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Distance races highlight 2009 Tyson Invitational

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Distance races highlight 2009 Tyson Invitational

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 10th annual Tyson Invitational will be held Friday, February 13, at the Randal Tyson Track Center, on the campus of the University of Arkansas. The star-studded event will be held from 8-10 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 800-766-4626.

As history shows, the Tyson Invitational brings some of the biggest names in professional and collegiate track and field to the city of Fayetteville – the Track Capital of the World. The 2009 event will be no different as the men’s mile, women’s mile, men’s 5,000 meters and many other events will be highlighted in a salute to the 2008 USA Track and Field Olympians. Also on hand will be many of the nation’s top collegiate teams, including the Arkansas Razorback men’s and women’s track and field squads.

Razorbacks Andy McClary and Dorian Ulrey are the lone collegians in a dominant field of men’s milers that includes 2008 Olympic 1,500-meter bronze medalist Nick Willis, 2008 Olympian Christian Smith, 2006 USA Indoor 1,500-meter champion Chris Lukezic, 2007 NCAA Cross Country Champion Josh Rohatinsky, former Razorback All-American Adam Perkins and Rob Myers, the 2004 USA Indoor 1,500-meter Champion and the third-place finisher at 2004 Olympic Trials.

Ulrey’s indoor season started out quickly and has yet to relinquish. With a time of 3:57.66 in the mile, he holds the world and the nation’s No. 2 time in the event this season. He also ranks second on the NCAA list and has the top time in the SEC.

His clocking of 3:57.66 is an NCAA automatic qualifier, a personal best, leads the SEC by nearly five seconds and ranks ninth on Arkansas’ all-time list. Ulrey’s time is also the fastest clocked by an SEC student-athlete since former Hog Said Ahmed ran a 3:57.04 at the Iowa State Last Chance during the 2005 season.

The women’s mile field is just as stellar with names like 2008 Steeplechase Olympian and American record holder Anna Willard, 2008 Olympian Alice Schmidt, NCAA Champions Sarah Bowman, Brie Felnagle and Sally Kipyego and four-time USA Champion Treniere Clement. Former Razorbacks in the lineup include 2008 Olympian Christin Wurth-Thomas and four-time All-American, 2007 SEC Champion and 2008 NCAA Regional Champion Dacia (Barr) Perkins.

The men’s 5,000 meters includes the best of the best in international distance running. 2008 Olympian and NCAA Cross Country Champion Galen Rupp of Oregon and 2008 NCAA Cross Country runner-up Sam Chelanga of Liberty look to battle it out again alongside Colby Wissel of Kansas, Auburn’s Girma Mecheso, the 2008 SEC Cross Country Champion, and NJCAA 10K Champion Elkanah Kibet (now running for Auburn).

Razorbacks in the race include 2008 NCAA 10K All-Americans Shawn Forrest and James Strang and former All-American Seth Summerside.

Forrest was the 2008 NCAA runner-up at 10,000 meters. He holds a person best of 28:24.44, clocked to earn runner-up honors at the 2008 SEC Championships, and holds the No. 5 spot on the Arkansas all-time list.

For more information on the 2009 Tyson Invitational visit www.tysoninvitational.net.



Sports Category : Track & Field (W)