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No U.S. Track and Field Championships for first time in 120-plus years

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There will be no national championships-level track and field meet this year, ending a streak of more than 120 consecutive years crowning U.S. champions.

USA Track and Field announced that preliminary plans for a mid-September meet were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Safety hurdles were too steep to overcome,” according to a press release.

A USATF group unanimously decided not to attempt a meet, “advising against conducting a large mass gathering event involving travel by participants from all regions of the country.”

USATF previously announced on June 26 that it was developing contingency plans and potential options for a “national season ending event” in September.

USATF records show national champions in every year dating to 1876. The Olympic Trials would have served as this year’s national championships-level meet.

Trials were rescheduled for June 2021 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., which would have been the setting for this summer’s trials.

The track and field season continues with Diamond League meets in Monaco (Aug. 14) and Stockholm (Aug. 23).

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Vashti Cunningham wins U.S. women’s high jump title with help from father Randall Cunningham

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Vashti Cunningham claimed the women’s high jump title at the USATF Indoor Championships in Staten Island, New York on Saturday. Cunningham’s 1.96m clearance gave her the fourth title of her career.

Cunningham’s dad was in attendance, but not just as a parent. Football Hall of Famer Randall Cunningham is his daughter’s coach.

“We wanted to get in early and represent America,” Randall Cunningham said. “It’s always great coming to this meet, and we’re really happy with her.”

Cunningham’s title is even more of an accomplishment since the 21-year-old was coming back from strep throat.

She had a breakout season in 2016. Cunningham won her first U.S. title at indoors, signed with Nike and became the youngest U.S. track and field athlete to qualify for the Olympics since 1980 when she earned a spot in the Rio Olympics at age 18.

Cunningham didn’t hesitate to discuss what Randall, who played in the NFL for 16 seasons, is like as a coach.

“We don’t negotiate,” she said. “He’s in charge. Sometimes, we talk about it, but really, he’s in charge. And I try to fall in line with his plan because I trust him, and I trust that he’s been through enough to lead me in the right way.”

Bidding reopened for 2020 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials

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USA Track and Field reopened bidding to host the 2020 Olympic Trials amid litigation surrounding the construction of a new stadium at Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) in Walnut, Calif., where the trials were originally awarded.

USA Track and Field hopes to reaward the trials no later than June.

Mt. SAC said it “will no longer be hosting” the trials, but it “is ready to execute our plans to host the 2020 event should USATF reconsider their decision.”

The Los Angeles area college originally beat out Eugene, Ore., and Sacramento for the right to host the 2020 Olympic Trials, USATF announced last June.

A top Sacramento Sports Commission official said the city will likely rebid, according to the Sacramento Bee. A Eugene official said the city is “excited about the possibility” of staging the trials, according to the Eugene Register-Guard.

Eugene hosted the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Trials. Sacramento hosted in 2000 and 2004.

Mt. SAC previously hosted the 1960 Olympic Trials and annually hosts a popular relays meet in April.

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