Camel City Elite Adds Olympic Silver Medalist Leo Manzano
$15,000 guaranteed prize purse draws deep field to indoor Mile events on January 31, 2015
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – JDL Fast Track has announced that 2012 Olympic 1500m silver medalist Leo Manzano has been added to the field for the Camel City Mile presented by Salem Sports set for Saturday, January 31, 2015. Manzano, who has a Mile personal record of 3:50.64, is the fifth athlete added to the deep men’s indoor Mile field.
“Leo will be the most highly decorated Olympic athlete to compete at JDL Fast Track in our history. He fits in with our other athletes in that they are not only very talented, but they are charismatic and have a great story behind their success. His backstory of being an unsponsored athlete after his Olympic triumph is a testament to his dedication and fortitude,” said Craig Longhurst, the facility director of JDL Fast Track.
In addition to the earlier announcement of 3:51 Miler Will Leer, Manzano, now sponsored by HOKA ONE ONE, also joins Cory Leslie and Michael Hammond of Furman Elite and Matt Elliott of Brooks. Leslie was the winner of the inaugural Camel City Mile in 2013 when he won the event in a facility record and indoor state record of 3:57.81. Elliott was fourth at the 2013 USA 1500 meter outdoor national championships and has finished third and second in the first two Camel City events. Hammond, a Virginia Tech grad, trains with Leslie in Greenville, SC, as part of the Furman Elite group. A sixth and final professional will be added to the field, with final discussions underway to try to firm up that position in the next week.
Craig Longhurst said that this field is easily the deepest and most talented in the event’s history. “Any one of these guys could win this year. The playing field is pretty level when you consider it will be the first meet for some of these guys, some will be coming down from altitude, and it’s a month before the national meet. But with as much as $5000 on the line for the winner, there is going to be some serious motivation for these guys to get after it.”
On the women’s side, the field for the Mellow Mile presented by Mellow Mushroom Winston-Salem is equally as deep and talented. Olympians Shannon Rowbury and Morgan Uceny were announced in early September. Shortly thereafter, Heather Kampf, Sara Vaughn, Stephanie Garcia and Heidi Gregson also committed to the women’s Mile.
Kampf, who is affectionately known as the “Queen of the road Mile,” has a 4:30 Mile PR and won the inaugural Bring Back the Mile Grand Prix Tour 2014 title. Vaughn is the defending champ of this event, winning last year in a facility record and state indoor record of 4:35.07. Garcia and Gregson, both of Furman Elite, bring different backgrounds to the event. Garcia is one of the top steeplechasers in the U.S., while Gregson comes from more of a middle distance background. Gregson also holds the distinction of running the fastest Mile on North Carolina soil when she won the inaugural Sir Walter Miler event in Raleigh, NC, this past summer, clocking 4:34.05.
The women have the same potential $5000 payday for the race champion to motivate them. “Whereas the men’s field is made up of guys who are all pretty much considered to be Milers, the women’s field has a blend of talented ladies with speed versus strength. Again, at that time of year, it will be interesting to see who comes ready to race,” Longhurst added.
JDL Fast Track is now working to identify the collegians who will compete in the Mile races against the professionals, as well as to fill the fields for the 800m and 3000m events. The group is also working to market the Camel City Crowd Fund and corporate sponsorships in an effort to raise additional money to further increase the prize money offered in the events.
Since 2012, JDL Fast Track has also been part of the Bring Back the Mile national campaign to elevate and celebrate the storied distance.
About Camel City Elite
Camel City Elite is a set of elite races held within the larger college Hilton Garden Innvitational. The Camel City Elite races will be held on Saturday, January 31, 2015. The races set to be contested include the men’s and women’s 800m, Mile and 3000m races. The Mile races have prize money of $4000 for 1st place, $2000 for 2nd place, $1000 for 3rd place and $500 for fourth. The 800m and 3000m races have $2000 / $1000 / $500 prize breakdown. All of the events have an additional $1000 bonus to the winner if they break the current facility records.
About JDL Fast Track
JDL Fast Track, one of the premier indoor track and field facilities in the southeast, is a privately owned, dedicated indoor track and field facility, that opened in January 2012, houses a 200-meter oval track with a Mondotrack FTX surface—the same surface used at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. JDL Fast Track has current seating capacity of approximately 1,700, with future expansion possibilities more than 3,000 spectators.
JDL Fast Track will also play host to multiple NCAA Division I and Division II conference meets in 2015, as well as serving as the host for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships and USATF Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships.