Friday night, the last major domestic meet takes place at Historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon as TrackTown USA hosts the first TrackTown Summer Series, starting at 6:30 pm on the track. The four-mile road race around Hayward Field kicks off the meet at 5:15 pm.
The TTSS features four teams from Portland, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New York, with each squad comprised of 36 men & women split evenly across gender lines, competing for a total prize purse of about $500,000, according to a release from meet organizers.
Last month, the four teams held a draft of athletes who declared their intent to compete in the meet, while the remaining spots on the four teams were filled by free agents who were not drafted.
Earlier reports on the TTSS indicated that there were private investors involved in the meet representing the teams. “The investors have chosen to be and preferred to remain anonymous,” said TrackTown CEO Mike Reilly to The Oregonian’s Ken Goe. What is not known is who the team managers are and who did the drafting for the four teams.
The payout for the meet is $4000/3000/2000/1000/750/500 for the top six places, and the team scoring is 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. Each member of the winning team will receive $1000, while athletes who were drafted last month got additional money based on what round they were picked. Undrafted free agents receive $500 in addition to whatever prize monies they win Friday night.
The first-round draft picks were Matthew Centrowitz and Brittney Reese (New York); Erik Kynard and Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco); Will Claye and Queen Harrison (Portland) and Boris Berian and Brenda Martinez (Philadelphia).
A bevy of athletes with Washington ties are competing in Friday’s meet, including Riley Masters in the 4 mile road; Michael Berry in the 400m; Jordan McNamara in the 800; and Phoebe Wright in the 800 for Portland.
Running for New York are Jessica Tebo (above in center/photo by Paul Merca) in the 4 mile road race; Cas Loxsom in the 800; and Katie Mackey in the 1500, while McKayla Fricker runs the 800, and Mel Lawrence runs the steeple for San Francisco.
Within the last few hours, TrackTown announced a special match race in the 110 hurdles between Oregon’s Devon Allen, the winner of the US Olympic Trials in that event, and former Oregon standout Johnathan Cabral, who will run that event for Canada at the Olympics next month. Allen grew up in Puyallup before moving to Arizona to compete in high school.
The TrackTown Summer Series is the first of what TrackTown president Vin Lananna hopes will be a series of meets around the United States where pro track & field athletes can compete in the summer and earn money without having to travel to Europe.
The start lists and rosters for the TrackTown Summer Series are available here. ESPN will provide coverage of the meet starting at 6:30 pm.