By Curtis Anderson / TrackTown USA
EUGENE, Ore. – With the deadline for preliminary entries now closed, the IAAF World Junior Championships Oregon 2014 – to be held July 22-27 at historic Hayward Field – will be the largest IAAF event ever contested on U.S. soil.
A total of 177 national federations, from Algeria to Zimbabwe, have expressed their intent to compete at the six-day track and field meet. Those nations are expected to be represented by more than 1,750 athletes, under the age of 20, and an additional 750 team officials.
“We couldn’t be more excited for this fantastic event and to welcome our guests from around the world,” said Vin Lananna, president of TrackTown USA, the local organizing committee for the IAAF World Junior Championships.
“I know that the entire TrackTown community will do everything in its power to make this an unforgettable experience for both the athletes and fans.”
The University of Oregon, which has launched an innovative student-ambassador program to assist each visiting nation with language and cultural skills, has nine athletes on the current UO track and field team with past experience at the 2012 and 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships.
They are Laura Roesler, Mike Berry, Parker Stinson, Trevor Dunbar, Johnathan Cabral, Tanguy Pepiot, Haley Crouser, Lindsay Crevoiserat and Ryan Pickering.
Member federations have until July 7 to submit their list of final entries for the IAAF World Junior Championships.
Last held in Barcelona in 2012, the meet is held every two years. It showcases the future stars of the sport, many of whom could compete in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
A total of 17 world record-holders, both men and women, have competed in the IAAF World Junior Championships since the inaugural event was staged in Athens, Greece in 1986.