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Worlds Top Athletes
Prepare for Showdown at 2006 Tyson Invitational
FAYETTEVILLE – Ever since it opened in the winter of 2000, the Randal Tyson Track Center has been the host to some of the top indoor track and field competitions in the United States and the 2006 Tyson Invitational will be no exception as the top athletes in the world descend upon Fayetteville, Ark., Friday, Feb. 10, with dreams of taking home the $25,000 bonus offered by Tyson Foods for any world record set.
Already on board for the mid-February showdown are four athletes who are ranked number one in the world in their respective events, 13 who rank in the top five and 19 who currently hold top 20 marks in the events they are competing in. Included in the who’s who of international track and field are former Arkansas athletes Veronica Campbell, Alistair Cragg, Tyson Gay and Wallace Spearmon; the world’s best long jumper in Dwight Phillips, indoor 400-meter record holder Kerron Clement, the United States’ top female sprinter Lauryn Williams and the upstart who could replace her, high school sensation Bianca Knight.
“We are excited to power this event as the line-up of world class track athletes becomes more and more competitive every year,” said Bob Corscadden, Tyson’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "We have no doubt we will witness at least one record-breaking performance and we are ready to give away $25,000 to each world-record breaker."
While the thought of a world record being set in Fayetteville may seem far fetched to some, it is quite the reality to the athletes scheduled to attend. In 2005, Bernard Legat came within seconds of breaking the world mark for the mile at the Tyson Invitational, then just one month later, Spearmon set the American record in the 200-meter dash. With the buzz about Spearmon still resonating throughout the track and field community, former Florida standout Clement then became the first to break a world record at the Randal Tyson Track Center when he ran the fastest 400 meters ever, 44.57.
Each of the 10 professional events at the Tyson Invitational will feature at least one athlete ranked among the best in the United States or World and most of the international buzz should surround the men’s 300-meter dash and women’s 60 meters. Both events feature some of the world’s greatest athletes with the 300-meter race showcasing Spearmon and Clement and the 60 pitting four of the top seven sprinters in the world against each other including another showdown between Campbell and Williams.
Under the radar to the casual fan are the matchups in the men’s 60-meter dash and women’s mile. The men’s 60 could be the deepest field in the competition with eight athletes who each hold either a world, IAAF or American ranking. Ghana’s Aziz Zakari is number three in the world in the 100 meters with Gay holding the same world ranking in the 200. USA gold and silver medalist Shawn Crawford won a silver at the 2004 World Indoor Championships in the 60-meter dash and Terrence Trammell currently holds the second fastest time in the world this year.
The women’s mile may not have the stars of some of the other events, but could be the start of something great for American women in the event. Five of the top seven runners at 1,500 meters are entered in the competition including Jen Toomey, the second ranked individual who holds the sixth fastest time in the world and unranked Tiffany McWilliams who holds the fifth fastest.
more information about the Tyson Invitational visit www.tysoninvitational.org.
8:00 p.m. – University Men’s 5,000 meters
8:05 p.m. – Invitational Women’s high jump – Amy Acuff, Karen Beutle, Chaunte Howard, Gwen Wentland, Lacy Wilson
8:15 p.m. – Invitational Men’s pole vault – Russ Buller, Jeff Hartwig, Ty Harvey, Adam Keul, Giovanni Lanaro, Tommy Skipper, Brad Walker
8:20 p.m. – Invitational Women’s 800 meters – Kemeisha Bennett, Marian Burnett, Hazel Clark, Trenierce Clement, Nicole Cook, Aneita Denton, Kenia Sinclair, Alice Schmidt
8:30 p.m. – Invitational Men’s 60-meter semifinals - Aaron Armstrong, Shawn Crawford, Tyson Gay, Dwight Phillips, Marty Scales, Jason Smoots, Terrence Trammell, Aziz Zakari
8:40 p.m. – Invitational Men’s 400 meters – Chris Brown, Jerry Harris, Bershawn Jackson, Tyree Washington
8:45 p.m. – Invitational Women’s 60-meter semifinals – Me’Lisa Barber, Veronica Campbell, Angela Daigle, Debbie Ferguson, Bianca Knight, Muna Lee, Tianna Madison, Lauryn Williams
8:50 p.m. – University Men’s 4x400-meter relay
9:00 p.m. – Invitational Women’s Mile – Jenelle Deathridge, Malindi Elmore, Lyndsey Gallo, Kara Goucher, Tiffany McWilliams, Sarah Schwald, Anne Shadle, Jen Toomey, Christin Wurth-Thomas
9:10 p.m. – Invitational Men’s Mile – Said Ahmed, Nate Brannen, James Hatch, Jason Lunn, Rob Meyers, Adam Perkins
9:20 p.m. – University Women’s 4x400-meter relay
9:30 p.m. – Invitational Men’s 60-meter finals
9:35 p.m. – Invitational Men’s 3,000 meters – Bolota Asmerom, Boaz Cheboiywo, Alistair Cragg, Markos Geneti, Adam Goucher, Daniel Lincoln, Chris Lukezic, Kevin Sullivan, Luke Watson
9:50 p.m. – Invitational Women’s 60-meter finals
10:00 p.m. – Invitational Men’s 300 meters – Omar Brown, Kerron Clement, LaShawn Merritt, Wallace Spearmon
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