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Team USATF star athletes to light red carpet at Black Tie & Sneakers


NEW YORK - Team USATF’s stars of the 2016 Olympic Games and 2017 IAAF World Championships - including Emma Coburn, Justin Gatlin, Allyson Felix, Michelle Carter, Christian Coleman, Tianna Bartoletta and Brittney Reese - will add athletic glam to an already spectacular list of honorees and attendees at USATF’s 2017 Black Tie & Sneakers Gala.


Set for November 2 at the Armory Track & Field Center in Upper Manhattan, the Gala features the USATF Track & Field Hall of Fame Class of 2017 induction ceremony. Hosted by AJ Calloway and a red carpet show led by Jordyn Rolling, Gala will air November 8 on the Olympic Channel.


Stars of the 2016 Olympic Games and 2017 World Championships attending the Gala include:


Emma Coburn, who captivated sports fans around the world in winning gold in the women’s steeplechase at the 2017 IAAF World Championships, defeating the greatest women’s steeple field ever assembled. She broke the American record and Championship record in the process, following up on her the 2016 Olympic bronze medal in the event. Her family’s reaction to the win was a viral hit.


Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist, claimed the 2017 world title in the men’s 100m, defeating Usain Bolt in the Jamaican’s final 100m race. The Brooklyn native has won 15 medals in global competition (Olympics, World Indoor Championships, World Outdoor Championships), including four gold, in an international career that dates back to 2003.


Allyson Felix, the de facto face of the sport for almost a decade in events ranging from the 100 to 400 meters, became the most decorated athlete in IAAF World Championships history in 2017, winning her 14th, 15th and 16th medals. She has won 26 global medals in her career, including six Olympic golds and 11 World Championships golds. She is a three-time world champion in the 200 meters, and the 2012 Olympic gold medalist in the 200 and 4x100 relay, which set a world record.


Michelle Carter, one of Team USATF’s most ubiquitous stars, has won legions of fans through her advocacy for young women and self-acceptance and was featured in the 2009 ESPN Magazine “The Body” issue. The 2016 Olympic gold medalist and 2016 World Indoor champion in the shot put holds the American record and has won five global medals in the event.


Christian Coleman, the “next big thing” in sprinting, is the phenom who swept all four sprint titles in 2017 NCAA Championships competition before winning the 100m silver medal at the World Championships. He is the only person ever to be undefeated in head-to-head competition against Usain Bolt, though he first gained wide notoriety when he ran 4.12 in a football-style 40-yard dash for University of Tennessee.


Tianna Bartoletta, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the long jump and 4x100m relay, has been on the top of the world since winning the 2005 world title in the long jump. She ran lead-off on the world record-setting 4x100m relay team that won the 2012 Olympic gold medal, and she owns World Championships long jump gold and bronze from 2015 and 2017, respectively.


Brittney Reese, one of the most decorated American track & field athletes in history, won her career eighth global long jump gold medal at the 2017 World Championships. She is a four-time World Outdoor gold medalist, three-time World Indoor gold medalist, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2016 Rio Olympic silver medalist.


Natasha Hastings, one of the stalwarts of Team USATF for more than a decade, is known for her athletic prowess and distinctive personal style, which in Rio featured much talked-about short blonde hair, matching the gold medal she won in the 4x400m relay. The native New Yorker has won 10 global gold medals for Team USATF in the 4x400m relay, including two Olympic golds.  Her “Unlike Any” video has more than 2.8 million views on YouTube.


Will Claye, one of the most successful and reliable medal-winning jumpers of his era, comes to Black Tie & Sneakers fresh off a silver medal in the triple jump at the 2017 World Championships. After he won a silver medal at the Rio Games, he won the hearts of fans when he proposed to his now-fiancee, hurdler Queen Harrison. The aspiring rapper earlier this year had his song, “Delilah,” featured on a dance video by Jade Chynoweth that garnered more than 680,000 views.


Ajee Wilson, a name to know since her high school days, won a silver medal at the 2016 World Indoor Championships and bronze at the 2017 World Outdoor Championships. The New Jersey native crushed the American 800 record by almost 1 full second in July, making good on the promise she showed when she won the 2012 World Junior title.


Mason Finley, one of the surprise breakthroughs for Team USATF at the 2017 World Championships,  won bronze in the men’s discus - the first U.S. medal of the championships - throwing with a borrowed implement after his was broken by a competitor. A personal-best throw in the biggest competition of his life brought home coveted hardware for the then 26-year-old.


Aries Merritt, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and world record holder in the 110-meter hurdles, Merritt won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships with failing kidneys. He had a transplant days later, and came back to finish a fourth at the 2016 Olympic Trials, just seven months after surgery.


Emily Infeld, the surprise bronze medalist in the 2015 World Championships women’s 10,000 meters. Infield was the highest finishing American in the event at 2017 World Championships.


Past medal-winners attending the gala include:


Carmelita Jeter: Ran anchor for Team USATF in a world record time and gold medal in the women’s 4x100m relay at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The second-fastest women’s 100m runner in history (behind only Florence Griffith-Joyner), she won 11 global medals in her career, including four golds.


Terrence Trammell: Two-time Olympic silver medalist in the 110m hurdles (2000, 2004); two-time World Indoor champion who won nine global medals during his competitive career.


Sandra Farmer-Patrick: 1992 Olympic silver medalist and 1993 World Outdoor silver medalist in the 400m hurdles.


Diane Dixon: Eight-time global medalist, with a 1984 Olympic gold medal and 1998 Olympic silver medal in the 4x400m relay, also  and Brooklyn native.


Wallace Spearmon: Four-time medalist at the World Outdoor Championships, including gold in the 4x100 relay in 2007 and three 200m medals over the course of his career.


Curt Clausen: The last American to win a global medal in the race walk, talking bronze in the 50 km event at the 1999 IAAF World Championships.

Manteo Mitchell: 2012 World Indoor Champion and Olympic silver medalist in the men’s 4x400m relay, is known for his unparalleled perseverance after successfully completing his leg at the Olympics with a broken fibula.

The USATF Black Tie & Sneakers Gala will be hosted by A.J. Calloway of TV’s “Extra,” and is set to feature performances by V. Bozeman and celebrity presentations by Machine Gun Kelly, Jacob Latimore, Annie Ilonzeh and more. In addition to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame Class of 2017 induction ceremony, USATF will honor sports icons Carl Lewis with the USATF Legend Award and Kathrine Switzer with the USATF Pioneer Award.

Visit to learn more about the November 2 event.

About USATF Black Tie & Sneakers Gala

Now in its third year, USATF's Black Tie & Sneakers Gala is a red-carpet evening held at the Armory Track & Field Center in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood. The Gala includes the induction of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame Class of 2017, with legendary athletes, business executives, current USATF stars and celebrities from sports and entertainment on hand for an opening reception, dinner, the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and after party. Guests walk the red carpet in festive attire and sneakers, giving the night a USATF twist on athletic elegance and excellence.

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