JDL Fast Track has assembled another field featuring U.S. Olympic team contenders in an Olympic year for competition at the Camel City Elite Races on Feb. 8.
The races, contested within a 90-minute window on a Saturday afternoon, are designed to give new spectators a glimpse at the sport and to provide a chance for Triad track and field fans to see a number of athletes who will compete for or earn berths on the U.S. team for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Not to mention, thousands of dollars will be at stake in prize and bonus money.
Pro athletes will compete in the 800 meters, mile and 3,000 meters.
What you need to know about the event and the top competitors:
What: Elite performers in track and field competing in the 800 meters, mile and 3,000 meters.
When: 2 p.m. Feb. 8.
Where: JDL Fast Track, 2505 Empire Dr., Winston-Salem.
Admission: $10 adults, $5 for students; free for ages 12 and under.
Purse: Prize money and available bonuses will total nearly $100,000. Breakdown – First place, $6,000; second place, $4,000; third place, $2,000; fourth place, $1,000 for fourth place; additional money available through eighth place. Bonuses – $1,000 to the winner if they break a set time in each event, also for flat track “world records.”
What they're saying: “Last year, we saw athletes not wanting to get sharp so early because the IAAF World Championships weren’t until October. This year, we had athletes who were still on vacation in November and unwilling to commit to an indoor season that was only a month or so away. Add to that the fact that it is an Olympic year, and a lot of athletes are so focused on that once-every-four-years excitement, that I think indoor season has been put on the back burner this year for some athletes.” – Craig Longhurst, JDL Fast Track. ... “With each of these athletes, they are clearly fan favorites and stars in the sport. We must be doing something right to get this level of athletes to return to Camel City Elite each year. They add so much to the meet, not just on the track, but also in their interactions with the fans and sponsors of the meet.” – Longhurst.
2:05 p.m.: Men’s 3,000 presented by Salem Sports
2:20 p.m.: Women’s Camel City Mile presented by Champion
2:30 p.m.: Women’s Camel City 800 presented by BB&T
2:40 p.m.: Men’s 800 presented by Total Sports US
2:50 p.m.: Men’s & Women’s 60 Dash Finals
3 p.m.: Engels 8 HS Boys 800
3:10 p.m.: Women’s Camel City 3,000 presented by Visit Winston-Salem
3:25 p.m.: Men’s Camel City Mile presented by Mondo
Laurels: Olympian and world champion and one of the most decorated middle-distance women in U.S. history.
Notable: This will be Simpson's first indoor competition outside of the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix meet in Boston since 2012.
What they're saying: “We can’t express how excited we are to have Jenny coming to Camel City Elite this year. We have tried to get her each of the last few years, but her schedule never allowed it. When she said ‘yes’ this year, we literally jumped for joy.” – Longhurst.
Learn more: trackjenny.com.
Laurels: 2019 U.S. champion in 800 meters.
Event: 800 meters.
Notable: The Pfafftown native starred at Reagan High School.
What he's saying: "It will be fun for me, but while it's fun I still want to win it." – Engels to John Dell, Winston-Salem Journal.
Laurels: Olympic silver medalist, 5,000 meters, in 2016.
Event: 3,000 meters (won in 2017, 2018).
Notable: Won multiple All-America honors at UNCG.
Laurels: 17-time NCAA champion.
Event: Mile (defending champion); also considering 3,000 meters.
Learn more: IAAF.org.
Laurels: Olympic bronze medalist at 800 meters, holder of flat track “world record.”
Laurels: Silver medalist at world championships, 800 meters.
Event: 800 meters.
Laurels: U.S. record holder in 600 meters.
Event: 800 meters.
Among the other women competing in Camel City Elite:
- Grace Barnett (mile)
- Lindsey Butterworth (800)
- Amy Cashin (3,000 pacer)
- Amanda Eccleston (3,000)
- Stephanie Garcia (mile)
- Sammy George (3,000)
- Jessica Harris (mile)
- Michelle Howell (mile pacer)
- Maddie Kopp (800)
- Sharon Lokedi (3,000)
- Rachel Pocratsky (mile)
- Julia Rizk (800 pacer)
- Sammy Watson (800)
Among the men's athletes participating in Camel City Elite:
- Alex Amankwah (800)
- Vincent Ciattei (mile)
- Donnie Cowart (3,000 pacer)
- Vincent Crisp (800)
- Willy Fink (mile)
- Edose Ibadin (1,000)
- CJ Jones (800 pacer)
- John Lewis (mile pacer)
- Craig Nowak (mile)
- Drew Piazza (800)
- Quamel Prince (1,000)
- James Quattlebaum (3,000)
- Joseph White (800)
The college teams that will send athletes to Camel City Elite Races competition:
- Eastern Kentucky
- Lee (Tenn.)
- N.C. State
- Norfolk State
- SCAD Atlanta
- UNC Pembroke
- Virginia Tech
- Wake Forest
- West Virginia
What: High school-only field, a first for Camel City Elite, in an 800 meters race.
Notable: Craig Engels will be a part of dinner with the athletes on Friday night.
Entries: Mark Alkins (Durham Academy), Will Atkins (West Forsyth), Jonah Hoey (Bishop Shanahan, Pa.), Zach Hughes (First Flight), Karthik Kochuparambil (Denmark, Ga.), Jake Toomey (Matthews Weddington), Thomas Vo (Morrisville Green Hope) and Braxton Ware (West Forsyth, pacer).
Contact Eddie Wooten at (336) 373-7093, and follow @EddieWootenNR on Twitter.
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