ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - 2012 London Olympic medalists Jenn Suhr, Janay Deloach Soukup and Trey Hardee along with high school phenom Mary Cain will be among the names highlighting the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships, which begin Friday, March 1, and run through Sunday, March 3, at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
With the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau, the New Mexico Sports Authority, the University of New Mexico, the City of Albuquerque and USATF New Mexico again serving as official sponsors, this is the fourth consecutive year the Albuquerque Convention Center has hosted the USA Indoor Championships. For complete start lists and more information on the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships, visit www.usatf.org
The USA Indoor Track & Field Championships serve as the final stop of the 2013 USATF Indoor Championship Series. The event can be viewed Saturday LIVE on Universal Sports from 6-8 p.m. ET and Sunday LIVE on NBC Sports Network from 4-6 p.m. ET. Select events will also be available on a webcast live through www.runnerspace.com.
All eyes will be on 16-year-old Mary Cain in the women’s 800m and mile. Cain has rewritten the record books this season with American high school or junior records in the 1500m, mile, 3,000m and two mile. Cain will face former University of Tennessee standout Chanelle Price and reigning outdoor 800m World Junior champion Ajee Wilson in the 800m. Her top competitors in the mile will be three-time USA Outdoor 1500m champion Treniere Moser and Sarah Brown, who won the 1500m and mile at the previous two stops of the USATF Indoor Championship series.
Reigning Olympic gold medalist and American record holder Jenn Suhr is the favorite in the women’s pole vault. With six USA Indoor titles to her name, Suhr set the American indoor record in Albuquerque at the USA Indoor Championships in 2011.
Olympic bronze medalist Janay Deloach Soukup is the reigning two-time USA Indoor champion in the long jump and will be vying to protect her title from fellow 2012 Olympian Chelsea Hayes. Deloach Soukup will also take her speed from the long jump runway to the sprint-straightaway in the 60m hurdles. Earlier this year, Deloach Soukup won the 60m hurdles at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, and she is currently tied for third on the U.S. list with her time of 7.97.
In the women’s hurdles, Deloach Soukup will face a talented field that includes 2010 USA Indoor champion Ginnie Crawford, who has also run 7.97 this season. Others in contention for the title include 2012 USA Indoor champion Kristi Castlin and 2008 Olympian Queen Harrison.
Amber Campbell will be in the hunt for her seventh USA Indoor title after sweeping the event the past six years. Campbell is currently tied with Dawn Ellerbe for the most indoor titles, and a victory in 2013 would make Campbell the winningest American woman in the weight throw.
The USA Combined Event Championships are being held in conjunction with the USA Indoor Championships, with two-time Olympian Sharon Day as the top entrant in the pentathlon. Day is the reigning USA Combined Events champion and will face 2011 champion Bettie Wade.
A pair of Olympic medalists will highlight the men’s events in Albuquerque, which includes London Olympic decathlon silver medalist Trey Hardee and three-time Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner.
Hardee, who also won the World Outdoor title in 2011 and 2009, is entered to compete in the heptathlon as part of the USA Combined Events Championships. Hardee will face the top two up-and-coming decathletes with hometown favorite and American junior decathlon record-holder Curtis Beach and World Junior champion Gunnar Nixon competing in their first USA Indoor Combined Events Championships.
For the first time in his brilliant career, Wariner will compete in the USA Indoor Championships. He is entered in the 400m where he is the 2004 Olympic gold medalist and the 2008 Olympic silver medalist. Wariner has also won two Olympic gold medals as part of the 4x400m relay and is a five-time world champion.
American record holder Brad Walker will look to claim his fifth USA Indoor title in the men’s pole vault. The 2012 Olympian has won a total of six world championships medals.
Bershawn “Batman” Jackson returns to the USA Indoor Championships where he last claimed a 400m title in 2010. The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in the 400m hurdles, Jackson also won the World Outdoor title in the event in 2005.
2011 World Outdoor 1,500m bronze medalist Matthew Centrowitz is entered in both the 800m and 1,500m in Albuquerque. Centrowitz, a member of Team USA at the London Olympic Games, holds the third fastest time in the world this season in the mile.
Less than two weeks removed from his American record in the 600m, Eric Sowinski is entered to compete in the men’s 800m.
The reigning World Indoor Championships gold medalist, Ryan Whiting, who has recorded the farthest indoor throw in the world each of the last two years, highlights the field in the men’s shot put.