2017 Camel City Elite Fields Announced

2017 Camel City Elite Fields Announced

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2017-01-05

JDL Fast Track has begun finalizing the fields for the Fifth Annual Camel City Elite, to be held in Winston-Salem, NC, on Saturday, February 4, 2017.  This year’s event will award over $50,000 in prizes and bonuses in seven events – men’s 60m hurdles, men’s and women’s 800m, men’s and women’s mile and men’s and women’s 3000m.  Each race will award prize money of $4000 (1st), $2000 (2nd), $1000 (3rd) and $500 (4th).  Additionally there are $1000 bonuses to the winner of each race if they break certain time records.

“This year’s event may not have the overall star power that we had last year when we hosted Ashton Eaton, Matthew Centrowitz and Lolo Jones, but I think overall we have more depth and the races will be more exciting as a result,” said Craig Longhurst, JDL Fast Track’s facility director and the elite athlete coordinator for Camel City Elite.

“Recruiting for this year’s event has been quite different from past years.  Last year was quite easy as the World Indoor Championships were held in the United States, so everyone was focusing on indoor track.  This year, recruiting took much longer due to a number of factors.  It was hard being patient as the fields slowly materialized, but the depth we have this year is incredible.  Each race is really wide open and could be won by anyone in the field, which should make for a very exciting meet!”

Headlining this year’s event is someone with whom local track and field fans will be familiar.  Paul Chelimo, now running for the US Army, capped off a strong year by winning the Silver Medal at the Rio Olympics at 5000m.  Chelimo ran at JDL Fast Track multiple times in college while attending UNC-Greensboro.  He is excited to return to the area he deems his “hometown” to compete for the first time as a professional.  Chelimo will run the Camel City 3000m presented by Salem Sports, an event where he boasts a personal record of 7:37.98.

The next headliner is Melissa Bishop of Canada who will be running for Nike.  Bishop is a two-time Olympian who finished fourth at 800m in Rio after earning the Silver Medal at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.  Bishop is also the Canadian recordholder at 800m with her personal best of 1:57.02, which she set in the Olympics.  Bishop won the 2016 Camel City 800m in a facility record of 2:02.10, which she hopes to break again this year.  Bishop will compete in the Camel City Women’s 800m.

David Oliver of Nike returns to Winston-Salem to compete in Camel City Elite.  Oliver competed here in 2015 and was slated to run in 2016 until an injury the day before the meet forced him to miss last year’s event.  Oliver was the 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist in the 110m hurdles and won that event at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.  Oliver also hosts a large high school invitational at JDL Fast Track, the David Oliver Classic, which brings in some of the best high school track athletes from the Southeast to Winston-Salem each winter.  This year’s David Oliver Classic will be held on January 27-28, 2017.  Oliver will compete in the Camel City Men’s Hurdles, presented by Visit Winston-Salem.

Next, Leo Manzano will return to JDL Fast Track.  Manzano ran here in 2015 and finished fourth in the Camel City Mile.  Manzano is a two-time Olympian who won the Silver Medal at the 2012 Olympics in London.  Manzano’s best time in the mile is 3:50.64.  Manzano currently runs for Hoka One One.  Manzano will compete in the Camel City Men’s Mile presented by Champion.

Other notable entries in this year’s event include:

  • Andy Bayer (Nike) won the 2015 NACAC Gold Medal in the steeplechase;
  • Lee Emanuel (Hoka One One) was a finalist at the 2016 World Indoor championships at 3000m for Great Britain;
  • Kerri Gallagher (Nike) was a member of the 2015 World Championship team at 1500m;
  • Stephanie Garcia (New Balance) who represented the United States at the 2015 World Championships in the steeplechase;
  • Edward Kemboi (Nike) was the 2015 NCAA indoor/outdoor champion at 800m;
  • Shalaya Kipp (Unattached) was a 2012 Olympian for Team USA in the steeplechase;
  • Chad Noelle (Asics Furman Elite) was the 2015 NCAA Champion at 1500m;
  • Laura Roesler (Nike) was a member of 2016 World Indoor team at 800m;
  • Rachel Schneider (Under Armour) won the 2015 NACAC Gold Medal at 1500m;
  • Erin Teschuk (Asics Furman Elite) who represented Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the steeplechase;

Longhurst indicated that additional athletes should be confirmed in the next week.  Meanwhile, recruiting of the college athletes who will be chasing NCAA qualifying marks in these races is also underway.  Athletes have already been confirmed from schools like Campbell, Furman, Middle Tennessee State, NC State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

Camel City Elite will be streamed live online at www.jdlfasttrack.com as part of the RunnerSpace +Plus subscription package which starts at $12 a month.

ABOUT JDL FAST TRACK (www.jdlfasttrack.com)

JDL Fast Track is a privately owned facility that is quickly becoming one of the premier indoor track and field venues in the southeast. Opened in 2012, the facility houses a 200-meter oval track with a Mondotrack FTX surface—the same surface used at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. With a seating capacity of 1,700, ten HD televisions showing real-time field event results, and five high definition projector screens for video playback, JDL Fast Track offers fans a unique track and field experience.

To date, JDL Fast Track has hosted four national championships:  2014 NCAA Division II, 2015 NCAA Division III, 2015 USATF Masters Indoor and 2016 NJCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. 

Tags: JDL Fast Track, Camel City Elite

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Quotes

“This year’s event may not have the overall star power that we had last year when we hosted Ashton Eaton, Matthew Centrowitz and Lolo Jones, but I think overall we have more depth and the races will be more exciting as a result,” said Craig Longhurst, JDL Fast Track’s facility director and the elite athlete coordinator for Camel City Elite.

“Recruiting for this year’s event has been quite different from past years.  Last year was quite easy as the World Indoor Championships were held in the United States, so everyone was focusing on indoor track.  This year, recruiting took much longer due to a number of factors.  It was hard being patient as the fields slowly materialized, but the depth we have this year is incredible.  Each race is really wide open and could be won by anyone in the field, which should make for a very exciting meet!”

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About

Winston-Salem is centrally located in North Carolina between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean beaches. It is easily accessible by car via Interstate 40, Business Interstate 40, Interstate 77, Interstate 85 and U.S. Highway 52. Scheduled air service is available through Piedmont Triad International Airport just 20 minutes east of Winston-Salem. Accommodations range from bed and breakfasts to luxury hotel rooms. For more information on Winston-Salem, call toll free 866.728.4200; go to visitwinstonsalem.com; or stop by the Winston-Salem Visitor Center, 200 Brookstown Avenue in the historic Brookstown Mill area just south of downtown Winston-Salem.

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