FAYETTEVILLE - Darvis Patton, Shawn Crawford, Terrence Trammell, Galen Rupp,
Reese Hoffa, Adam Nelson, Muna Lee, Carmelita Jeter, Jenn Stuczynski and Stacy
Dragila headline a stellar international field for this Friday's Tyson
Invitational at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center on the University of
Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.
The third stop of USA Track & Field's 2009 Indoor Visa Championship
Series, the Tyson Invitational will be televised on February 15 from 5-7 p.m.
Eastern Time on ESPN.
Olympians lead sprints
The Puma men's 60 meter dash will see youth take on veterans as two-time
Olympic 200m medalist Shawn Crawford and 2003 World Outdoor 200m silver medalist
Darvis Patton are challenged by 2008 U.S. Indoor champion Michael Rodgers who is
undefeated in the 60m so far this year, 2007 NCAA 60m champion Travis Padgett
and 2008 NCAA Indoor runner-up Trindon Holliday. Also watch for two-time Olympic
110mH silver medalist Terrence Trammell, the Visa Championships Series leader,
to toe the line. Rodgers is also entered in the Nutrilite men's 200m.
2008 NCAA Indoor champion and Collegiate record-holder Bianca Knight leads
the field in the Tyson Foods women's 200m that includes 2008 Olympic 4x400m gold
medalist Natasha Hastings. Knight will first run in the Visa women's 60m where
she will face 2006 World Indoor champion Lisa Barber, 2007 World Outdoor bronze
medalist Carmelita Jeter and 2008 Olympians Marshevet Hooker and Muna Lee.
Rematches take center stage on the track
2006 U.S. Indoor champion Chris Lukezic, currently in third place in the Race
for the Visa Championships, and American record-holder Alan Webb will take on
2008 Olympic 1,500m bronze medalist Nick Willis (NZL) in the Tyson Foods John
McDonnell men's mile. Willis is fresh off his win at the Reebok Boston Indoor
Games in a race where Lukezic finished third and Webb fourth.
Oregon's Galen Rupp will face Liberty's Sam Chelanga in the men's 5,000m. At
the 2008 NCAA Cross Country Championships, Chelanga raced out to an early lead
that but Rupp bided his time and closed the gap and the two ran
shoulder-to-shoulder the last half of the race until Rupp made his move with 200
meters remaining. Rupp then sprinted away and edged Chelanga in the final
straightaway to win his first individual title.
Three-time USA Outdoor champion Treniere Clement leads the entries in the
Nutrilite Women's Invitational Mile. Two-time USA Outdoor 800m runner-up Alice
Schmidt will step up in distance to challenge Clement and will be joined by 2008
Olympic Trials steeplechase champion Anna Willard.
Also watch for four-time USA Outdoor champion Khadevis Robinson, 2008 Olympic
Trials champion Nick Symmonds and 2003 World Indoor champion David Krummenacker
in the Tyson Foods Men's Invitational 800m. Four-time NCAA Outdoor champion
Xavier Carter will take on Millrose Games and Reebok Boston Indoor Games
champion Renny Quow of Trinidad and 2007 NACAC champion Calvin Smith. 2006 NCAA
Indoor and Outdoor 200m champion Shalonda Solomon will run the women's 300m.
Field eventers in the spotlight
The Visa men's shot put field from last year will be back in action with the
reigning champion, two-time Olympic silver medalist and three-time World Outdoor
medalist Adam Nelson looking to improve upon his facility-record throw of 22.40
meters/73 feet 6 inches. Joining him will be 2007 World Outdoor champion and
two-time World Indoor medalist Reese Hoffa, former NCAA champion Dan Taylor,
three-time Southeastern Conference champion and All-American Cory Martin and
2006 NACAC champion and Jamaican record-holder Dorian Scott.
American record holder and Olympic silver medalist Jenn Stuczynski is set to
defend her 2008 winning jump of 4.64m/15-2.75 in the Nutrilite women's pole
vault. Chasing her will be former Razorback and 2008 Olympian April Steiner
Bennett, 2000 Olympic gold medalist Stacy Dragila, and 2008 Olympian Erica
The USA Track & Field Visa Championship Series will continue February
28-March 1 with the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston. For
more information, including TV broadcast schedules, visit www.visachampionshipseries.com.