paulmerca.blogspot.com has finally returned to Seattle from the NCAA West Regional cross country championships in Sacramento, and in our haste to go to the California capital and back in one day, cover the race, and post photos on our Facebook page, neglected to post two very important items on a very busy day for the sport in the USA.
In Monte Carlo, where the IAAF is holding its meetings, and the World Athletics Gala this weekend, the federation announced that Portland will host the 2016 World Indoor Track & Field championships.
The 2016 World Indoor Championships will mark the first time a senior World Athletics Series (WAS) event has been held in the United States since the World Cross Country Championships in 1992. Eugene will host the 2014 World Junior Championships.
“We thank the IAAF Council and President Lamine Diack for entrusting us with the 2016 World Indoor Championships,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said. “We are honored and proud to be given the opportunity to again host the world’s national track & field teams on U.S. soil. USATF and TrackTown have the vision and execution that will make the meet a truly world-class experience.”
“We plan to leave a lasting legacy of new facilities, a renewed passion, and a new model to present indoor track and field,” TrackTown president and former Oregon coach Vin Lananna said. “We will work tirelessly to create the most awe-inspiring event ever held in the U.S. for the athletes, fans, officials, media, partners and the entire IAAF family. We want to demonstrate our commitment with action.”
The three-day meet will be held in March, 2016, at Portland’s Oregon Convention Center (OCC). As configured for World Indoors, the facility will easily accommodate more than 8,000 spectators. A new 200-meter IAAF-certified track will be built and then repurposed as a legacy of the event.
TrackTown USA has hosted the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Trials, which reach record attendance levels. The group also serves as local organizing committee for the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, to be contested this July in Eugene, Ore., and the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.
The other big news out of Monaco was the announcement that New York high schooler Mary Cain (left/photo by Paul Merca), has elected to turn pro, to the surprise of absolutely no one.
She has hired PACE Management, led by agent Ricky Simms, to represent her.
PACE is the same agency that represents two of the biggest names in the sport in Jamaica's Usain Bolt, and Great Britain's Mo Farah.
Cain will officially be a part of the Nike Oregon Project, of which Farah is a member of.
The American high school star had an exceptional year in 2013 setting three American Junior Records in the 800m (1:59.51), 1500m (4:04.62) and indoor mile (4:28.25). Her 800m time made her the first youth, junior or high school American female to break the 2 mins barrier.
Her indoor mile time was a World Youth Best. Mary also set US National High School records indoors in the 1500m, 3000m and 2 miles and outdoors in the 5000m. She won the USATF Indoor mile title in Albuquerque in March and finished second in the 1500m in the USATF Championships in Des Moines in June to earn her place on the World Championships team for Moscow.
In Russia, the 17 year old showed maturity beyond her years to qualify for the final and to finish 10th in the World Championships 1500m.
In Cain's one appearance in Seattle in January, she ran the fastest time ever by an American high schooler under any conditions when she ran 9:02.10 at the Washington Preview meet.
She will continue to be coached by NOP mentor Alberto Salazar.