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The second annual National Track League will get under way Sunday, June 10th in Vancouver, British Columbia at the long-standing Harry Jerome Track Classic. The meet will be held in Burnaby (Suburb of Vancouver) at Swangard Stadium. Kevin Selby and Justin Britton will be in place streaming the meet live and providing play-by-play commentary starting at 2pm Pacific Time.
Opening ceremonies for the meet and the opening of the National Track League happen LIVE at 2:00 pm Pacific on Flotrack.
2:52 PM - Women's 100m:
Features Chauntae Bayne of the US who has run as fast as 11.15, Canadians Crystal Emmanuel with her 11.39, Kerri-Ann Mitchell 11.41 and Maggie Hanlon 11.92. The wind can be a factor bother directions, forecast is for variable conditions and a 40 percent chance of rain according to environment Canada.
2:58 PM - Men's 100m
Although Canada's men's sprint team isn't anything like its former self of the glory days, Anson Henry might have something to say about that. He will bring his 10.15 legs to the meet looking to prove he will be formidable in London. Also in the field are American, Jerome Avery 10.17 and a trio of Canadians Hank Palmer 10.22, Jarid Vaughan 10.38 and Rohan Stewart 10.59 personal best he ran this season.
3:06 PM - Women’s 400m
Women's 400m features Americans Keshia Baker 50.76 and Leslie Cole 51.20, Carol Rodriguez PUR 51.39 and two Canadians, Carline Muir 51.55 and Esme Omene 53.79. Watch for a potential battle between three of the four for a very close finish.
3:14 PM - Men's 400m
Although the world's very best may not be in the field, this bevy of 400m specialist are evenly matched and are fast enough to threaten internationally they include, Manteo Mitchell his pb is 45.25, which he ran this season, Lalonde Gordon from Trinidad pb 45.33 – also run this season, Americans Quentin Summers 45.46, Ashton Eaton’ 45.68, and Canadians Tremaine Harris who is just twenty years of age, with his personal best of 46.22, Andrew Dargie 46.43 andPhilp Osei CAN 46.68. All bust Dargie have run those personal best times indicated this season.
3:26 PM - Women's 800m
Thirty-eight-year-old Canadian record holder Diane Cummins will look to continue to defeat the laws of age while she attempts to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games. She fooled any doubters she may have had at the 2010 Commonwealth Games by winning a bronze medal. Her personal best is 1:58.39. She will have serious competition from American Alice Schmidt (1:58.61) who has run 2:00.79 this season. Fellow Americans Heather Kampf owns a pb of 2:00.41 and Laura Januszewski 2:01.5. American Lindsey Schnell 2:02.50 and April Panteau (400 54.25) round out the American team she Panteau is running an over-distance while Canadian Hillary Stellingwerff 2:02.20 is running an under-distance event after qualifying for the Canadian Olympic team in her specialty distance in the 1500m. She also ran a personal best in Rome, where she qualified, so may be a serious threat at Jerome. Fellow Canadians Melissa Bishop 1:59.82 will be in the mix for the win along with Jessica Smith who has run as fast as 2:00.61 this season, her personal best and rising stars Lemlem Ogbasilassie 2:00.85 and Katie Palmer 2:02.77 complete the field of contenders.
3:34 PM - Men's 800m
As typical in many 800m races at this level anything can happen and nearly everyone in the top ten or 15 could win on the right day. However, Khadevis Robinson's resume is rich with wins and fast times.
Khadevis Robinson 1:43.68; will the aging vet be able to hold off fellow American Andrew Wheating 1:44.56 or Canadian Andrew Ellerton 1:45.04? Also look for the follow American athletes to run well, Duane Solomon 1:45.23, Richard Jones 1:45.56, Mark Wieczorak 1:46.00 and the man from Zambia, Prince Mumba with his 1:46.14. Or American Brandon Johnson 1:46.59 and a couple of Canadians Geoff Harris 1:46.80 and Kyle Smith1:46.85. Pacing will be Mat Scherer 1:46.11. This race may have a very tight finish within the top ten.
3:50 PM - Women's 1500m
Canadian Malindi Elmore is the favourite in this competitive event. She continues to seek the Canadian A standard. She will be at the Canadian Olympic Trails in Calgary, June 27th to 30th and round out her qualification for the 2012 London Olympic Games. She has run as fast as 4:02.64.
Fellow Canadian Nicole Sifuentes has run as fast as 4:06.34 and 4:09.80 for this season, she will be looking for something more today. Americans, Gabriele Anderson 4:06.46, Amy Mortimer Garman 4:06.55, Brenda Martinez 4:06.96, Sara Vaughn 4:08.74, Lauren Hagans 4:09.86, Lea Wallace 4:10.77/4:16.56, will fight it out behind Elmore for the top positions. Also in the field are Bev Ramos PUR with her 4:09.92 and two Canadians Megan Wright 4:10.28 and Julia Kawamoto 4:10.61, although their seasons bests performances are a little off the mark, it is Elmore who will be the one to beat.
3:58 PM - Men's 1500m
It could be a toss up between the women's 100m hurdles and this event of which is really the main featured event of the evening as the field is competitive with American Matthew Centrowitz 3:34.46 and Canadian Taylor Milne 3:36.00 battling it out for the first three positions with a trio of Americans including Garrett Heath 3:36.24, Kyle Miller 3:36.82 and Jordan McNamara 3:36.84. Milne must run well at Jerome and at the Canadian Trials in Calgary. Watch for an excellent effort from the top two guns of this event.
4:06 PM - Women's 100mh:
Canada is basking in the richness of world-class women hurdlers. Currently there are four that have qualified for the 2012 London Olympics or have competed in international events, representing Canada. The field for the Jerome Classic include Americans Falesha Ankton 13.18 and Ginnie Crawford who has run as fast as 12.45. Canadian Perdita Felicien, has earned medals internationally she owns a personal best performance of 12.46, there is also Edmonton native, Angela Whyte 12.63, Nikkita Holder 12.84, Heptathlete Jessica Zelinka, whose strongest event is likely to be the hurdles Zelinka has a personal best time of 12.97 and will be competition for Canada in the heptathlon. To round out the Canadian field there is also, Christie Gordon with her 13.20 and twenty-year-old Ashley Maddex who has her time down to 13.29. This event looks to be highly competitive as athletes are within three weeks of their window of opportunity to achieve the Olympic A standard, therefore is the main and final event at the Harry Jerome Track Classic.
To see all the meet details visit the National Track League website.
Christopher Kelsall writes for Athletics Illustrated and is a freelance journalist.