CEO Mike McNees. “USATF’s Athletes Advisory Committee (AAC) also pledged their support as part of their continued effort to help increase competitive opportunities for U.S. athletes. Thanks to this collective effort between the University, Nike, USATF and the AAC, we are able to bring this meet back into the national spotlight.”
On tap for the USATF Classic is an American record attempt in the men’s 2 mile; a women’s shot put and women’s long jump that combined include three medalists and an American record holder; a men’s mile field with at least three sub-3:50 milers; some of the world’s best women’s hurdlers and sprinters; and Olympic and world medalists in the men’s sprints and shot put. Scheduled events are the women’s 60m, 60m hurdles, 1,500m, long jump and shot put; and the men’s 60m, 400m, mile, 2 mile and shot put.
Among the athletes currently slated to compete are Galen Rupp in the men’s 2 mile, world champion Kirani James in the men’s 400m, American record holder and World Outdoor bronze medalist Jillian Camarena-Williams and USA Outdoor champion Michelle Carter in the women’s shot put; world champion Brittney Reese, Olympic medalist Hyleas Fountain, Marshevet Hookerand Funmi Jimoh in the women’s long jump; Shawn Crawford, Richard Thompson and Churandy Martina in the men’s 60m; and Silas Kiplagat and Leo Manzano in the men’s mile. Full fields and more stars will be announced soon.
“The University of Arkansas is proud to welcome back some of the world’s best track athletes to one of the world’s fastest tracks,” said UA Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long. “We have had a great partnership with Nike and USA Track & Field, and we are looking forward to a fantastic meet on February 11 at the Randal Tyson Center.”
The meet also will include some of the most outstanding collegiate competition of the indoor season, featuring 16 teams ranked inside the USTFCCCA Top 25 preseason poll, including the Arkansas men and women, Central Florida women, Clemson women, Iowa men, Kansas State men, LSU men and women, Nebraska men and women, North Carolina State men, Oklahoma men and women, Ole Miss men, Texas Tech women and Wisconsin men.