It won’t be difficult to spot athletes with ties to Kentucky when the 2017 U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships get underway at Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday.
The event plays out across four days, with the top finishers advancing to the World Championships in London later this summer.
The competition schedule Thursday has been altered with the temperature expected to reach triple digits most of the weekend. With a high of 107 degrees predicted, the men’s and women’s 10,000 events were pushed an hour later into the evening. The men’s event won’t start until 10:09 p.m. The coolest day will be Sunday when it’s supposed to be only 97 degrees.
Tyson Gay, Kendra Harrison and Sydney McLaughlin are among the biggest-name performers with Kentucky ties. Gay, a past U.S. and world champion from Lafayette High School, is trying to recapture glory at age 34 in honor of his daughter who was killed last fall in Lexington. Former University of Kentucky hurdler Harrison, the world record holder in the 100-meter hurdles, has already earned entry to the Worlds by virtue of her performance in the Diamond League. McLaughlin, a UK signee, was the youngest American in track and field at last summer’s Rio Olympics.
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Other current or former Cats competing in Sacramento include Destiny Carter (100, 200, long jump), Dezerea Bryant (200), Kianna Gray (100, 200), Olivia Gruver (pole vault), ShaKeela Saunders (long jump), Sarah Blake (javelin), Cally Macumber (5,000), Andrew Evans (discus), Ethan Shalaway (javelin), Andy Fryman (hammer throw) and Nick Anderson (110 hurdles). Bryan Station graduate Tequan Claitt of Eastern Kentucky University will compete in the high jump, and Louisville’s Emmonnie Henderson is entered in the shot put.
U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships
When: Thursday through Sunday
Where: Hornet Stadium at Sacramento State University
TV: Friday, 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (NBC Sports Network); Saturday and Sunday, 4-6 p.m. (NBC-18)
At stake: Top finishers advance to the World Championships Aug. 5-13 in London.