Barringer/Willard and Goucher/Flanagan to do battle at Championships

06-19-2009

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

INDIANAPOLIS - Rivalries lead the way in the women's distance events as Jenny Barringer will face Anna Willard in the 1,500m and 3,000m steeplechase, and Shalane Flanagan will go toe-to-toe with Kara Goucher in the women's 5,000 and 10,000m at the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, June 25-28 at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene.

The final event of the 2009 USATF Outdoor Visa Championship Series, the USA Championships will be televised on the following dates:

June 26: Live on ESPN from 8-10 p.m.

June 27: Live/tape on ESPN from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

June 28: Live on NBC from 4-6:00 p.m. (All Times Eastern)

The USA Championships will feature the nation's finest professional track and field athletes competing for national honors and spots on the Team USA roster for the 2009 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Berlin, Germany. The World Championships will be held at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Stadium, where National Track & Field Hall of Famer and American icon Jesse Owens won gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump.

1,500 and 3,000 steeplechase share leaders

American-record holder in the steeplechase and sub-4:00 1,500m runner Jenny Barringer leads the entries in the Nike women's 1,500m and 3,000m steeplechase where she will face heavy competition from former American-record holder Anna Willard. It was Willard who won the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in American-record fashion, while Barringer placed third, but two weeks after the Trials, Barringer broke Willard's record while running in Heusden, Belgium, and then broke the record again when she finished ninth at the 2008 Olympic Games to Willard's tenth.

Barringer showed her dexterity by taking over eight seconds off her personal best in the 1,500m when she finished as the runner-up at the 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic, stopping the clock in 3:59.90. She is only the fourth American ever to break the four-minute barrier in the 1,500m. Similarly, Willard showed her ability to move down in distance successfully with her 800m win at the Reebok Grand Prix in 1:59.29, a then-world-leader, and her fourth-place finish in the 1,500m at the 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic, where she shaved almost five seconds off her personal best.

Not to be overlooked, 2008 Olympic Team Trials champion Shannon Rowbury is entered in the women's 1,500m. She finished seventh at the Beijing Olympic Games, the highest placing for an American ever in the event. 2008 Olympians Christin Wurth-Thomas, Erin Donohue and three-time USA Outdoor champion Treniere Clement also will be in the mix.

5,000 and 10,000m double double

2008 Olympic Games 10,000m bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan is set to go head-to-head with 2007 World Outdoor 10,000m bronze medalist Kara Goucher in the Nike women's 5,000 and 10,000m next week.

Flanagan has made her mark on the record books over the past few years, setting American records outdoors in the 5,000 and 10,000m and indoors in the 3,000 and 5,000m. At the 2008 Olympic Team Trials, she won the 10,000m and placed third in the 5,000m and followed that up in Beijing with a bronze medal and an American record at 10,000m along with a 10th-place finish over 5,000m.

Goucher has gone about things a little differently since winning her bronze medal at the 2007 World Outdoor Championships in Osaka. After winning the 5,000m and finishing as the runner-up over 10,000m, she went on to finish ninth and 10th in Beijing, respectively. Immediately following the Games, Goucher ramped up her mileage and began training for the marathon. Just months after the Games, she turned in a history-making American performance by finishing third in the 2008 NYC Marathon. Crossing the line in 2:25:53, it was the fastest marathon debut ever by an American woman. Six months later, Goucher took third in the Boston Marathon and has since been named to the World Outdoor team in the women's marathon.

A three-time Olympian, in three different distance events: 10,000m, marathon and 5,000m, Jen Rhines will stick with the shorter distance this year, as she enters the USA Outdoor Championships in the Nike women's 5,000m. 2008 Olympian Amy Yoder Begley will run the women's 10,000m.

For ticket information to the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships visit: www.visachampionshipseries.com or www.tracktown.net. USATF welcomes you to purchase tickets with your Visa Card. Visa, the only credit card accepted by USATF.

For more information on the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships and the USATF Visa Championship Series, visit: www.visachampionshipseries.com.