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Veteran stars look to collect titles at USA Championships

EUGENE - Veterans Carmelita Jeter, Allyson Felix, Jenn Suhr and Brittney Reese headline competitive fields of the nation’s best at the 2011 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships June 23-26 in Eugene, Ore.

The USA Championships serve as the selection event for the coveted spots to represent Team USA at the IAAF World Championships August 27- September 4 in Daegu, South Korea. The USA Championships are also the final stop of the 2011 Outdoor Visa Championship Series. Each male and female athlete who finishes the series at the top of the point standings will be awarded $25,000.

The event will be featured on three networks, in six broadcasts spread over three days of competition. Broadcasts will air on ESPN2, Universal and NBC. View the full TV schedule here. In addition, a free webcast will be provided in partnership with The webcast will run throughout the duration of the event, with commentators including: Larry Rawson, Jenny Adams, Dan O’Brien, Joanna Hayes and John Godina. During the event, the webcast can be viewed online here.

BMW Women’s 100m
Carmelita Jeter
© Victah Sailer   

Carmelita Jeter will look to make her third consecutive world championships team in the 100m. Jeter has been on a roll claiming the #1 ranking in the world the past two years, and she is the current world leader. Jeter ran away from the field and garnered USATF Athlete of the Week honors earlier this month at the Nike Prefontaine Classic where she won in a time of 10.70. Jeter’s closest competitors include Marshavet Myers who is currently ranked third in the world (10.86) and LaShaunte’a Moore who was the runner-up at the 2010 USA Championships and has run 11.25 this year. This race boasts a competitive field, with 19 women having already achieved the IAAF “A” standard of 11.29.

Visa Women’s 200m
Two collegiate standouts lead the field after setting fast PR’s at the NCAA D-1 Championships. Kimberlyn Duncan of LSU won 2011 NCAA titles in the 100m, 200m and anchored the winning 4x100m team. With her recent PR of 22.24, Duncan is the current world leader in the 200m. Janeba Tarmoh of Texas A&M took the runner-up spot in the NCAA 200m and also ran on the 2nd place 4x100m and 1st place 4x400m teams. The youngsters will also have to contend with Consuella Moore, the defending 200m US Champion. Reigning world champion Allyson Felix will not run the 200m, as she has an automatic bid to the world championships.

Visa Women’s 400m
In a match-up of the titans, Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross headline the 400m. Richards-Ross has an automatic bid to the world championships as the 2009 World Champion; however, Felix is running for a spot on the team in order to double in the 200/400m at the world championships. The duo has faced off in seven finals throughout their careers, with Richards-Ross as the traditional 400m specialist winning four of those times. Felix is the current world leader in the 400m at 49.81, while Richards-Ross has run 50.98 this year.

Others to watch include Francena McCorory who is currently #3 on the world list and holds the indoor 400m American Record of 50.54, Jessica Beard who recently finished her career at Texas A&M with a win in the NCAA 400m (51.10) and 4x400m relay and defending U.S. champion Debbie Dunn who ran to a PR of 49.64 at this meet last year.

Nike Women’s 800m
The current world leader Alysia (Johnson) Montano will be seeking to add to her 2007 and 2010 U.S. outdoor titles. Montano ran a season best of 1:59.40 at the Nike Prefontaine Classic, and won bronze at the 2010 World Indoor Championships. Montano will be challenged by this year’s USA indoor champion, Phoebe Wright, who has run a season best of 1:59.98 and the 2010 USA outdoor runner-up Maggie Vessey. Not to be overlooked is the veteran 800m star Hazel Clark. Clark has five 800m USA outdoor titles to her credit and boasts a lifetime best of 1:57.99 from 2009.

Women’s 1500m
Christin Wurth-Thomas sits atop the current U.S. standings with her time of 4:03.72. She has not yet won a U.S. outdoor title; however, her seed time of 3:59.59 is faster than the championship record. Jennifer Simpson demonstrated that she was back to top form at the 2011 U.S. Indoor Championships where she won the mile and 3,000m. Other athletes to watch include defending outdoor champion Anna Pierce who enters with a 2010 season best of 4:04.52, and 2010 U.S. outdoor runner-up Erin Donohue who had a season best of 4:03.49 in 2010.

