2014 USATF Outdoor ChampionshipsSacramento State last hosted the USATF Outdoor Championships in 2014. (Sacramento State/Steve McKay)

America’s finest track and field athletes will converge on Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium from Thursday, June 22, through Sunday, June 25, for the 2017 USA Track & Field (USATF) Outdoor Championships.

The best of the best will go on to represent the United States later this summer at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in London.

“We are thrilled to have the best track and field athletes here in Sacramento to compete in front of the best track and field fans,” says Mike Sophia, Sacramento Sports Commission director. “Coming off the Rio Olympics and heading into a world championship gives us the chance to put a Sacramento spotlight on the sport’s biggest stars.”

This will be the strongest contingent of track and field athletes to compete in Sacramento since the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, Sophia says.

Among dozens of Olympians expected to shine at the USATF Championships are standouts from the Rio Games: Matt Centrowitz, the first U.S. male athlete to win the Olympic 1,500 meters in 108 years; Kerron Clement and Dalilah Muhammad, the men and women's champions, respectively, in the 400-meter hurdles; and Ryan Crouser and Michelle Carter, gold medalists in men and women's shot put. Also competing is local favorite Stephanie Brown-Trafton, volunteer coach for Sac State’s track and field team – and the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in discus.

The 2017 USATF Junior Outdoor Championships will be held in conjunction with this meet, allowing fans to see the sport’s up-and-coming stars.

NBC will broadcast live from Hornet Stadium from 1 to 3 p.m. June 24-25.

Several campus roads and bike/pedestrian paths will be closed during the meet:

  • Stadium Drive will close at 6 a.m. Wednesday, June 21, and reopen at 6 p.m. Monday, June 26.
  • College Town Drive between Sinclair Road and Stadium Drive will close at 6 a.m. Wednesday, June 21, and reopen at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 25.
  • Additionally, College Town Drive between Hornet Crossing and Bay Laurel Way will be closed from 5 to 11 a.m. Sunday, June 25, for the race walk competition.
  • The College Town Drive pedestrian/bike path between Hornet Crossing and the Stadium Drive traffic signal will close at 7 a.m. Monday, June 19, and reopen at 6 p.m. Monday, June 26.
  • Bike paths and footpaths between The WELL and the practice track will close at 7 a.m. Monday, June 19, and reopen at 6 p.m. Monday, June 26.

Sacramento State has hosted some of the nation’s most prestigious track and field championships over the last 17 years, including the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Trials. They were the best-attended Olympic Trials in history, averaging more than 20,000 spectators over each of the 16 days of competition.

Hornet Stadium also was the site of the 2003, ’05, ’06 and ’07 NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships, the 2014 USATF Outdoor Championships, and the 2001 and ’16 National Junior Olympic Championships.

In 2014, the Sacramento Sports Commission, a division of Visit Sacramento, paid $1.2 million to have the Hornet Stadium track resurfaced, ensuring the return of this year’s USATF Outdoor Championships.

To see the Championships schedule: http://bit.ly/2qnCyyQ. To purchase tickets: https://www.csus.edu/aba/hornettickets/store_usatf.html. Sacramento State staff members are eligible for tickets at a discounted rate:https://www.csus.edu/aba/hornettickets/store_usatf_staff.html. – Dixie Reid