Team USA goes to Germany


Vicky Oddi
Communications Coordinator
USA Track & Field

INDIANAPOLIS - Team USA's men and women combined events squad will look to continue their winning ways this weekend at the 14th Thorpe Cup. The meet pits Team USA against Germany August 18-19 in Bernhausen, Germany.

Each team is made up of seven decathletes and heptathletes. Team USA has four consecutive victories in the decathlon and holds a 10-3 record while the women are 1-0 in the heptathlon.

The men's side will see Chris Boyles (Carlisle, Pa.) and Ryan Harlan (Hewitt, Texas), who finished fourth and fifth respectively at the 2007 AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, lead a team that includes Mustafa Abdur-Rahim (Brookline, Mass.), Joe Detmer (Lodi, Wisc.), 2006 NCAA runner-up Chris Helwick (Greely, Colo.), Ryan Olkowski (Baltimore, Md.) and two-time NCAA DII champion Chris Randolph (Lone Tree, Colo.). They will be coached by 1996 Olympic gold medalist and three-time World champion Dan O'Brien and 1997 U.S. champion Steve Fritz.

The women's team will be comprised of 2005 NACAC U23 champion Fiona Asigbee (Columbia, Mo.), three-time NCAA champion Jackie Johnson (Yuma, Ariz.), 2005 NCAA champion Lela Nelson (Detroit, Mich.), 2004 U.S. Junior champion Gayle Hunter (Riverside, Calif.), Ryanne Dupree (San Antonio, Texas), Danielle McNaney (Manhattan, Kan.) and Julie Pickler (Sachse, Texas). The women will be coached by James Knoedel, who is entering his 13th season as head coach for the men's and women's cross country and track and field teams at the University of Illinois Chicago.

In 2006, Team USA's men's and women's squads overcame blistering hot temperatures and a strong team from Germany to win the 2006 Nike Combined Events Challenge at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. The women won the inaugural heptathlon competition with 15,716 points to Germany's 15,619 points, while the men tallied 37,792 points to Germany's 37,735, to win by a mere 57 points.

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