Visa Women’s 5,000m
The current American record holder Molly Huddle and the former American record holder Shalane Flanagan will challenge each other for the national title in Eugene. Flanagan is the current U.S. leader with a season best of 14:49.68. Huddle sits in the number two spot this year with a best of 15:10.63. Also challenging for spots on team USA are 2008 and 2009 champion Kara Goucher, reigning U.S. champion Lauren Fleshman, and the two time U.S. champion at 1,500m, Shannon Rowbury.

Women’s 10,000m
Flanagan is also entered in the 10,000m, where she has the number two time in the world right now with her mark of 30:39.57. Flanagan will face reigning two-time U.S. champion Amy Begley, Desiree Davila who finished 2nd at this year’s Boston Marathon and Goucher.

BMW Women’s 100m Hurdles
Kellie Wells dominated the 60m hurdles at the start of this year with nine of the fastest 12 times in the world belonging to her. In the outdoor season, Wells is again number one in the world with her time of 12.58. Danielle Carruthers will be challenging for the win as the number two hurdler in the world right now with a time of 12.64. Other contenders include Lolo Jones as the reigning U.S. champion who has run 12.67 this season and 2009 U.S. champion Dawn Harper.

In other track events
Lashinda Demus is entered with a mark more than a second faster than the rest of the field in the women’s 400m. Demus is ranked number one in the world having run 53.31, and has two world championships silver medals to her name. Ready to challenge Demus is 2008 Olympic silver medalist Sheena Tosta who still holds the US Championship record in the event. Lisa Aguilera is the defending U.S. champion in the 3,000m steeplechase and enters the meet with a seed time nearly 8-seconds faster than her nearest competitor, Bridget Franek. In the women’s 20 km racewalk, Maria Michta the defending U.S. champion will face Teresa Vail, the American record holder in the 15 km and 20 km racewalk.

Gill Women’s High Jump
Chaunte Lowe looks to make an amazingly quick comeback after giving birth to her second daughter, Aurora on April 4. Lowe is a four-time U.S. outdoor champion and set the American record at the 2010 Championships. Also seeking spots on the world championships team will be Epley Bullock, the 2011 U.S. indoor champion, and Brigetta Barrett who has the top spot on the current U.S. list (1.93m/6-4) and won the 2011 NCAA indoor and outdoor titles.

Gill Women’s Pole Vault
With 11 U.S. titles to her name, Jenn Suhr will be seeking her sixth consecutive outdoor title. Suhr also owns both the indoor and outdoor American records. Shur’s indoor mark of 4.86m/15-11.25 is the highest mark in the world this year.

St. Vincent Sport Performance Women’s Triple Jump
The women’s triple jump features the current U.S. indoor champion Shakeema Welsch jumping against Blessing Ufodiama who currently has the farthest jump in the U.S. this year with a mark of 14.06m/46-1.50 from the Nike Prefontaine Classic.

Women’s Long Jump
Brittney Reese
© Kirby Lee
Brittney Reese
has dominated the global scene for the past two years, and is a favorite to win the women’s long jump. However, Reese will not face the pressure of securing a spot on the world championships team, as she has an automatic bid as the reigning world champion. Other athletes who are vying for a spot at worlds include: Brianna Glenn who recently leaped to a personal best of 7.00m/22-11.75 and Janay DeLoach who won the 2011 USA Indoor Championships in a personal best of 6.99m/22-11.25.

Women’s Discus Throw
The women’s discus title is up for grabs with the top three competitors all seeded within a meter of one another. Becky Breisch is the defending champion in the event, but 2008 Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Brown-Trafton and four-time U.S. champion Aretha Thurmond will be gunning for the top spot.

Women’s Hammer Throw
The women’s hammer will come down to a dual between top throwers Jessica Cosby and Amber Campbell. Cosby ranks first in the country with the personal best she set at the Occidental Invitational (72.65m/238-4.5). But Campbell, the most dominant weight thrower in the U.S. for the past five years, edged Cosby by less than a foot to take home last year’s USA Outdoor title.

In other field events
Jillian Camarena-Williams, the American record-holder in the indoor shot put, will look to take home her third U.S. Outdoor title over rival Michelle Carter. Kara Patterson is the clear favorite in the javelin after her American record-setting toss at the 2010 USA Outdoor Championships (66.68m/218-9). 2008 Olympic heptathlon silver medalist Hyleas Fountain’s personal best at last year’s U,S. Championship gives her more than a 700 point edge over the rest of the competitors.

For more information on the 2011 USA Indoor Championships, including broadcast schedules and updated entries, view the event page or

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