National Track League to serve as Olympic preview; series begins in Vancouver on Sunday, Victoria Wednesday

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national track_league


OTTAWA (ISN)
– The 2012 National Track League (NTL) begins in three days with the Harry Jerome International Track Classic in Burnaby, B.C.’s Swangard Stadium. The made in Canada international track and field grand prix series then makes stops in Victoria (June 13), Edmonton (June 16), Moncton (July 5), Halifax (July 8) and Toronto (July 11).

2012 NTL features Star studded lineup

A who’s who of Canadian and world track and field is descending on the NTL looking to solidify their Olympic aspirations. Notably Jamaican sprint sensation Yohan Blake, the world’s best multi-athlete in Ashton Eaton of the United States, World Championship men’s sprint hurdle champion Jason Richardson of the United States, World Championship medalist Matthew Centrowitz Jr of the United States, World Championship medalist Sheri-Ann Brooks of Jamaica, Pan Am Games gold medalist Kibwé Johnson of the USA, and World Youth Championship medalist Dawit Wolde of Ethiopia.

A large contingent of Canadian Olympic hopefuls will compete in the series, including the following athletes who have already achieved the A standard and now only need a Top 3 finish at the Track and Field Trials in Calgary to secure their place on the Olympic team: Dylan Armstrong, Melissa Bishop, Nathan Brannen, Jared Connaughton, Perdita Felicien, Sultana Frizell, Phylicia George, Elizabeth Gleadle, Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, Michael Mason, Nikkita Holder, Justin Rodhe, Heather Steacy, James Steacy, Hilary Stellingwerf, Angela Whyte, Jessica Zelinka.

The series features 12 NTL scoring events, up from ten last year. NTL scoring events are offered at a minimum of three of the competitions, athletes earn points in these events in the hopes of winning an NTL championship trophy and associated cash prize.

NTL LIVE on FloTrack

FloTrack will provide coverage of the entire series with LIVE competition footage, pre-interviews, post-interviews and archived footage available on demand. To view the 2012 FloTrack Live streaming schedule visit http://www.flotrack.org/ntl.

2012 NTL scoring events

Men

Women

100-metres

100-metre hurdles

800-metres

400-metres

Timex 1500-metres

Running Room 800-metres

Shot put

1500-metres

Javelin

Hammer throw

High jump

Long jump

Jerome boasts impressive lineup

Sunday’s Harry Jerome is offering all twelve NTL events as part of the competition with impressive fields throughout.

100-metre hurdles

It’s sure to be a fast race with a field that includes American Ginnie Crawford as well as Canadians Perdita Felicien, Nikkita Holder, Angela Whyte and Jessica Zelinka. Coming in Crawford has posted the fastest seasons best with a 12.66. Felicien, Holder and Whyte all boast the Olympic A standard and are now concentrating on getting some races in before the Canadian Trials later this month. Holder was second in the NTL hurdles last season behind club mate Phylicia George.
 

Women’s 400-metres

Canadians Amonn Nelson and Carline Muir will face tough competition from Keshia Baker and Leslie Cole of the USA and Puerto Rico’s Carol Rodriguez. Nelson comes in as the defending NTL champion having finished first atop the standings last year.

Women’s Running Room 800-metres

The women’s 800m is stacked with featured Canadians Diane Cummins, Melissa Bishop, Jessica Smith, Lemlem Ogbasilassie and Hilary Stelingwerff. Amongt others they’ll face a tough trio from the United States in Alice Schmidt, Heather Kampf and Laura Januszewski. Bishop comes in with the A standard under her belt while Cummins, Smith and Ogbasilassie are still chasing the elusive mark. Stellingwerff has the 1500m Olympic A standard and will be working on her speed in what is to be a very fast race. Ogbasilassie took the 2011 NTL title in the 800-metres while Bishop was third.

Women’s Timex 15000-metres

Top Canadian contenders are Malindi Elmore and Nicole Sifuentes, they’ll face a host of challengers, notably Sarah Bowman of the USA and Amy Mortimoer of Germany. Elmore and Sifuentes have seasonal best times of 4:07.90 and 4:09.80 respectively.

Women’s long jump

2011 NTL champion Krysha Bayley will face stiff competition from fellow Canadians Ruky Abdulai, Alice Falaiye and Jessica Zelinka. Abdulai and Falaiye finished second and third respectively in the 2011 NTL long jump standings.

Women’s hammer throw

Canadian record holder Sultana Frizell sits atop the Canadian rankings with a seasonal best performance of 75.04m, her main competition will come in the form of Heather Steacy. Steacy and Frizell are expected to represent Canada later this summer at the London Games. Steacy is the defending NTL champion while Frizell was second last year.

Men’s 100-metres

Fresh off his participation in the Oslo Diamond League Justyn Warner leads the way in the men’s 100m at Harry Jerome. The 2011 NTL champion will race his relay pool partner Dontae Richards-Kwok as well as Anson Henry, Hank Palmer, Jarid Vaughan and the winner of the 100m in the UBC Pre Jerome.

Men’s Running Room 800-metres

Khadevis Robinson of the United States is the top ranked entrant with a seasonal best of 1:44.54. Robinson will face stiff competition from Canadian Andrew Ellerton and in fellow American Andrew Wheating.

Men’s Timex 1500-metres

A very deep field which includes Canadians Taylor Milne, Geoff Martinson, Matt Lincoln, Kyle Boorsma and Peter Corrigan will be headlined by American Matthew Centrowitz. Boorsma enters the 2012 series as defending NTL champion in this event.

Men’s high jump

Michael Mason enters Jerome already having achieved the Olympic A standard; his main competitor will be American superstar and World record holder Ashton Eaton.

Men’s shot put

Teammates Dylan Armstrong and Justin Rodhe will go head to head in the shot put. Both have the Olympic A standard.

Men’s javelin

NTL defending champion and Canadian record holder Scott Russell leads the charge in the javelin. He’ll face off against the next wave in Curtis Moss and Kyle Nielsen.

Impressive fields aren’t limited to NTL events; the Jerome features top level competitors throughout its program. Newly minted Canadian javelin record holder Elizabeth Gleadle will face off against a strong field in the women’s javelin. Ashton Eaton will race in the men’s 400-metres against some up and coming Canadians in Tremaine Harris and Philip Osei. The event also includes a para-athletics element with Canadian Paralympic hopefuls Jon Dunkerley, Brandon King, Courtney Johnson and Braedon Dolfo racing against top American challengers in the men’s visually impaired 200-metres.

2012 NTL schedule

Harry Jerome International

June 10

Vancouver, BC

Victoria International

June 13

Victoria, BC

Donovan Bailey Invitational

June 16

Edmonton, AB

Hub City Classic

July 5

Moncton, NB

Aileen Meagher International

July 8

Halifax, NS

Toronto International Track + Field Games (& NTL Finale)

July 11

Toronto, ON

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