Wallace Spearmon running in Berlin (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

Spearmon upbeat about 200m record chances at Tyson Invitational - PREVIEW

Reese Hoffa, Adam Nelson, Wallace Spearmon, Sanya Richards and Carmelita Jeter are among the entrants for the Tyson Invitational at the Tyson Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas on Friday (15 Feb).

The meet will be the penultimate competition on the five-event USA Track & Field Visa Championship series that culminates with the USATF Indoor Nationals on 23-24 Feb in Boston.

Home track for Spearmon

The Tyson Invitational will be the final indoor meet of 2008 for Spearmon, who ran in Fayetteville on 26 January clocking 6.76 and 6.70 sec for 60m. The Arkansas alumnus will run in the 60m and the 200m on the same home track at the Tyson Invitational.

Spearmon is in the midst of his first full season training with his father Wallace Spearmon Sr. after parting ways with his college coach Lance Brauman in the autumn.

In a press conference earlier in the week, Spearmon said that he feels capable of eclipsing his American 200m record of 20;10 and even challenging the World standard of 19.92 set in 1996 by Frank Fredericks after consistent training and weight lifting under his supervision of his father, a 200m semi-finalist in the 1987 World Championships.

In the 200m, Spearmon will take on 2005 World 400m Hurdles champion Bershawn Jackson and Jordan Vaden, who finished second to Spearmon in the 200m in the 2006 USATF outdoor championships.

In the 60m, Spearmon, the 2005 World Championships silver and 2007 bronze medallist in the 200m, will face a field that includes Millrose winner and reigning World Indoor 60m champion Leonard Scott, and collegian Trindon Holliday of LSU.

Jeter looking for third sprint win of 2008…faces Richards

After finishing third in the women’s 100m in the World Championships just 0.01 away from a gold medal in Osaka last August, Carmelita Jeter has so far been undefeated in 2008 with two close wins on the indoor circuit.

Jeter won the 55m by 0.01 in the Run for the Dream in Fresno on 21 January over Angela-Daigle Bowen, then at the Millrose Games on 1 February, Jeter beat Miki Barber by a hundredth of a second in the 60m.
In the 60m at Fayetteville, Jeter will face Golden League Jackpot winner Sanya Richards, Barber and Marshevet Hooker.

The women’s 200m will feature Natasha Hastings, the 2007 NCAA and USATF outdoor runner-up in the 400m who is her first full professional season after relinquishing her final year of collegiate eligibility to turn professional.

Hoffa, Nelson and Cantwell in the Shot Put

Hoffa, Adam and Nelson have split the three indoor meetings of the USATF circuit this season between them, and they will be joined in Fayetteville by Dan Taylor.

Hoffa won the Run for the Dream with Cantwell emerging victorious at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games, while Nelson took his turn in the winner’s circle at the Millrose Games with a Madison Square Garden record 22.07m to move into third on the all-time U.S. Indoor performer list.
Stuczynski and Schwartz duel

Jenn Stuczynski, the only American woman vault 16 feet in the Pole Vault, will look to avenge a defeat to Jillian Schwartz in the Millrose Games on misses. The field also includes Lacy Jansen, Chelsea Johnson, April Steiner, Andree Pickens and Tracy O’Hara.

Johnson still going strong in Hurdles

Four-time World 110m Hurdles champion Allen Johnson, who will turn 37 on 1 March, looks to continue his momentum after winning the 55m Hurdles at the Run for the Dream in his first indoor race since 2005. He has since taken second in Linz (7.62; 31 Jan), third in Stuttgart (7.55; 2 Feb), and second in Karlsruhe (7.54; 10 Feb) in races over 60m Hurdles.

At the Tyson Invitational, Johnson, the three-time World indoor champion, will be joined over 60m Hurdles by Fresno runner-up Aubrey Herring, Aries Merritt and Joel Brown.

Middle Distances and Distances

The Tyson Invitational will be kicked off by the men’s 3000m featuring Arkansas alumnus Alistair Cragg (IRL) and collegians Jacob Korir of Eastern Kentucky and Patrick Mutai of UTEP, both Kenyans.

The women’s 800m includes Jen Toomey, Tiffany McWilliams, Kenia Sinclair (JAM), Neisha Bernard-Thomas (GRN). Sam Burley, James Hatch, Floyd Thompson and Brandon Shaw are the men’s 800m race entrants.
Christin Wurth-Thomas, the 2007 USATF outdoor runner-up in the 1500m, and 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials 1500m champion Carrie Tollefson are the ones to watch in the women’s mile, while the men’s Mile start list includes Steve Sherer, Kevin Sullivan, Rob Meyers, Pablo Solares, Nick Willis and Said Ahmed.

Kirby Lee for the IAAF

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