The 2014 USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships enters Day 2 at Sacramento State on Thursday after kicking off at the state Capitol with the shot put event.
After starting at the Capitol venue - in order to allow fans to see all of the iconic images of Sacramento, such as the Capitol dome, Capitol Mall and Tower Bridge - the national championships move to Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium through Sunday. This is the sixth time national championships have been in the region, including the Olympic Trials in 2000 and 2004.
Here is a guide to the June 25-29th event:
• Start with Bee staff writer Joe Davidson’s Twitter feed. He’ll be keeping followers abreast of the latest developments, behind-the-scenes stories and discussions. Follow Joe D here.
• A good showing by Sacramento could bring back the event in 2017. Read the story here.
• Among the athletes to watch this week are top sprinters Walter Dix and Felix; LaShawn Merritt, reigning world champ in the 400 meters; Evan Jager, the U.S. record-holder in the 3,000-meter steeplechase; Leo Manzano and Michelle Carter, the American record-holder in the shot put and daughter of 1984 Olympic silver medalist and former 49ers defensive lineman Michael Carter.
See below for 4 local athletes you’ll want to catch.
• If you plan on attending the events over five-days, tickets can be found here.
• There is a new, state-of-the-art, $1.5 million track at Sacramento State ready to welcome the world-class athletes. Fox40 reports in this video:
• Four local athletes to watch:
Diondre Batson, the Laguna Creek High School and American River College graduate now competing at Alabama, where he won the indoor NCAA 200 title. He’ll run the 100.
Stephanie Brown Trafton, a Galt resident, is the American record-holder in the discus (222-3). She won Olympic gold in 2008 and took last year off for maternity leave. In her absence, Gia Lewis-Smallwood won the U.S. outdoor title and returns for more as the 2014 USA leader at 215-9.
Kim Conley, a UC Davis graduate who burst onto the national scene in 2012 in securing an Olympic berth in the 5,000 meters, will run the 10,000 meters. Her 4 minute, 24.54-second mile this past winter made her the fifth-fastest American ever. The 10,000 field includes Shalane Flanagan, the 2013 USA champion and American record-holder, and Jordan Hasay, last year’s runner-up.
Lea Wallace, a former Sac State All-American who in 2013 recorded lifetime bests in the 800 (2:00.30), 1,500 (4:09.13) and mile (4:33.5) and ran a leg on the USA 4x800 relay that broke the American record. She’ll run in the 800, a field that includes Brenda Martinez, who was third in last year’s outdoor World Championships.