15 MAY 2009 Preview Carson, USA

Harper, Merritt and Taylor head the line-up in Carson - PREVIEW

Angelo Taylor of the USA takes a surprise 400m hurdles victory in a time of 47.25 (Getty Images)Angelo Taylor of the USA takes a surprise 400m hurdles victory in a time of 47.25 (Getty Images) © Copyright

The adidas Track Classic at the Home Depot Center on the campus of the Cal State Dominguez Hills on Saturday 16 May will feature Beijing Olympic individual gold medallists Dawn Harper, LaShawn Merritt and Angelo Taylor.

The other top names on show will be Allyson Felix, Kerron Clement, Bernard Lagat, Sanya Richards, Jenn Stucyznski and Jeremy Wariner to name but a few, while there will be a special return to her old home track for Carmelita Jeter.

The adidas Track Classic is one of a select group of Area meetings at which points can be acquired by athletes to qualify for the IAAF / VTB Bank World Athletics Final, to be held on 12-13 September in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Jeter returns to Carson in the Women’s 100m

Carmelita Jeter will be looking for a triumphant homecoming in the women’s 100m as she will be competing on her former home track.

Jeter is a 2004 graduate of Cal State Dominguez Hills where she was a six-time NCAA Division II All-American for the Toros. She rose to prominence in 2007 to win the bronze medal in the Osaka World Championships.

“I have a lot of great memories of Cal State Dominguez Hills,” Jeter said. “It’s like coming home to be in the position with my friends and family to come to the meet. It will be just like good old times.”

Jeter, the 2009 U.S. leader with 10.96sec, will run in a 100m field that features 2003 and 2005 World champions Torri Edwards and Lauryn Williams, 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials champion Muna Lee, 2008 Olympics 200m finalist Marshevet Hooker, Kelly Ann Baptiste (TRI) and Aleen Bailey (JAM).
  
Season debut for Felix in the Women’s 200m

Felix will make her season debut in the 200m at the adidas meet, a competition that she has run in six of the last seven years since running in the inaugural meet in 2003 in her senior year at nearby L.A. Baptist High.

The 2005 and 2007 World champion won the 400m in a U.S. yearly best 50.75 in her first open race of the season at the Qatar Super Grand Prix - IAAF World Athletics Tour - in Doha on 8 May.

In Carson, Felix will face Beijing Olympics 4 x 400m Relay gold medal teammate Sanya Richards who is dropping down to the 200m, 2004 World Junior champion Shalonda Solomon, LaShaunte’a Moore, Sherry Fletcher (GRN) and Virgil Hodge (SKN).

 The women’s 400m will be a USA and Jamaica affair headlined by Natasha Hastings and Shana Cox, and the Jamaicans Sherefa Lloyd, Novlene Williams and Rosemarie Whyte.
 
Merritt and Wariner headline the men’s sprints

 The first race of the season between LaShawn Merritt and Jeremy Wariner in the 400m is still on the hold after the 2008 Olympic gold and silver medalloists will opt for separate events in Carson.

Merritt will drop down to the 200m where he will run against 2004 Olympic champion Shawn Crawford, Wallace Spearmon, Xavier Carter, Rodney Martin and Marvin Anderson (JAM).

Wariner will run in the 400m with a start list that includes Beijing bronze medalist David Neville, 2008 NCAA champion Andretti Bain (BAH) and runner-up Lionel Larry, Chris Brown (JAM) and Ricardo Chambers (JAM).

The 100m will pit 2008 Olympic silver medallist Richard Thompson (TRI), with Jamaicans Yohan Blake and Dwight Thomas, and USA’s Leroy Dixon and Travis Padgett.

Gold Medallists Harper and Taylor in the Hurdles

The women’s 100m Hurdles will look like a training session as three of the combatants Beijing Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper, 2005 and 2007 World Champion Michelle Perry and 2006 and collegiate record holder Ginnie Powell – all coached by Bobby Kersee.

Also running is 2003 World Champion Perdita Felicien, 2008 World Indoor silver medalist Candice Davis and Vonette Dixon (JAM).

 Americans Terrence Trammell and Aries Merritt and Maurice Wignall (JAM) are among the entrants in the men’s 110m Hurdles.

The 400m Hurdles will be headed by reigning Olympic champion Angelo Taylor and World Champions Kerron Clement (2007), Bershawn Jackson (2005) and Felix Sanchez (2001 and 2003).

Lagat and Flanagan lead distances

This year’s adidas meet was pushed back several hours from previous years for a late afternoon start to facilitate faster times in the distance races.

The men’s 1500m will feature 2007 World champion Bernard Lagat, 2008 U.S. Olympians Lopez Lomong and Leonel Manzano, Nate Brannen (CAN) and Kevin Sullivan (CAN).

In the women’s 5000m, American record holder Shalane Flanagan will be challenged by 2008 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor champion Sally Kipyego (KEN) and 2009 World Junior Cross Country champion Genzebe Dibaba (ETH).

 The men’s 5000m start list includes Alistair Cragg (IRE), Josphat Boit (KEN), Jorge Torres, Scott Baughs and Bolota Asmerom, while in the women’s 1500m, Jordan Hasay, the fourth-place finisher in the 2008 World Junior Championships, will make a bid to lower her U.S. national high school record of 4:14.50 set in the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Hasay is hoping to be pulled to a brisk time in a race that features Sara Hall, Tiffany McWilliams, Erin Donohue, Lindsey Gallo and Mestawot Tadesse (ETH).

The women’s 800m will feature 2008 U.S. Olympians Hazel Clark and Alice Schmidt, 2007 NCAA champion Alysia Johnson and Kenia Sinclair, who anchored Jamaica to a World best in the Sprint Medley Relay at the Penn Relays last month.

The inaugural adidas women’s 3000m Steeplechase will reunite 2008 U.S. Olympians Lindsey Anderson and Anna Willard. At the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford on 2 May, Anderson clocked a U.S. leading 9:35.30 and Willard won the 1500m in 4:06.90 for the top time by an American this season.

Stuczynski and Dragila in the Women’s Pole Vault
  
 The women’s Pole Vault will bring together past and present American record holders Jenn Stucyznski and Stacy Dragila. Chelsea Johnson, April Steiner-Bennett, Lacy Jansen and Gao Shying (CHN) round out the field.

The women’s Triple Jump features Beijing Olympian Erica McLain and 2004 and 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials runner-up Shakeema Welsch, while the men’s Long Jump, boasts Athens Olympic gold medallist Dwight Phillips who sailed to a world-leading 8.51m in Guadeloupe on 2 May.

In the men’s Discus Throw, Jarred Rome, Ian Waltz and Adam Kuehl are the throwers to watch.

Kirby Lee for the IAAF