FRESNO, Calif. - The Visa Championship Series, USA Track & Field's signature series of domestic track meets, will include an indoor stop in California for the first time next Martin Luther King Day (Monday, January 21) when USA vs. the World at Run for The Dream kicks off the 2008 Indoor Visa Championship Series.
The USA vs. The World event will feature top U.S. and international athletes competing in seven individual events each for men and women, plus the 4x400m relay, in a scored, team competition. Team USA athletes will take on a squad of International All-Stars in the first team-scored meet in Visa Championship Series history.
First held in 2006, Run for the Dream will take place at the Save Mart Center on the campus of Fresno State University. A new, 160-yard track is being built specifically for the facility and will make its international debut at Run for the Dream, a meet organized and directed by USATF's 2003 Nike Coach of the Year and Fresno State head coach Bob Fraley.
"Since the Visa Championship Series began in 1999, we have been looking for our best strategic opportunity to have a leg of the indoor series in California," said USATF CEO Craig Masback. "When Coach Fraley started Run for the Dream, we immediately recognized it as the chance we had been searching for. His history of staging successful events and drawing top talent makes this a great opportunity to join forces."
In addition to his long history of success at Fresno State, Fraley has served as chair of men's pole vault development for USATF. In 1989 he created the Pole Vault Summit, now held in Reno, Nevada. Featuring competitions and an exchange of knowledge about pole vaulting, the event each year attracts more than 2,000 male and female athletes, from teen-agers to Olympic gold medalists.
Run for the Dream this year will feature three meets on MLK Day, from high school through professional. The morning session will stage a four-way meet between Fresno State, Hawaii, Cal Poly, and Cal State-Stanislaus. In the afternoon, a high school "dream team" showdown will be followed by USA vs. The World. In addition to the relays, events to be contested at USA vs. The World include men's and women's 55m, 55m hurdles, 600 yards, pole vault and long jump; men also will contest the mile and shot put while the women have the 800m and high jump.
"We are excited to team up with USA Track & Field to make Run for the Dream a world-class event," said Fraley. "For years people have seen these Visa Championship Series meets on television, but you had to travel east to see this kind of event in person. To have a meet like those here in our community is just awesome."
For more information on Run for the Dream, Coach Fraley and Fresno State track and field, visit gobulldogs.com.
About the Visa Championship Series
Now in its 10th year, The Visa Championship Series is a prestigious series of USA Track & Field competitions featuring top track & field athletes from Team USA, the World's #1 Track Team, as they prepare for the 2008 Olympic Games. It brings the speed, strength, excitement and fun of track & field directly to fans around the country, allowing them to experience it all first-hand.
In addition to providing more than $1 million in prize money and athlete-support dollars, the Visa Championship Series crowns the male and female athlete with the top overall performance in the Visa Championship Series as Visa Champions. The men's and women's Visa Champion each receive bonus money.The full schedule for the 2008 Visa Championship Series will be announced soon. For more information, visit
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images