In 2006, the 21-year-old Richards had one of the greatest seasons ever by an American 400-meter runner. She ran under 50 seconds nine times during the season, including breaking the American record on September 16 with her time of 48.70 at the IAAF World Cup in Athens. The win placed her seventh on the all-time world list. Richards ran the five fastest times in the world in 2006, the six fastest times by an American and 10 of the top 11 American performances. She was undefeated outdoors in the 400 on the year, winning a $249,999 portion of the jackpot for sweeping the Golden League series and taking the USA Indoor, USA Outdoor, World Athletics Final and World Cup titles. She added the World Cup 200m crown as well.
Maria Mutola/photo Mark Sherman
Some of the world's best athletes will compete in 15 events for more than $150,000 in prize money in this elite high performance invitational. Besides Richards, other confirmed athletes who will compete in the meet, include:
Maria Mutola - women's 800 meters, Olympic gold medalist, 12-time world champion
Tianna Madison - women's long jump, reigning world champion
In addition, fans have the opportunity to receive special discounts for tickets to the Road to Eugene 08 meet on sale now through the University of Oregon athletic ticket office or at GoDucks.com.
Spectators can receive half off of the $10 general admission tickets by showing a ticket stub for the OSAA State Championships at Hayward Field, May 17-19, or the NCAA West Region Championships, May 25-26, when purchasing tickets for the Road to Eugene 08.
University of Oregon students will receive free admission to the Road to Eugene 08 with a student I.D.
Hosted by the Eugene Local Organizing Committee for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials -Track & Field (Eugene 08), the Road to Eugene 08 meet is part of a commitment to advance the sport of track and field in the United States, from youth to masters competition. NIKE, Inc., and Eugene 08 are sponsoring the meet with the assistance of the PAA, USA Track & Field and its Athletes Advisory and High Performance Committees, the University of Oregon, and the Oregon Track Club.
Tickets are $15 for reserved seating/$10 for general admission at GoDucks.com or 1-800-WEBFOOT.
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com