Men’s 200 Takes Center Stage At USATF Championships

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Here’s a recent press release from USATF:

INDIANAPOLIS — The 200 meters has gone from an event considered anafterthought to the most exciting event on the track. Luckily for fans,all the men behind the glam factor in the 200 will take the track atthe 2007 AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, heldJune 21-22 at Mike Carroll Stadium on the campus of IUPUI.

TysonGay ended the 2006 season ranked #1 in the world in the 200, butWallace Spearmon and Xavier Carter could also make a case for being #1.Throw in Walter Dix of Florida State and 400-meter ubermensch JeremyWariner, and the men’s 200 promises to be a tinderbox of excitement.

Spearmonhas perhaps the deepest credentials of the group and is considered thefavorite by many. The 2005 World Championships silver medalist,Spearmon is the defending U.S. champion and reigning World Cup championin this event. On September 28 of last year, he became the #3 performerof all-time with his 19.65 performance in Daegu, South Korea. Earlierin September, Tyson Gay had run 19.68, finishing the year tied withFrank Fredericks as the fifth-fastest man in history. Gay’s 100-meterspeed – he is #2 world-ranked and the defending U.S. champion in thatevent – makes him very dangerous in the half lap. Competitors must beeying his wind-aided 100m times of 9.76 (+2.2mps) and 9.78 (+2.5mps)and warily.

Carter won four events at the 2006 NCAAChampionships – the 100, 400, 4×100 relay and 4×400 relay – then wenton to lay down a time of 19.63 in the 200 at Lausanne, Switzerland, tobecome the second-fastest man in history, behind only Michael Johnson.Carter got a slow start to the 2007 season, but last week at the NikePrefontaine Classic he ran down Spearmon and 100m world record holderAsafa Powell to win the 200.

In 2007, Dix added another recordto his resume. Already the American junior record holder at 100 meters(10.06), Dix ran an eye-popping, collegiate-record time of 19.69 at the2007 NCAA East Regional in Gainesville, Fla. He tacked on the NCAAtitles in the 100 and 200 last weekend in Sacramento as well. At 5-9and 190 pounds, Dix lacks the height and lankiness usually associatedwith 200-meter specialists, but his time and victories speak forthemselves.

Speaking of tall and lanky, Olympic and worldchampion 400-meter runner Jeremy Wariner is in the field. As thedefending world champion, he gets a bye into the World Championships inthe 400, so he’ll work on his 200-meter speed in Indy.

FAST FACTS

World record: 19.32, Michael Johnson, 1996

American record: 19.32, Michael Johnson, 1996

Meet record: 19.66, Michael Johnson, 1996

Time schedule: 1st round 4:30 p.m., Saturday; semifinals noon Sunday; final 2:20 p.m. Sunday

DID YOU KNOW? …

* Team USA has won every men’s 200 gold medal but one at the IAAF World Championships.

*Eight of the 10 fastest men of all time are Americans; four of the sixfastest ever will compete here – Carter (#2), Spearmon (#3), Gay (#5)and Dix (#6).

* Spearmon’s father, Wallace Spearmon Sr., was an All-American 200m runner and ran for Team USA in that event.

*Pietro Mennea of Italy owned the world record from 1979 until MichaelJohnson broke it, first at the Olympic Trials and then at the Olympics,in 1996.

* Height is usually considered an advantage in the 200 because it helps runners negotiate the curve.

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Mike Young

Mike Young

Founder of ELITETRACK at Athletic Lab
Mike has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University, an MSS in Coaching Science from Ohio University & a PhD in Biomechanics from LSU. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Level 3 coach by USA Track & Field, a Level 2 coach by USA Weightlifting.
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Mike Young
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