INDIANAPOLIS – The #1 ranked long jumper in the world, Brittney Reese, 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist Jenn Suhr and defending Indoor Visa Champion, Amber Campell highlight the women’s field events at 2011 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships presented by BMW, February 26-27 at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, N.M.
The third and final event of the USA Track & Field 2011 Indoor Visa Championship Series, the USA Indoor Championships presented by BMW will be televised live on Sunday, February 27, from 4:30 - 6 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN.
The meet will also be webcast at www.usatf.org in partnership with RunnerSpace.com. The free webcast will run from 6 – 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday and from 11:30 – 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with the New Mexico Sports Authority, the University of New Mexico, the City of Albuquerque and USATF New Mexico, are the official hosts for the championships, which were held in Albuquerque in 2010 and will return in 2012.
Reese favored in Women’s Long Jump
Two-time USA indoor champion Brittney Reese proved that her break-through year in 2009 was no anomaly by coming back in 2010 to repeat as the #1 long jumper in the world as ranked by Track & Field News. Jackie Joyner-Kersee is the only other woman in the long jump who has been able to take back-to-back honors, and Reese is the first athlete in any discipline to repeat since 2002. Reese’s best mark of 2010 came from the Lausanne Diamond League with a mark of 6.94/22-9.25. So far for 2011, Reese’s best mark of 6.64/21-9.50 seeds her at third coming into the national championships.
The two women who have jumped further than Reese this year are Brianna Glenn and Janay De Loach, both have competed in Albuquerque earlier this year. Glenn comes into the meet with the furthest jump this year of 6.74/22-1.50 and DeLoach has the third best U.S. jump of the year with a 6.67/21-10.75. Other competitors to watch include Olympians Hyleas Fountain, the 2005 national champion in the heptathlon and the 2008 Olympic Team Trials champion, and Funmi Jimoh, who placed twelfth at the Beijing Olympics.
Stellar line-up in Visa Women’s Pole Vault
Eight of the top-ten women in the U.S. as ranked by Track and Field News will converge in Albuquerque in a highly competitive fight for the national title. Jenn Shur comes into the meet as the only American who has vaulted over 15 feet in 2011 with a mark of 4.64/15-2.75 from the 104th Millrose Games. Lacy Janson is the defending indoor champion from 2010, and the best of the U.S.’s female vaulters with a fifth place spot in the world rankings. Janson opened her indoor season at the Hookie Invitational with a mark of 4.22/13-10. Also vying for a medal is the runner-up from this meet last year, and 2009 World silver medalist, Chelsea Johnson. This will be Johnson’s 2011 debut, after her best of 4.62/15-1.75 last year.
Defending Visa Champ Campbell leads Weight Throw
Defending Indoor Visa Championship Series Winner, Amber Campbell comes into the meet with a mark more than two meters over her closest competitor, Loree Smith. Campbell has claimed the indoor national title the past three years, and enters the meet with a toss of 24.10/79-1 from her win at the 104th Millrose Games. Smith ended the 2010 outdoor season ranked #7 in the hammer throw by Track and Field News.
Bullock looks for first USA Championship in High Jump
Epley Bullock, a former Husker from Nebraska, was twice a Big 12 Champion in the high jump, and comes into the meet with the best mark of 1.91/6-3.25. Bullock’s winning jump at the Tyson Invitational ties her with Brigetta Barrett for the best American jump for 2011. Megan Seidl, a 2008 Big 10 Champion, formerly of Wisconsin has the second best mark coming into the championships with a jump of 1.90/6-2.75.
Welsch eyes Triple Jump Title
The women with the four best jumps of the year on the American top-marks lists will go head-to-head at the championships. Shakeema Welsch, the defending two-time indoor national champion, leads the way as the only woman with a mark in the 45-foot range, with her U.S. leading 13.84/45-5. Welsch ended 2010 ranked #3 on the U.S. list by Track & Field News and will face-off with #2 on that list, Toni Smith. Smith hop, skipped and jumped to a 13.48/44-2.75 earlier this month at a meet at the Air Force Academy. Other top entrants include Crystal Manning, who jumped to a 13.65/44-9.50 earlier this year in Albuquerque, as well as Amanda Smock, who has the fourth place position on the U.S. list.
Camerana-Williams looks for sixth Indoor Women’s Shot Put Title
Olympian Jill Camerana-Williams is the clear favorite in the women’s shot entering the meet with a mark more than two meters ahead of her nearest competitor, and a dominating record of five national indoor titles. Camerana-Williams leads the U.S. list with a toss of 18.64/61-2 earlier this month in New York. Other competitors include 2008 NCAA Champion Sarah Stevens-Walker and Tiffany Howard.
For more information on the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships, the 2011 Visa Championship Series and USA Track & Field, visit: www.visachampionships.com or www.usatf.org.