(note to NCAA monitors: "signed" is my word, not theirs)
L.A. PREP SPRINT SENSATION ALLYSON FELIX TO RUN AGAINST TOP U.S. SPRINTERS AT JUNE 1 HOME DEPOT TRACK & FIELD INVITATIONAL
LOS ANGELES (May 8) - Newly-crowned World Junior record-setter Allyson Felix, a senior at Los Angeles Baptist High School, will take on the America's top sprinters in the 100 meters at the inaugural Home Depot Track & Field Invitational on June 1 at the new Home Depot Center at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Carson, California.
Felix, 17, broke the 23-year-old World Junior record in the 200 meters last weekend at the Banamex meeting in Mexico City, running a stunning 22.11, the fastest in the world so far this year and equal to Marion Jones's world-leading time for 2002.
Already the favorite to win the California State High School Championship in any event she enters from 100 meters to 400 meters, Felix will now face off with eight of the top U.S. sprinters just three weeks in advance of the USA Track & Field Championships that will select the American team for the 2003 World Championships to be held in August in Paris, France. Among the confirmed entries to date are five of the eight-ranked Americans of 2002 in the 100 meters:
Ÿ Chryste Gaines (No. 2), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 4 x 100 meter relay from Atlanta and Sydney, with a lifetime best of 10.89 and already at 11.02 in 2003;
-- Kelli White (No. 4), the 2001 World Championships bronze medalist in the 200 m and the current 100 m world leader at 10.97;
-- Angela Williams (No. 5), the four-time NCAA 100 m champion for USC from 1999-2002 with a lifetime best of 11.04;
-- Inger Miller (No. 7), the former USC star who was a 1996 Olympian, double World Champion in 1999 in the 200 m and 4 x 100 and has a 100 m best of 10.79; and
-- Brianna Glenn (No. 8), the 2001 NCAA champion in the 200 m and long jump for the University of Arizona, with a wind-aided 100 m best of 11.15.
Felix's participation was confirmed this morning by her L.A. Baptist coach Jonathan Patton, who told reporters after her stunning 200 m in the Invitational Division of the Mt. SAC Relays last month, "Allyson needs to run against the "pros." Felix has committed to attend the University of Southern California in the Fall, joining her brother Wes, already the Trojans' top sprinter.
Felix will compete unattached and, under high school and NCAA rules, will not be eligible for prize money. Place-winners in the 100 m at the meet will receive $5,000 for first, $2,500 for second, $1,250 for third, $750 for fourth and $500 for fifth. There is a total of $103,500 in prize money at stake in the meet's 12 elite events.
The Home Depot Track & Field Invitational is the first-ever Los Angeles-area stop on the USA Track & Field Golden Spike Tour and is the opening event at the new, 125-acre, $150 million Home Depot Center. It is produced by AEG and features more than two dozen Olympians, headed by Olympic champions and world-record holders, including sprinter Maurice Greene, hurdler Allen Johnson and pole vaulter Stacy Dragila.
The 21-event program, with $103,500 in prize money, begins at noon on June 1. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, at www.ticketmaster.com
. Group discounts are available by calling toll-free (866) LA-GROUP (866-524-7687) or on the Home Depot Invitational Web site.
The meet is sponsored by The Home Depot, ADT Security Systems and LG mobile telephones. The USA Track & Field Golden Spike Tour is sponsored by Verizon and VISA.