The TrackTown Summer Series will be launched in 2016 to provide competitive opportunities in the U.S. during the summer months for American track and field athletes with a championship meet at Hayward Field. (TrackTown Photo)
By Curtis Anderson / TrackTown USA
EUGENE, Ore. – If an American track and field athlete wants a world-class competitive opportunity in the months of July or August, they usually have to board a plane bound for Europe to do so, because there is nothing comparable at home.
The lack of domestic track and field meets during the summer has long plagued the world’s No. 1 track and field team, but TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna has found a solution – the TrackTown Summer Series, which will be launched in the summer of 2016, shortly after the conclusion of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at historic Hayward Field, July 1-10.
The TrackTown Summer Series will feature scored meets between four-to-six teams of top U.S. athletes in cities on both the East and West coasts, culminating with a championship meet in TrackTown USA. Details will be released this fall.
By creating opportunities for the best U.S. athletes to compete at home during the summer, the series will spark interest in the sport of track and field leading up to the 2021 IAAF World Championships. The IAAF’s “crown jewel” was awarded to TrackTown USA last April, the first time ever on U.S. soil.
“By 2021, we want all of the stars in U.S. track and field to be household names,” Lananna said. “We want every kid in America to want their autographs, and we want those kids to get excited about competing in track and field.”
The idea for the TrackTown Summer Series first surfaced with three High Performance Meets at Hayward Field in 2006, ’07 and ’08 leading up to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. It was followed by last year’s highly successful Run TrackTown High Performance meet contested during the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships.