INDIANAPOLIS - Reigning world champions Jesse Williams
and Christian Taylor
, who brought Team USA back to prominence in the jumps, and the ever-entertaining quartet of shot putters highlight the men’s field events at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships February 25-26 at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, N.M.
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The fourth and final stop on the indoor Visa Championship Series, the meet will be broadcast on ESPN on Sunday, February 26, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Eastern. Spots will be on the line for Team USA for the World Indoor Championships, which will be held March 9-11 in Istanbul, Turkey.
You can also tune in via a live webcast on www.usatf.org
provided in partnership with RunnerSpace on Saturday from 4:30-8:20 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00-4:10 p.m. mountain time. The webcast will feature full coverage of Saturday’s events including the men’s and women’s 3,000m races, and select events on Sunday.
With the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau, the New Mexico Sports Authority, University of New Mexico, the city of Albuquerque and USATF New Mexico all as official hosts, this is the third consecutive year the Albuquerque Convention Center has hosted the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Williams keeps raising the bar
Williams was on top of the world in 2011 after winning the World Championships and bringing home the first USA medal in the event since 1991. Williams also recorded the best mark in the world for 2011, won the Samsung Diamond League Series and was named the Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year by USATF.
Williams is clearly riding the momentum in 2012 as he has already claimed victories at the U.S. Open and Millrose Games. Williams is currently No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 6 in the world on the top marks lists. Williams will be looking for his third U.S. indoor title in a row, but will have to hold off Olympians Andra Manson
and Jamie Nieto
as well as collegiate standouts Erik Kynard
of Kansas State and James Harris
of Mississippi State.
Taylor and Claye face-off in triple jump
They may be young, but defending world champion Taylor and former Florida teammate and world bronze medalist Will Claye
are sure to put on a show in the men’s triple jump. The two met at the USATF Classic where Claye was victorious and leaped to a world leading mark of 17.39m/57-0.75. The men have competed head-to-head in the triple jump 22 times, with an even split of 11 times that one has bested the other.
Claye is also slated to double in the men’s long jump where he will face the silver medalist from the IAAF World Championsips in the decathlon, Ashton Eaton
Top 4 men in the world meet in the shot
Team USA can only send two shot putters to the IAAF World Indoor Championships and three to the Olympic Games, but the top four athletes in the world all have the American flag next to their name. With no one wanting to be the odd man out, competition among Resse Hoffa
, Ryan Whiting
, Christian Cantwell
and Adam Nelson
is sure to be intense all year. All four men have won at least one USA Indoor title. Hoffa is currently atop the world list with his mark of 21.87m/71-9. Whiting has won two stops of this year’s Visa Championship Series with his victories at the U.S. Open and USATF Classic, while Nelson won the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix. Cantwell is the reigning Indoor World Champion, with victories in 2008 and 2004 as well.
In other events, A.G. Kruger
will seek his seventh indoor title in the men’s weight throw, with an entry mark nearly two meters farther than the rest of the field. In the men’s pole vault, three men have all previously won the USA Indoor title: Mark Hollis
, Jeremy Scott
and Brad Walker
. Walker enters the meet with the best mark of the field at 5.80m/19-0.25.
For more information on the USA Indoor Championships, the Visa Championships Series or USA Track & Field visit www.VisaChampionshipSeries.com