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Team USATF prepares for eight-nation battle at Athletics World Cup


LONDON -- Led by established Olympic athletes and anchored by emerging collegiate talent, Team USATF looks to dominate the first ever Athletics World Cup, held July 14-15 at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium in London, England.

Eight countries will come together to showcase their track and field skills against the best in the world. Only one male and one female will be allowed in each event, and all IAAF-recognized events up to the 1500m will be contested. Click here for the full schedule.

Fans can stream the action live Saturday via NBC Sports Gold, 2:00-5:00 p.m. ET (here) and Sunday from 2:00-5:00 p.m. ET (here). A live broadcast will also air Sunday on the Olympic Channel and can be streamed here.

The team is comprised of nine Olympians - three of whom are medalists - plus two reigning American (Kara Winger, Deanna Price) and two American Junior record holders (Keturah Orji, Vashti Cunningham).

Sam Kendricks (Oxford, Mississippi) will help lead Team USATF during the Athletics World Cup. Kendricks, an Olympic bronze medalist, IAAF World Champion, and current world leader, will compete in the men’s pole vault. The 25-year-old, known for his friendly nature and exquisite technique, is sure to lead his teammates by example. Kendricks has emerged victorious in seven of the eleven outdoor meets he has competed in this season. He hopes to capitalize in his personal best of 6.00m/19-8.25 and bring home a medal for the United States.

Penn State alum Darrell Hill (Darby, Pennsylvania) will headline the men’s shot put competition as Team USATF co-captain. Hill previously represented the United States at the Pan American Games in 2015 and the 2016 Rio Olympics. More recently, he was crowned 2017 Diamond League shot put champion and 2018 USATF Outdoors champion. Hill will kick off the men’s throwing events, beginning competition on July 14.

Clayton Murphy (New Paris, Ohio) will help lead the men’s team on the track. While the middle distance runner may be new to the international stage, his work ethic and ability to attack the race is making him an 800m threat. The 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medalist will look bring another medal to the U.S. on Saturday.

Queen Harrison (Phoenix, Arizona) has also been elected to serve as a team captain while competing in the Athletics World Cup. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom, Athletics World Cup deemed overall team captains of participating countries to be female. The Olympic hurdler is a three-time USATF Outdoor Championship silver medalist in the 400m hurdles. She will compete in the 100m hurdles on July 15.

Jenna Prandini (Eugene, Oregon) will represent Team USATF in the women’s 200m following a 2018 USATF Outdoor Championships victory. After making her mark with a silver medal in the women’s 4x100m at the 2015 World Championships and earning a spot on the 2016 Olympic team, Prandini returns to Team USATF in London.

Courtney Okolo (Austin, Texas) will look to follow up her 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships 400m gold with another medal for Team USATF in the UK. The University of Texas Alum ran the opening leg of the women’s 4x400m at the 2016 Rio Olympics to propel the team to gold with a 3:19.06 victory. The 400m star also found success at the 2015 NACAC Championships as she claimed first in both the 400m and 4x400m.

20-year-old high jump phenom Vashti Cunningham (Las Vegas, Nevada) will join Team USATF in London. Cunningham already boasts an Olympic appearance, national indoor and outdoor titles, and multiple medals on the international stage. Cunningham will battle for gold on the second day of competition.

The Athletics World Cup roster is full of young talent with eight current collegians and eight 2018 graduates. Among the recent grads is rising star Keturah Orji (Budd Lake, New Jersey) who is no stranger to international competition after placing fourth in the triple jump at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Orji also still holds the American Junior record.

University of Alabama’s Quanesha Burks (Tuscaloosa, Alabama) will attempt to leap her way to a gold medal. Burks will represent the United States in the women’s long jump on July 14. Her experience on the international stage includes two gold medals in 2015 and 2016 while competing at the NACAC Championships and NACAC Under-23 Championships, respectively.

Recent Arizona State grad Maggie Ewen (St. Francis, Minnesota) will contribute her throwing prowess to the efforts of Team USATF. The 2018 USATF Outdoor champion and 11-time All-American is a stellar athlete in the shot put, discus, and hammer throw. She will be focusing solely on discus at the Athletics World Cup, set to be contested on July 15.

Kenny Selmon (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) will compete in the 400m hurdles for the United States. Selmon received his degree this year from the University of North Carolina as the most decorated track and field athlete in the school’s history. The five-time All-American who qualified to compete at the Olympic trials as a sophomore will be on the track July 15 to race for Team USATF.

Ohio State standout Zack Bazile (Teaneck, New Jersey) will join Selmon as a recent collegian representing the United States. Basile captured the 2018 NCAA Outdoor title by leaping to a mark of 8.37m/27-5.5 in long jump, ending Ohio’s track and field national title drought that began in 1993. Bazile, who previously interned at USATF in 2017 in Broadcast & Entertainment Properties, will compete on day two in hopes of repeating his NCAA first place finish.

Click here for the full roster and here for team staff release.

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