News & Notes, Volume 8, Number 66

12-11-2008

Contact:
Tom Surber
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field
317-713-4690

USATF Junior Olympic titles up for grabs Saturday

USA Track & Field's premiere youth cross country meet, the 2008 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, will crown individual and team champions this Saturday at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, Va.

Featuring more than 3,000 age-group youth athletes from around the country, the Junior Olympics will be contested over the challenging landscape of Pole Green Park, which consists of a 232-acre area in Hanover County. With rolling terrain and a challenging hill, Pole Green Park has proven to be an outstanding site for Virginia cross country meets.

Athletes aged 8 to 18 will compete for boys' and girls' titles in five age divisions. The USATF Junior Olympic program age divisions are bantam (10 and under) racing over 3 kilometers; midget (11-12) racing 3 km; youth (13-14) racing 4 km; intermediate (15-16) racing 5 km; and young men/women (17-18) racing 5 km.

Individual boys' winners from the 2007 Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships in Lawrence, Kan., were Marcus Garrow in bantam, 10:59.07; Colin Kerr in midget, 10:27.46; Lukas Verzbicas (Illinois) in youth, 13:16.04; Eric Fitzpatrick (Team Idaho) in intermediate, 16:26.09; and Patrick Casey (Bozeman Track Club) in young men, 15:59.73. Team champions were Equalizers Team A in bantam, youth and intermediate, Pops Track Club in midget, and Team Provo in young men. It was the second team title in a row for the Equalizers youth team.

Last year's girls winners included 2006 bantam champion Paige Rice of Oregon, CC who dominated the field in the midget girls 3 km race cruising to victory in 10 minutes 58.57 seconds. Other individual winners for girls included Hanna Blache (Corona Pan) in bantam, 11:46.62; Eleanor Fulton (Zoom Track Club) in youth, 14:55.43; Elizabeth Briascoe (Awesome Power) in intermediate, 18:34.38; and Emily Reese (Northside) in young women, 19:04.66.

Girls' team champions were the Elgin Sharks in bantam, San Diego SoCal Roadrunners in midget, Equalizers Team A in youth, and the Buffalo Chips in intermediate and young women. It was the second team title in a row for the San Diego So Cal Roadrunners in the midget division.

The USATF Virginia Association, Hanover County Parks & Recreation, the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Sports Backers (Richmond Region Sports Commission) are proud hosts of the 2008 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships.For more information on the 2007 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, visit www.usatf.org.

Olympic stars set for Reebok Boston Indoor Games

Beijing medalists Jenn Stuczynski, Steve Hooker and Nick Willis will be among the headliners at the 2009 Reebok Boston Indoor Games on February 7 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston. The second event of USA Track & Field's 2009 Indoor Visa Championship Series, tickets for the Reebok Boston Indoor Games are on sale now at www.BostonIndoorGames.com or by calling 1-877-TIX-TRAC.

Stuczynski, who won the Olympic silver medal in the women's pole vault last year in Beijing, is also the 2008 World Indoor Championships silver medalist and outdoor American recordholder. She is the #2 vaulter of all-time, a six-time U.S. champion, the reigning Olympic Trials champion and the defending Reebok Boston Indoor Games champion.

Hooker was victorious in one of the most exciting contests of the 2008 Olympics, winning the men's pole vault on his third and last attempt after repeatedly bouncing back from the brink of elimination. After securing the gold medal, the Australian went on to break the Olympic Record. This will be Hooker's second appearance at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games, following a win in 2007.

Willis became the first New Zealand track athlete in 32 years to bring home an Olympic medal when he won the 1,500-meter bronze medal in Beijing. The 2006 Commonwealth Games champion and national record-holder at 1,500 meters, Willis also broke the New Zealand indoor mark and NCAA record for 3,000 meters here in 2004 while competing for the University of Michigan.

Since the Reebok Boston Indoor Games began in 1996, more than 100 Olympic and World Championship medalists have competed in the event, which has also played host to six world records and nine American records. More athletes for the 2009 event will be announced soon.

The 14th-annual Reebok Boston Indoor Games begins at 5:30 p.m. on February 7 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College, 1350 Tremont St. Information is now available on-line at www.BostonIndoorGames.com, and tickets are available on-line or by calling 1-877-TIX-TRAC. USATF welcomes you to pay with your Visa.

For more information on the 2009 USATF Visa Championship Series, visit: www.usatf.org.