My first indoor meet was at an old Armory in St. Louis, Mo in January 1974 with my high school team, DeSmet. The races were run around orange cones and to watch the teams run the 4 x 400 meters sliding in their Converse Chuck's was very cool. One of my teammates, Dan Callahan, I believe, won the mile in 4;24 that night, but I was struck by the excitement and the loudness of the meet!
Well, world class indoor track and field is returning to the West Coast! My first indoor meets as a fan were the San Francisco Examiner Games in 1977. I remember running the 3,000 meters at the Olympic Development part of the Examiner Games in 1980-26 laps on a very small track!
Fresno is the host of the Run for the Dream, USA vs. the World, which can be viewed on sportnet tonight!
Visa Championship Series to kick off Monday at Run for the Dream’s USA vs. World in Fresno
(Watch a live webcast at http://usatf.sportnet.com/ beginning at 7pmPT/10pmET)
INDIANAPOLIS - Many top international athletes will compete in an exciting, indoor team competition at USA vs. the World at the Run for the Dream this Monday, January 21 at the Save Mart Center, located on the campus of Fresno State University in California.
Track fans can watch the first world-class domestic track meet of the Olympic year via live Webcast. Link to the webcast of USA vs. The World at Run for the Dream at www.usatf.org. The meet will be webcast by USATF partner Sportnet.com and will be available via link from www.usatf.org. With National Track & Field Hall of Famers Dwight Stones and Dan O'Brien calling the action, the Webcast will be shown live starting at 7 p.m. Pacific/10 p.m. Eastern. It will be available via video on demand starting on Tuesday, January 22.
Run for the Dream is the first event of USA Track & Field's 2008 Indoor Visa Championship Series and the first team-scored meet in the series' history. The teams, which include Olympians, national champions and record-holding athletes, represent 13 countries. Athletes will compete in seven individual events each for men and women, plus the 4x400m relay. Each competitor will participate in only one individual event, but may participate on the relay team. Two Americans and two international athletes will contest each event.
Run for the Dream honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and presents the San Joaquin Valley with an opportunity to honor track and field stars of the past, with the stars of the present and the future.
U.S. men's stars competing in the event include reigning world shot put champion Reese Hoffa, 2004 Olympic men's long jump gold medalist Dwight Phillips competing in the 55 meters, 1996 Olympic gold medalist and four-time World Outdoor champion Allen Johnson in the 55m hurdles, and 2004 Olympic long jump silver medalist John Moffitt in his specialty. 2005 World Outdoor 400m hurdles champion Bershawn Jackson and four-time USA Outdoor 800m champion and 2004 Olympian Khadevis Robinson will both compete in the 600-yard dash.
Other U.S. men to keep an eye on include 2007 USA Outdoor shot put runner-up Dan Taylor, who ended the season ranked #6 in the world by Track & Field News. Also look for University of Oregon standout and reigning NCAA Outdoor champion Tommy Skipper and 2006 USA Outdoor champion Russ Buller in the men's pole vault. The Team USA men's 4x400m relay squad will feature 2004 Olympic 400m bronze medalist and relay gold medalist Derrick Brew and 2003 World Outdoor 400m silver medalist Tyree Washington.
On the women's side, local fans will look forward to the return of former Fresno State Bulldog and 2005 Indoor Visa Championships Series winner Angela Daigle-Bowen, who will compete in the 55m dash along with 2007 World Championships 100m bronze medalist and 4x100m relay gold medalist Carmelita Jeter, who ended 2007 ranked #3 in the world in the 100 meters following late-season wins at the Berlin Grand Prix and the World Athletics Final.
Other U.S. women to watch include six-time USA Outdoor champion and three-time Olympian Amy Acuff in the women's high jump, two-time World Outdoor Championships team member and 2001 USA Outdoor champion Jenny Adams in the long jump, and 2004 Olympian and three-time World Outdoor Championships team member Jillian Schwartz in the pole vault. 2006 national 400m hurdles champion and Visa Championships Series winner Lashinda Demus will compete in 600 yard, and 2007 NCAA 100m hurdles runner-up Candace Davis and 2006 USA Indoor and Outdoor runner-up Damu Cherry will represent Team USA in the 55m hurdles.
Stars on the international team include standout Canadian women's pole vaulter Dana Ellis-Buller, who set a national record last year with her clearance of 4.52 meters/14 feet 10 inches. 2000 Olympic relay bronze medalist Michael Blackwood of Jamaica will compete in the men's 600 yards and 2007 World Outdoor Championships finalist Dorian Scott of Jamaica will compete in the men's shot put. Vonette Dixon of Jamaica, who finished seventh in the 100m hurdles at the 2007 World Championships and ended the season ranked #9 in the world by Track & Field News, will compete in the 55m hurdles. Other countries represented by athletes on the International squad include Japan, Mexico, France, Great Britain, Grenada, The Bahamas, Nigeria, Kenya, Haiti, Bermuda and India.
The event will begin at 10:45 a.m. Pacific Time with the women's indoor teams of Fresno State, Hawaii, Cal Poly, and Cal State Stanislaus squaring off. High school teams will compete in the "Dream Team Championships" starting at 5 p.m., and the Visa Championship Series USA vs. the World event is slated for 6:45 p.m. local time.
The Visa Championship Series continues January 26 with the Reebok Boston Indoor Games; February 1 with the Millrose Games in New York City; February 15 with the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., and February 23-24 with the AT&T USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston. For more information, including TV broadcast schedules, visit www.visachampionshipseries.com