Elite meet comes to MHCC this July

The 2017 TrackTown Summer Series will be coming to Mt. Hood Community College in July as the second leg of the three-part professional circuit series, bringing high-level track and field stars to Earl L. Klapstein Stadium.

The first West Coast meet will be held June 29 at Stanford University, matching the San Francisco-based team against the Portland-based team.

The two sides have a rematch on July 2 here at Mt. Hood Community College, before the third, final meet will be held July 6 at New York City’s Icahn Stadium. The latter will be the championship meet, to be broadcast live on ESPN.

The Series is a big-time event, in which spectators will see Olympic medal-winners compete in sprints, hurdles, jumping and throwing. They can witness some of the best athletes in the world firsthand, and for a low price: when TrackTown is hosted here at MHCC on July 2, tickets are only $10 for general admission, on a first-come, first-serve basis for seating anywhere in the stadium.

TrackTown made its debut last July at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field, with 140 athletes and four teams.

This summer, Hayward will be closed for major renovations, and MHCC managed to land the event.

The TrackTown teams are coed and are from Portland, San Francisco, New York City and Philadelphia. Their 2017 members, chosen by a draft in May, all compete for prize money and additional benefits. The series was made to provide the U.S. with an opportunity for fans to witness the top American track and field athletes, with the ultimate goal of making those athletes well-known around the country by the time the 2021 IAAF World Championships arrive at Hayward Field.

Among the major athletes competing on the hometown Portland team are Paul Chelimo, who won the silver medal in last year’s Rio Olympics in the 5,000 meters. He was the first U.S. male since 1964 to medal in this event.

For the Portland women, Taylor Washington, was part of the 4×400 meter women’s relay team that took gold in Rio. Chanelle Price is another big name in the competition at MHCC. In 2007, at 16 years old, Price was already competing in the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, one the biggest stages there is for track and field. The very next year, she recorded the second-fastest high school 800-meter run of all time, a mark she still holds that to this day. Running for Tennessee, she was the indoor and outdoor SEC champion for the 800 meters in 2011 and was the 2014 world indoor champion for that same event.

So, it should be exciting for fans to come to MHCC on Sunday, July 2, and watch some of the fastest, sharpest athletes in the world for a low price. The events start at 1 p.m.

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