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Team USA gathers impressive roster for NACAC U23 Championships


SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- The 2016 North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) U-23 Championships kick off on Thursday, and will run through Sunday in San Salvador, El Salvador. The three-day track and field event brings premier youth athletes from around the globe to gather at Estadio Nacional Jorge "El Mágico" Gonzalez.

Among the standout American athletes, the NACAC games will play host to several future Olympians including Shelbi Vaughan of Texas A&M and Christian Coleman of Tennessee, and many premier American athletes.

Vaughan will succeed her second place finish at the U.S. Olympic Trials - Track & Field by performing in the women’s discus competition. Vaughan qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team with a throw of 60.28m/197-9.00 at the Trials, behind only Whitney Ashley. Vaughan’s sustained success this season has established herself among the top young athletes in the world and may be destined to lead the women’s discus finals on Friday.

Meanwhile, fellow American Olympic qualifier Christian Coleman will compete in the 4x100m relay for Team USA on Saturday. Coleman is coming off of a sixth place performance in the 100m at the Olympic Trials, and a selection to the United States 4x100m relay pool. Coleman, the second-fastest 100m sprinter at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championships, ran a 10.06 mark at the Trials to qualify for his first Olympic games.

Olympic Trials qualifiers Keandre Bates of the University of Florida and Penn State’s Isaiah Harris will represent Team USA in their respective events following last week’s Olympic Trials, in which both athletes put together great performances.

Bates took to the long jump pit at the Olympic Trials, and put together his career-best long jump performance of 8.32m/27-3.00 on his fourth jump to earn him sixth place. Bates’ performance at the Olympic Trials places him atop the NACAC long-jump field, aside fellow American, Jonathan Addison.

Harris, the 2016 Big Ten 800m champion will continue an eventful summer after finishing his freshman year at Penn State. At last week’s Olympic Trials, Harris qualified for the for the 800m finals as the youngest runner in the final, and continued his success in the 800m finals. Harris finished sixth in the finals with a time of 1:46.47, establishing himself among the fastest 800m athletes in the United States.

2014 World Junior gold medalist Kendal Williams will represent Team USA in the 100m on Friday, as the sprinter enters with a qualifying time of 10.06. The University of Georgia sophomore enters among the fastest sprinters in the event, and has a shot to qualify for Friday’s 100m final.

The 2016 NACAC U-23 Championships will take place from July 15-17 in San Salvador, El Salvador. Fans can follow along with the action using #NACAC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The full Team USA roster can be found here.

Contributed by Andy Eisch, USATF Communications

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