Q. What is the 2011 USATF Region 16 Championship?
A. The road to USATF 2011 Junior Olympic National Track & Field Championship starts in Lawrence, Kansas. Kenneth Ferguson, President of USATF Missouri Valley Association, and Bob Sanner, Executive Director of Lawrence Sports Corporation, has teamed up with Lawrence High School and Kansas Athletics to host the 2011 USATF Missouri Valley Junior Olympic Trials (Region 16 Championship). Region 16 will be held July 7th-10th in Lawrence, Kansas. The top 5 athletes in each track & field event will qualify for the national championship in Wichita, Kansas.
Q. Who is eligible to compete at the Region 16 Championship?
A. Region 16 is open to athletes with current USATF membership. Region 16 is open only to athletes who reside in Missouri Valley Association and are ages 7-18. Missouri Valley residents include individual of the State of Kansas, and residents of the State of Missouri, residing west of and including the counties of Schuyler, Adair, Macon, Randolph, Audrain, Callaway, Cole, Moniteau, Morgan, Benton, Hickory, Polk, Greene, Christian, and Taney.
Q. Can you tell us more about the event and the quality of competition you expect?
A. We are expecting over 1000 participants. We have a tremendous history of Olympians who have competed in the Missouri Valley Association. Those athletes include Maurice Green, Mona Lee, Joe Falcon, Derrick Peterson, Steve Fritz and Gwen Wentland. Present Missouri Valley athletes currently competing on the world scene include, Ivory Williams, Rose Richmond, Mike Rogers, Dexter Faulk, Tom Pappas and Christian Smith. The future elite athletes from the Missouri Valley include Brittney Borman, Oliver Bradwell, Maurice Mitchell, and Tiffany McReynolds. Local familiar faces who are eligible to complete include LaTrestian Pledger, Mary Frances Donnelly, Alexa Harmon-Thomas, Lindsey Vorllmer, Adonis Sanders, Blake Hocking, Casey Bowen, Jamie House and Joe Fisher.
Q. Bob, why Lawrence, Kansas?
A. Lawrence, Kansas is home to the University of Kansas, which has a strong tradition in track & field; the Lawrence community has a vibrant downtown with numerous shopping and dining options. Lawrence offers 1300 hotel rooms with different levels of amenities. Room blocks have been established at participating hotels. Anyone with questions should feel free to call me at 785-856-5302.
Q. Why did you not host the event at Memorial Stadium?
A. Granted Memorial Stadium is a great facility, but Lawrence High School has a brand new 8-lane, state of the art surface, with stadium seating on both side of the track. The facility is only a year old.