PREVIEW: 2012 USA Indoor Championships - Women's Running Events
Richards-Ross, Madison, Simpson headline women's running events at USA Indoor Championships
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INDIANAPOLIS - World leaders Sanya Richards-Ross and Tianna Madison along with reigning world champion Jenny Simpson highlight strong fields in the women's running events at the USAIndoor Track & Field Championships February 25-26 at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, N.M.
The fourth and final stop on the indoor Visa Championship Series, the meet will be broadcast on ESPN on Sunday, February 26, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Eastern. Spots will be on the line for Team USA for the World Indoor Championships, which will be held March 9-11 in Istanbul, Turkey.
You can also tune in via a live webcast on www.usatf.orgprovided in partnership with RunnerSpace on Saturday from 4:30-8:20 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00-4:10 p.m. mountain time. The webcast will feature full coverage of Saturday's events including the men's and women's 3,000m races, and select events on Sunday.
With the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau, the New Mexico Sports Authority, University of New Mexico, the city of Albuquerque and USATF New Mexico all as official hosts, this is the third consecutive year the Albuquerque Convention Center has hosted the USA IndoorTrack & Field Championships.
World leader Madison taking it to the track
Madison is best known for sprinting down the long jump runway, but this year the 2005 world long jump champion is turning heads with her times on the track. Madison owns three of the four fastest times in the world this year in the 60m. At the USATF Classic, Madison ran the world leader in the prelims and came back to improve it again in the finals to 7.02. Madison is currently second (behind Jenn Suhr) in the overall standings in the race for the Visa Championship Series title. But Madison will have to fight to claim her first USA title on the track. Reigning indoor champion Alex Anderson and two-time indoor champion Me'Lisa Barber are two of the top challengers in the 60m along with 2006 World Indoor silver medalist Lauryn Williams.
Richards-Ross on a roll
While Richards-Ross struggled with ups and downs in 2011, she has been on a winning streak so far for 2012. In her first season of indoor competition since 2006, Richards-Ross has been victorious in all three races she has entered this year, including running the world leading time of 50.89 with her win at the Millrose Games. The top challenger in the 400m will be DeeDee Trotter, who sits at No. 2 on the U.S. list and is also undefeated for the year. Trotter picked up a win earlier in the Visa Championship Series with her win in the 300m at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix. Natasha Hastings will also be looking for the win as she looks to defend her 2011 indoor title.
Simpson defends double
Reigning 1500m world champion Jenny Simpson is entered in both the 1500m and 3,000m. At last year's edition of the Indoor Championships, Simpson successfully completed the double to win both national titles. Simpson recently won the 1500m at the Millrose Games to garner the top seed time of the field at 4:07:27. Simpson's top challenger in the 1500m will be Brenda Martinez, who has been on a roll this indoor season after winning the U.S. Open and finishing as the top American at the USATF Classic.
In the 3,000m, Simpson will face Sara Hall who has finished as the USA Indoor runner up the past three times in this event. Hall has recent wins under her belt with the USA Cross Country title and the Pan Am Games steeplechase title.
In other events, Kristi Castlin is the top entrant in the women's 60m hurdles with reigning world champion Lolo Jones unable to compete due to a hamstring injury. The women's 800m should be a close battle with Phoebe Wright, Erica Moore and Latavia Thomas all entered with marks under 2:03. In the women's 3,000m race walk, the two-time defending USA Indoor champion Maria Michta will face veteran Joanne Dow who has five USA Indoor titles to her name.
For more information on the USA Indoor Championships, the Visa Championships Series or USATrack & Field visit www.VisaChampionshipSeries.com and www.usatf.org.
About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track & field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, the World's #1 Track & Field Team, the most-watched events at the Olympics, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport, and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States: www.usatf.org.