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Speed merchants buy into Pre 200.

Byline: Curtis Anderson The Register-Guard

Eugene will never be known as Speed City.

But it will be home to some of the world's best sprinters on June 10 at the 33rd edition of the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field.

A star-studded field in the 200 meters was announced by meet director Tom Jordan on Wednesday.

Jamaica's Asafa Powell, the world record-holder in the 100, and American Jeremy Wariner, the reigning world and Olympic champion in the 400, will headline the event. Powell was chosen as the 2006 Man of the Year by Track & Field News magazine, and Wariner finished second in the voting.

Of course, with Wariner stepping down in distance and Powell moving up, they might not even be the race favorites.

The rest of the 200 field features Xavier Carter, who ran a world-leading 19.63 last year; Wallace Spearmon, who clocked 19.65; 2004 Olympic gold medalist Shawn Crawford; Kelly Willie, the NCAA runner-up; Rodney Martin, the bronze medalist at the U.S. championships; and Jamaican veteran Chris Williams, who won the Doha Grand Prix 200 last year at the age of 35.

Tickets for the Pre Classic are on sale at the Casanova Center ticket office, by phoning 1-800-WEBFOOT or online at

Top female 400 sprinter

hits Road to Eugene '08

Sanya Richards, who was named 2006 Woman of the Year by Track & Field News magazine, has joined an elite field for The Road to Eugene '08 track and field meet.

The second annual event will be held May 27 at Hayward Field.

The 22-year-old U.S. sprinter broke 50 seconds in the 400 meters nine times last season, posted the five fastest times in the world and set the American record of 48.70 at the IAAF World Cup in Athens.

Richards finished the outdoor season undefeated in the 400 and earned just under $250,000 for sweeping the Golden League series. Only five other Americans have been voted athlete of the year - Evelyn Ashford, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Florence Griffith-Joyner, Marion Jones and Stacy Dragila.

Tickets for the Road to Eugene '08 meet are available at the University of Oregon athletic ticket office, online at, or by phoning 1-800-WEBFOOT.

Spectators can receive half off the $10 general admission price by showing a ticket stub from the OSAA state championships at Hayward Field this week, or the NCAA West Regional meet, May 25-26.

UO students will be admitted free with a student I.D. card.

Sacramento plans bid

for U.S. championships

Local officials in Sacramento are considering making a bid for the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011, according to a published report in the Sacramento Bee.

John McCasey, executive director of the Sacramento Sports Commission, said his group would lead that effort.

Sacramento drew record crowds for the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Trials, before losing out to Eugene in the bidding for the '08 Trials. The city will be the site of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships,

June 6-9, for the third straight year.

`We've got to get over our disappointment about what happened during the Trials,' McCasey told John Schumacher of the Sacramento Bee. `Our biggest advantage is our stadium capacity (24,000).'

The NCAA championships will be held in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2008, in Fayetteville, Ark., in 2009 and in Eugene in 2010.

Ex-UO coach Smith guides Sooners to Big 12 crown

Former Oregon head coach Martin Smith guided the Oklahoma men's track and field team to its first Big 12 outdoor championship in 29 years last weekend.

The Sooners scored 110 1/2 points to beat Texas Tech (100) and Texas (96) for their first conference title since 1978.

`We spent the whole last three months preparing for this meet,' said Smith, who coached the Ducks for six years before resigning on the eve of the 2005 outdoor season.

`We were just trying to focus on what we were capable of doing. I think that's one of the lessons we learned indoors. We got a little distracted and pressed (too hard), and we weren't really used to that kind of territory.'

The OU women's team placed sixth with 64 points.

Burnett recovering from pole vaulting accident

Keegan Burnett, a former University of Oregon and Lane Community College pole vaulter, remains in intensive care at McKay-Dee Hospital Center in Ogden, Utah, two weeks after sustaining critical head injuries in a May 2 vaulting accident.

Burnett, 23, who transferred to Idaho State, was competing at a Twilight Meet at Weber State when he reportedly flipped backward off the landing mat, striking his head on a portion of exposed concrete on the perimeter of the pole vault pit.

According to an Idaho State press release, the Sweet Home High School graduate was unconscious for 10 to 15 minutes and was taken to a hospital near the athletic facility.

The Albany Democrat-Herald reported Wednesday that a neurologist at the hospital believes Burnett is `over the hump' in terms of his chances for survival, according to updates from his parents. They are hopeful that Burnett will soon be moved out of intensive care and into the intermediate care ward.

Burnett cleared 16 feet, 5 1/4 inches to set the LCC pole vault record in 2005. He placed second at the Oregon Twilight Meet at Hayward Field last year in his only outdoor appearance for the Ducks.
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Title Annotation:Sports; Sprint lineup includes Asafa Powell, Jeremy Wariner for 33rd Pre Classic on June 10
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 17, 2007
Previous Article:More, mostly merrier.
Next Article:Oregon signs another Aussie.

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