PORTLAND, Ore. — The battle for places on the U.S. World Indoor Championships team gets underway on Friday in Portland.
A host of high-profile athletes will be on show at Portland Convention Center to get an early feel of the facility before next week’s IAAF World Indoors.
Live streaming online coverage will be available on USATF.TV
A few of the events to pay very close attention to are the men’s 60m dash, the women’s 800m, the women’s 1500m, and the women’s 60m hurdles.
The battle for the men’s 60m title will see former national indoor champion Michael Rodgers and the talented Trayvon Bromell starting as the early favorites to land the crown.
Rodgers enters the meet as the fastest American indoors this season over 60m, with a time of 6.52 seconds, which is the joint third-fastest in the world for 2016.
He will start from lane seven in heat one on Friday and will race against decathlon world record holder Ashton Eaton.
Bromell has a season and personal best time of 6.54 seconds heading into the meet, and the IAAF World Outdoor Championships 100m bronze medallist will start in heat two against Trell Kimmons.
Another sprinter to keep a close eye in the men’s 60m is Joseph Morris, who will race in heat three.
Morris finished second last year behind Marvin Bracy, who will also be in the third heat, alongside Sean McLean, D’Angelo Cherry and Ryan Bailey.
In the women’s event, the battle for the crown is expected to come from Tianna Bartoletta, Barbara Pierre, Tori Bowie, with Jenna Prandini and Alexandria Anderson also hoping to spring a surprise on the field.
In the women’s 800m, world-leader Ajee’ Wilson and Laura Roesler, the third fastest American this season, are expected to do most of the damage in the hunt for the national title.
Meanwhile, Brenda Martinez, the second fastest American woman over the 800m this term, is opting to race in the 1500m title and she will start as the front-runner for the title.
Martinez has run 2:00.14 in the 800m this season, the third fastest in the world for 2016, but is choosing the 1500m instead, an event in which she would have to battle with Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba for the world indoor title — providing she makes the U.S. team.
Martinez’s fastest in the 1500m this season is 4:04.58 — the fifth-fastest in the world this term. She will have the likes of Shannon Rowbury, Alexa Efraimson, Amanda Eccleston and Morgan Uceny for company.
A loaded women’s 60m hurdles field, led by world-leader Kendra Harrison, has been assembled to fight for the national indoor crown.
Harrison has been the in-form hurdler this season, posting four of the top five times, including the world-leading marks of 7.82secs and 7.83secs.
But winning the title will not come easy for Harrison, with the likes of Cynithia Janay DeLoach, Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, Christina Manning and Kristi Castlin all up for the challenge.
Other top athletes on the schedule to compete at the meet are Brittney Reese, the world indoor long jump champion, Marquis Dendy, the world-leader in the men’s long jump, pole vault world indoor record holder Jennifer Suhr and Galen Rupp in the men’s 3000m.