With 2014 a non-Olympic/world championships year, there is very little incentive for athletes with Washington ties to make the trip to Sacramento for the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships that begin Wednesday with the shot put on the grounds of the California state capitol, and the meet proper on Thursday through Sunday at Hornet Stadium (photo courtesy USA Track & Field)…
…unless you're using the meet as a springboard to getting into better meets on the summer European circuit, you've missed the last five national championships with injuries like Jessica Tebo, or you're looking to mix it up with the big boys and girls of track & field in this country, like collegians Derrick Daigre, Liberty Miller, Bethany Drake, and Katie Reichert.
And oh yes, this is a big deal for the city of Sacramento, which put up some money to have the track at Hornet Stadium, site of the 2000 & 2004 US Olympic Track & Field Trials, and a slew of NCAA track & field championships, resurfaced. USA Track & Field is dangling the 2017 national championships as a carrot for the city if it can get a decent crowd these next five days. Sacramento wants to prove that the national championships deserve to go to other places in the USA besides Eugene and Des Moines, and that it's moved on from the disappointment of losing out the 2008 Olympic Trials to Eugene.
Three athletes with Washington ties--5000 runner Bernard Lagat, pole vaulter Brad Walker, and triple jumper Andrea Geubelle--roll into Sacramento as defending champions in their events.
There is one other storyline going into the national championships, and that's in the women's 1500 where Camas HS junior Alexa Efraimson is entered as a prologue to next week's USA junior championships and the big showdown with fellow teen Mary Cain, who skipped her senior year of high school this year and turned pro. Both are entered in Sacramento.
Here are the list of athletes with Washington ties entered in the meet:
400 Michael Berry
800 Mark Wieczorek, Cas Loxsom, Derrick Daigre
1500 Garrett Heath, Riley Masters, (Jordan McNamara scratch)
5000 Bernard Lagat*, Riley Masters
10000 Jake Riley
400H Jeshua Anderson
3000 ST Donn Cabral
PV Brad Walker*
800 Phoebe Wright, Erica Moore
1500 Brie Felnagle, Alexa Efraimson, Katie Mackey, Angela Bizzarri
5000 Katie Mackey, Jessica Tebo, Angela Bizzarri
10000 Stephanie Dinius
100H Ginnie Crawford (entered/qualified, not declared)
3000 ST Liberty Miller
LJ Andrea Geubelle
TJ Andrea Geubelle*, Blessing Ufodiama
HT Britney Henry
JT Kara Patterson, Bethany Drake, Katie Reichert
One of the most notable athletes missing is Nick Symmonds of the Brooks Beasts, who is nursing a minor injury.
The time schedule for the meet is available here. The final start lists for each day of competition will be posted on the USA Track & Field web site.
Portions of the meet will be televised as follows -- Friday, beginning at 7 p.m. on NBCSN; Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. on NBCSN and at 3 p.m. on Universal Sports; on Sunday, beginning at noon on Universal Sports and at 1 p.m. on NBCSN. All portions of the meet not on television will be live streamed at USATF.TV.
One other note--the decathlon and heptathlon portions of the USA junior championships will be held Wednesday and Thursday in conjunction with the senior championships. Holy Names HS grad CeCe Jackson, competing for Portland State University is entered in the heptathlon.
paulmerca.blogspot.com will be on site for the national championships beginning Thursday.