Team USA to compete at NACAC U23 Championships

07-05-2006

Contact:
Vicky Oddi
Communications Coordinator
USA Track & Field
317-713-4670

INDIANAPOLIS - Many of America's finest collegiate athletes will compete for Team USA at the 2006 North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) U-23 Track and Field Championships July 5-7 at the Panamerican Stadium in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Five hundred athletes from 28 countries will compete in the fourth edition of the championships. The NACAC Athletic Association's U23 Championships are held every two years in one of the 32 member nations of the North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association, one of six regional athletics associations affiliated with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Team USA wins big at 2004 NACAC

Team USA dominated the action at the 2004 North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Track & Field Championships in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.

More than 400 athletes from 28 countries were on hand for the competition, where U.S. athletes won 28 gold medals, 21 silver medals and 9 bronze medals, for an overall total of 58 medals.

Team USA fell short of the medal tally amassed from the 2002 NACAC squad that competed in San Antonio, Texas. At that event U.S. athletes won 11 competitions on the final day to finish with 30 gold medals to lead the overall medal table with 67.

Team USA stars look for repeat performance

Consisting of many of the country's top emerging-elite athletes, this year's squad will feature eight NCAA champions, three of whom are defending their 2004 NACAC titles. The following is glimpse at some of the Team USA stars to keep an eye on:

*Two-time NCAA champion and two-time USA Outdoor runner-up Dana Pounds will go for gold in the women's javelin. Pounds will be defending her title from 2004.

*Two-time NCAA Division II champion Keith Moffatt will return to defend his title in the men's high jump.

*NCAA champion Ryan Brown will vie for the crown in the men's 800 meters. Joining him in the hunt will be Duane Solomon, who finished fifth at NCAAs.

*Amy Lia, fresh off her victory at the NCAA Championships, looks to take on the field in the women's 1,500 meters.

*Rhodes Scholar and NCAA champion Garrett Johnson will contend for the title in the men's shot put.

*NCAA 200 meter champion Shalonda Solomon will race for top honors in the women's 100 and 200 meters.

*Jackie Johnson hope to ride her victory wave from the NCAA Championships a little bit longer and is back to defend her crown in the women's heptathlon.

*NCAA Division II champion Andrew Vogelsberg, the 2004 NACAC champion, will face stiff competition from compatriot and NCAA Division I runner-up Eric Brown.

Also keep an eye out for 2003 Pan Am Junior 110 and 400 meter hurdle champion Kenneth Ferguson, who will compete in the men's 400mH. David Nevillle, who finished third at NCAA's and the USA Outdoor Championships, will be a force in the men's 400 meters. 2005 USA Outdoor champion Erica McLain will compete in the women's triple jump, and Michelle Carter, the 2004 World Junior gold medalist, is a favorite in the women's shot put. Leonel Manzano, who finished fourth at NCAAs and an astonishing third at the USA Outdoor Championships, will compete in the men's 1,500 meters.

Head coach for the U.S. men's team is longtime William Penn (Pa.) HS coach Tim Hickey (now retired), and the women's head coach is Barbara Edmondson, who was an assistant coach for the 2002 IAAF World Cup. Head managers are Doug Wells (men) and Kim Keenan-Kirkpatrick (women).

Visit USATF's website for a complete roster.

For more information on the 2006 U23 NACAC Track and Field Championships, visit www.usatf.org.