INDIANAPOLIS – A pair of American record holders and a men’s mile named after one of the most significant figures in the corporate history of Nike highlight competition in the distances and throws this Saturday at the USA Track & Field Classic in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
American record holder Jillian Camarena-Williams will compete in the women’s shot put while American record holder Galen Rupp goes after another AR, this time in the men’s 2 mile, in Fayetteville.
With a field full of sub-four-minute milers, the Geoff Hollister men’s mile will honor the memory of Hollister, the third employee of Nike, founder of the Athletics West track club and key figure in grassroots running efforts who died Monday after a long battle with cancer.
Held at the University of Arkansas’ Randal Tyson Center, the USA Track & Field Classic is the third stop on USATF’s 2012 Indoor Visa Championship Series. The meet will be televised on ESPN2 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, February 12.
Strong fields, fast fields
Camarena-Williams in 2011 had the best season by an American female shot putter in at least a quarter century, setting the American record indoors and outdoors and winning a bronze medal at the World Outdoor Championships. In Fayetteville she will compete alongside the woman who with her brought the women’s shot back into national prominence, 2011 USA outdoor champion Michelle Carter. The men’s shot put includes defending national indoor champion Ryan Whiting and former Auburn standout Cory Martin.
The Geoff Hollister men’s mile provides the deepest men’s field of the meet, with at least five men with personal bests of 3:50 or faster. Included are two-time World Indoor silver medalist Daniel Kipchirchir Komen (3:48.28PR); World Outdoor silver medalist and U.S. Open champion Silas Kiplagat of Kenya (3:49.39PR); four-time NCAA mile and 1,500m champion Leo Manzano (3:50.64PR); 2010 5th Avenue Mile champion Amine Laalou of Morocco (3:50.22PR); 2010 World Junior champion Caleb Ndiku of Kenya (3:49.77PR) and also American Russell Brown, who ran a PR of 3:51.45 at the 2011 Nike Prefontaine Classic. The women’s 1,500 includes New Balance Indoor Grand Prix 1,000m champion and World Outdoor fourth-place finisher Btissam Lakhouad of Morocco (3:49.35PR), 2010 USA indoor 800m and outdoor 1,500m champion Anna Pierce (3:59.38PR), 18-year-old World Junior champion Tizita Bogale of Ethiopia, Siham Hilali of Morocco (4:01.33PR), three-time USA outdoor 1,500m champion Treniere Moser (4:03.32PR), and U.S. Open winner Brenda Martinez.
The American record holder indoors at 5,000 meters and outdoors at 10,000m, Galen Rupp returns to the site of his first AR to go for another record in the men’s 2 mile. At the 2009 Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Rupp set the collegiate and American records indoors in the 5,000m with his time of 13:18.12. Last year he lowered that mark to 13:11.44 in Birmingham, England. Also in Fayetteville, he won the 2009 NCAA outdoor titles at 5,000m and 10,000m.
The USA Track & Field Classic will be held in conjunction with the 2012 Tyson Invitational, one of the nation’s premier collegiate meets. For more information and scheduled fields for the USA Track & Field Classic, visit www.visachampionshipseries.com .