Natasha Harvey readies for World Junior Track Championships

After six weeks of training at home , sophomore Natasha Harvey flew out to Eugene, Ore. to compete in the "Road to Eugene `08" with the U.S. Junior Track team on Tuesday in preparation for the World Junior Track Championships in Beijing the next week.

The "Road to Eugene '08" is a cooperative effort between the Local Organizing Committee for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, USA Track & Field, and the USATF Athletes Advisory Committee. This inaugural mid-summer classic will feature many of America's top track and field athletes.

"Tasha has been home in Connecticut training for the last six weeks," said JU head coach Ron Grigg. "Todays meet will be a way to `knock the competitive rust' off of her. It will give her a chance to recognize any adjustments that she will need to make before the World Junior Championships next week. We are so proud that her athletic prowess has given her an opportunity to travel and experience other cultures this summer."

On Tuesday, Harvey will compete in the long jump against 2005 World Champion, Tianna Madison, and 2006 U.S champion, Rose Richmond. Also in the event is 2004 Olympian Grace Upshaw.

Harvey earned a spot on the U.S. Junior Track team after winning the long jump at the U.S. Junior Track Championships on June 22. She recorded jumps of 21 feet (6.40m) and 20'8.5" (6.31m) to win a tiebreaker in the event. She also placed seventh at the AT&T U.S. Championships in the long jump with her second-best career mark (21'4.75).

On Wednesday morning, Harvey will fly to Beijing with the rest of the U.S. Junior National team as they prepare for the World Junior Track Championships starting Thursday, Aug, 20.

Fans can follow Harvey's action along with the other track athletics of "The Road to Eugene '08" by watching the television replay this Saturday on ESPN2 starting at 4:30 p.m.