INDIANAPOLIS - After a dominating performance last year that saw the home team win five of the six races contested, Team USA will attempt to equal or better that performance Saturday at USA vs. The World at the 113th running of the Penn Relays.
The first event of the 2007 USATF Outdoor Visa Championship Series, USA vs. The World will be broadcast live on ESPN2 from 1-3 p.m. Eastern Time.
An impressive array of U.S. female stars led by Allyson Felix, Lauryn Williams, Dee Dee Trotter, Hazel Clark, Torri Edwards, Moushaumi Robinson, Monique Henderson, Sheena Johnson, Rachelle Smith and Lisa Barber among others.
Nearly 150 athletes from 10 countries around the globe - including the world's #1 ranked female sprinter, Sherone Simpson - will compete at this year's USA vs. The World, held annually at the Penn Relays since 2000 and featuring women's 4x100 and 4x400m relays. The event also will include a women's Sprint Medley Relay. Countries challenging Team USA this year include Jamaica, Kenya, China, Russia, Germany, Great Britain, Canada Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago and the Dominican Republic.
USA vs. The World to feature one-lap stars
Team USA women hoping to continue 4x400m relay dominance. An experienced and accomplished group of U.S. women's quarter-milers will look to continue Team USA's winning tradition in 4x400m relay. Reigning World Outdoor 200m champion Allyson Felix is slated to compete for Team USA following a dominating 400m win at the Mt. SAC Relays two weeks ago in 51.74 seconds. Prior to that performance it had been nearly two years since Felix had competed in an open 400m race.
Other U.S. stars expected to compete in the women's 4x400m relay include 2004 Olympic Games relay gold medalists Dee Dee Trotter and Monique Henderson, 2006 World Indoor relay gold medalist Mary (Danner) Wineburg and 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials 400m hurdles champion Sheena Johnson. Team USA will have its hands full in this race in facing challenges from Jamaica, Russia, China, and Canada. Russia is the defending world champion in the event, with Jamaica finishing runner-up at the 2005 World Outdoor Championships.
Team USA's women's 4x100m relay team will be led by reigning World Outdoor 100m champion and Olympic silver medalist Lauryn Williams, who is coming off an injury-plagued 2006 season. Joining Williams will be the world's #1 ranked 200m runner Allyson Felix, who also is slated to compete in the 4x400m relay in Philly. Other U.S. standouts in the 4x100 include 2003 World Outdoor 100m champion Torri Edwards, 2005 World Outdoor 100m finalist and 4x100m relay gold medalist Muna Lee and 2006 Indoor Visa Championship Series winner and reigning World Indoor 60m champion Lisa Barber.
Team USA sprint relay features top talent
Headlining the Team USA women's sprint medley relay list is 2005 World Outdoor Championships 200m silver medalist and reigning USA Outdoor champion Rachelle Smith. 2004 Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist Moushaumi Robinson also will compete for Team USA, along with three-time USA Outdoor 800m champion and two-time Olympian Hazel Clark, who has anchored Team USA to world bests in this event each of the last two years, including a time of 3:36.17 in 2006.
Also in the sprint medley relay pool is for two-time (2005-2006) USA Outdoor 1,500m champion Treniere Clementand 2006 NCAA Division I Indoor 60m and long jump champion Marshevet Hooker.
The world's #1 ranked women's 100m runner, Sherone Simpson, will lead a strong Jamaican quartet in the women's sprint medley relay. Simpson lost three of her first five 100m races last year before posting nine straight wins, which included triumphs at the World Athletics Final and the World Cup of Athletics. Simpson also finished 2006 ranked #3 in the world at 200 meters. Her teammates at Penn include Kenia Sinclair, who has anchored the Jamaicans to runner-up finishes at Penn the last two years.
Final lineups for the 2007 USA vs. The World at Penn Relays will be announced Saturday. For more information on this event and the 2007 Visa Championship Series visit www.usatf.org.
Photography: Getty Images
Photography: Getty Images