World records at Tyson Invitational each worth $25,000
As the line-up of world class athletes participating in the Tyson Invitational gets more competitive, Tyson Foods is upping the competitive ante by offering $25,000 for each world record set during the event - instead of a prize-pool. This powerful incentive adds another level of excitement as fans anticipate this one-of-a-kind track and field meet, held on Friday, February 10 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The third event of USATF's 2006 Visa Championship Series, the Tyson Invitational will be televised February 12 on ESPN 2 from 11:30 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
While experts are convinced that a world record will be set at this event - one of the fastest indoor track and field facilities in the world - they cannot predict who will rise to the challenge. The event will feature three athletes that currently hold #1 world rankings, while 16 boast top-10 world rankings.
"Given the level of talent coming to this year's competition, we are raising the stakes and offering $25,000 to each athlete that sets a world record," said Bob Corscadden, Tyson's senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "We are confident that we will witness at least one record-breaking performance."
As the world's top track athletes train for the Tyson Invitational and strive to be the fastest in the world, track and field followers are rooting to see a new time set at the men's 300-meter, women's 60-meter dash and men's 400-meter dash.
The men's 300-meters promises to be a potentially history-making race. It is a one-and-a-half lap race that will showcase some of the bright young stars in the world of track and field. World Championships silver medalist and hometown favorite Wallace Spearmon (USA) will go head-to-head with indoor 400-meter world record holder Kerron Clement (USA). LaShawn Merritt (USA), who ranks fifth in the USA in the 400-meter will join the field, as does Omar Brown (Jamaica), who will look to make a name for himself in this race. They will all try to smash the world record of 32.19 set by Robson da Silva (Brazil) in 1989 and bring home $25,000.
The women's 60-meter dash - perhaps the best field outside the men's 300 meters - will have fans on the edge of their seat. Four of the top seven runners in the world at 100-meters and the nation's top high school sprinter will highlight the field. The feature shows two-time Olympic gold medalist and top ranked Veronica Campbell (Jamaica) against Lauryn Williams (USA). Both track stars have been facing each other since their collegiate days to the Olympics and World Championships. Bianca Knight of Ridgeland, Miss., who ran one of the nation's fastest times for a prep athlete on January 14 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark., could be the contender to beat. For the first time at this top indoor track and field meet, fans will see tomorrow's stars challenging today's track and field sensations.
The men's 400 meters is set up to be another fast race as the world's fourth and sixth-ranked runners compete against the world's top ranked 400-meter hurdler. Chris Brown (Bahamas) will enter the competition as the favorite, just slightly ahead of Tyree Washington (USA). This year, Bershawn Jackson (USA) could be the wildcard, since he is known for his closing speed.
Tyson Foods is proud to sponsor such a competitive event where these athletes' performance is supported by protein's long lasting energy. Nothing delivers the strength and endurance as effectively as protein.
For more information on the Tyson Invitational and Tyson Foods please visit www.tysoninvitational.org or www.tyson.com.
About Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods, Inc. [NYSE: TSN], founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is the world's largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, the second-largest food company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products, which are marketed under the "Powered by Tyson™" strategy. Tyson is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves, providing products and service to customers throughout the United States and more than 80 countries. The company has approximately 114,000 Team Members employed at more than 300 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world. Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.
Walker, Stuczynski win at Pole Vault Summit
Brad Walker and Jennifer Stuczynski, the new faces of American pole vaulting, picked up where they left off in 2005 at the 16th annual National Pole Vault Summit at the Reno Hilton on Friday.
Walker, the Helsinki World Championship silver medalist, defended his title at 5.60m/18-4.50 over 2004 Olympic silver medalist Toby Stevenson. Stuczynski, the 2005 USA Track & Field Indoor champion, won the women's competition at 4.55m/14-11 over Jillian Schwartz.
Amid blaring rock music at the event held on a hotel theatre stage with the men's and women's competition taking place on intersecting runways, Walker needed only five jumps to win over Stevenson at 5.60m/18-4.50 on fewer misses, in what was a low key competition in comparison to previous years.
Walker, who is currently the IAAF World Ranked number one for the event, cleared 5.50m/18-0.50 and 5.60m/18-4.50 on his first attempts with Stevenson scaling both heights on his second attempt. Both then missed three times at 5.80m/19-0.25. American record holder Jeff Hartwig and 2000 Olympic champion Nick Hysong tied for third at 5.50m/18-0.50.
Walker, 24, won last year's Pole Vault Summit in a then personal-best 5.83m/19-1.50 to kick off his first full professional season after completing his collegiate eligibility at the University of Washington, where he was a two-time NCAA indoor champion.
Walker won the 2005 USATF indoor and outdoor titles and posted wins in Paris, Sheffield and Rieti last summer. In Rieti, Walker moved into sixth place on the all-time U.S. list with a 5.96m clearance.
"It was an incredible year and a breakthrough year and I am excited to be where I am at as quickly as I have been," said Walker, who continues to live and train in Seattle, Wash., with his college coach Pat Lacari. "It was one of those things where I was striving to make my first (U.S. national) team and things went my way and I capitalized on it.''
Walker plans to compete in the Millrose Games (Feb. 3) in New York City,the Tyson Invitational (Feb.11) and the USATF Indoor Championships in Boston (Feb. 24-26 Feb) in an attempt to qualify for the 2006 World Indoor Championships in Moscow in March (10 - 12).
Jennifer Stuczynski, who currently owns the second best women's indoor mark in the world this year with her career-best 4.68m15-4.25 clearance two weeks ago in Michigan, had her own source of motivation in her first appearance at the Pole Vault Summit.
The 23-year-old had hoped to challenge the American indoor record of 4.81m/15-9.25 held by Stacy Dragila. An eight-time Reno winner, Dragila was present at the meet but did not compete.
"I wanted to go after the record. I didn't get it but we're going to make it another meet," said Stuczynski. "It would have been nice to jump against her, but it didn't matter who vaulted. I was doing what I needed to do."
Still a relative newcomer to the event, Stuczynski, a former basketball, volleyball and softball player, who took up vaulting a year and a half ago, said she has made great strides over the last season. She had five consecutive personal bests this season, leading up to her 4.68m/15-4.25 vault on January 14 to move into second place on the all-time U.S. indoor list.
Competing with a singlet with the name SUHR in honor of her coach Rick Suhr, Stucyzinski passed the opening three heights at Reno before first-attempt clearances at 4.35m/14-3.25 and 4.45m/14-7.25. She cleared 4.55m/14-11.25 on her second attempt to win the competition over Jillian Schwartz, who made the height on her third attempt. Tracy O'Hara was third at 4.45m/14-7.25.
Pole Vault Summit facts and figures: Mike Tully, the 1984 Olympic silver medalist and Summit meet director and founder Bob Fraley were inducted into the USATF Pole Vault Hall of Fame ceremony held in conjunction with the Summit.
The two-day meet that ran through Saturday featured more than 1200 competitors ranging from high school, college and open vaulters including 2004 Mexican Olympian Giovanni Lanaro. There were 68 vault competitions contested over 15 hours with competitions taking place simultaneously on 11 runways in hotel ballrooms.
Moore, Seaman win USA race walk championships
Jolene Moore won the USA Indoor Women's 1 Mile national title and Tim Seaman captured the USA Indoor Men's 3,000m crown over the weekend at the Findlay Indoor Track Classic in Findlay, Ohio.
Moore, who won the event in 6 minutes, 50.81 seconds, faced a stiff challenge from her New York Athletic Club teammate Deborah Huberty, who was the runner-up in 6:51.26. Walk USA's Loretta Schuellein also provided a strong challenged in finishing third in 6:52.19.
The men's 30 km championship was less competitive as two-time Olympian and New York Athletic Club member Tim Seaman won the event in 11:26.62. Matt Boyles of the Miami Valley Track Club was the runner-up in 11:54.38, as Wisconsin-Parkside's Mike Tarantino placed third in 11:55.52.
The next event on the Grand Prix Circuit is this Friday night's USA 1 Mile Indoor Race Walk Championship for men at the Millrose Games in New York City. Jumping to the other end of the distance spectrum the 2006 Grand Prix goes back outdoors with the 2006 USA 50 km Championships on February 12 in Clermont, Florida.
For more information on this event, along with the complete results, visit www.usatf.org.
Longtime track & field supporter Roggy dies
Bob Roggy Sr., the father of 1978 NCAA men's javelin throw champion Bob Roggy Jr., and a longtime supporter of track and field, died last week in Holmdel, N.J.
Bob Sr. helped establish the Bob Roggy Memorial Track and Field Meet at Holmdel N.J., in 1987, and had been a great supporter of the meet, which is currently named the NJ International Meet. The Bob Roggy Memorial Javelin Throw will again be a feature at the 20th edition of the event, to be held June 10, 2006 at Colts Neck, N.J.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made for the refurbishing of the Bob Roggy Memorial Field at Holmdel High School; attention, Fund Raising Committee, 1 Carol Court, Holmdel, NJ 07733, with memo line: Roggy Donation.
Surviving are his wife of 55 years, Mrs. Sis Roggy of Holmdel; their daughter Marianne and husband Robert Largey of New York City; their daughter Barbara and husband Christopher Sheppard of Oceanport, N.J., and son Thomas Roggy and wife Carol of Highland Village, Texas, and grandchildren.
Babits, McBarnette set masters records
At the National Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada over the weekend, Paul Babits of Fort Wayne, Indiana, cleared 4.80 meters/15 feet, 9 inches to break the listed M45 world indoor pole vault record.
Not to be outdone, Bruce McBarnette raised his own M45 world indoor high jump record to 6-4 3/4 (1.95) in Landover, Maryland.