Women's sprinters charge into Eugene


Vicky Oddi
Communications Coordinator
USA Track & Field

EUGENE, Ore. - Allyson Felix, Lauryn Williams, Sanya Richards, Joanna Hayes, Michelle Perry, Lashinda Demus and Tiffany Ross-Williams headline strong fields in the women's sprints and hurdles at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field, June 27 - July 6 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

The top three finishers in each competition will earn the ultimate prize of a spot on the Team USA roster for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

100 Meters

The women's 100 meters will see six of the top-ten ranked women in the world vying for three spots on the U.S. Olympic Team. 2003 World champion Torri Edwards, ranked #2 in the world by Track & Field News for 2007, will look to win her third national title and qualify for her second Olympic Team but will face a strong challenge from 2004 Olympic silver medalist and two-time World Outdoor medalist Lauryn Williams, world-ranked #7 for 2007. Also in the mix is 2007 World Outdoor bronze medalist Carmelita Jeter, who ended her 2007 campaign ranked #3 in the world, 2006 World Indoor champion Lisa Barber (#5) and 2007 World Outdoor triple gold medalist Allyson Felix (#6), who set a personal best 10.93 earlier this year in winning at Doha.

Others to keep an eye on include 2007 Pan Am Games gold medalist Miki Barber (#10), Marshevet Hooker, owner of the third best time in the world this year with her runner-up finish at the Reebok Grand Prix (10.94) and the resurgent Muna Lee, who ran a lifetime best 10.97 for third place, also at the Reebok Grand Prix.

200 Meters

Running her first 200m of the season at the Olympic Trials, 2004 Olympic silver medalist and two-time World Outdoor champion Allyson Felix is set to chase her fourth national title in the women's 200m. At last year's World Championships, Felix won the women's 200m in a personal best 21.81, the fastest time by a woman this century.

2003 World Outdoor champion Torri Edwards, world-ranked #3 for 2007, is will look to improve upon her performance at the 2007 World Outdoor Championships, where she took fourth in both the 100m and 200m. 2004 Olympian LaShanute'a Moore (#8) and 100m standout Lauryn Williams also will be vying for a spot in the 200m.

Other contenders include newcomer Bianca Knight, the 2008 NCAA Indoor champion and 2005 World Youth 100m champion and 200m silver medalist, and Muna Lee, a 2005 World Outdoor 4x100m gold medalist who owns the second-fastest time in the world this year (22.30) from her performance at the adidas Track Classic.

400 Meters

Three-time U.S. champion and 2005 World Outdoor silver medalist Sanya Richards has been ranked #1 in the world for the past three years. After failing to qualify for the open 400m for the 2007 World Outdoor Championships, Richards is more motivated than ever to prove her point as the world's dominant 400-meter runner.

2007 World Outdoor 4x400m gold medalists Natasha Hastings and Mary Wineberg are also favored to make the team. Other contenders include 2007 U.S. champion Dee Dee Trotter, who has been struggling with injury this year, and wild card Shareese "The Beast" Woods, who came out of nowhere to win the bronze medal at the 2008 World Indoor Championships.

100-meter Hurdles

Reigning Olympic gold medalist Joanna Hayes has returned to her 2004 form after battling injury for three years and will look to claim her first national title in the women's 100m hurdles at the Olympic Trials. Hayes has had a strong season thus far, winning races at the adidas Track Classic (12.64), the Nike Prefontaine Classic (12.53w) and the Jamaican Invitational (12.72).

Two-time World Outdoor champion Michelle Perry will try to bounce back from a minor injury to qualify for her first Olympics as a 100m hurdler. 2008 World Indoor champion Lolo Jones and two-time USA Outdoor champion Ginnie Powell also are contenders for a spot on Team USA.

A trio of hurdlers will be vying for berths on their first Olympic Team, led by two-time 2008 World Indoor silver medalist Candice Davis. NCAA Outdoor champion Tiffany Ofili and 2004 NCAA champion and 2007 World Team member Nichole Denby also are in the mix.

400-meter Hurdles

2005 World Outdoor silver medalist Lashinda Demus, who gave birth to twin boys just one year ago, has the fastest time in the world so far this year in the women's 400m hurdles heading into the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. She will face stiff competition from 2007 USA Outdoor champion and overall Visa Champion Tiffany Ross-Williams, ranked #8 in the world for 2007, and 2004 Olympic Trials and 2007 Pan Am Games champion Sheena Johnson Tosta.

Not to be overlooked is veteran Sandra Glover, a two-time World Outdoor medalist and four-time U.S. Outdoor champion. 2007 NCAA Outdoor champion and Pan Am Games bronze medalist Nicole Leach, a member of last year's World Championship Team, will look to qualify for her first Olympic Games.

For more information on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field, visit www.usatf.org.