FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fundraising Continues for Non-profits in Georgia and Oregon
ATLANTA, GA & EUGENE, OR – June 20, 2020 -- Separated by 2,700 miles, two of the country’s premiere track clubs faced off Saturday night in a first-of-its-kind dual meet. Oregon Track Club Elite bested Atlanta Track Club Elite in the Return of the Dual, a virtual head-to-head competition put on by TrackTown USA and Running City USA.
Photo assets from both venues are available for use here. Assets from Oregon are with credit to TrackTown USA; assets from Georgia are with credit to Dan McCauley.
Starring Olympic silver medalist Nijel Amos and World Indoor champion Chanelle Price, Oregon Track Club Elite defeated their east coast competitors 6 to 1 in a five event meet where individual races were worth one point and the grand finale – a 2x2x400 meter relay – was worth three points.
In the opening event, Amos (1:17.84) finished ahead of Atlanta’s Dylan Capwell (1:18.93) by just over one second in the 600m with Capwell closing on the Botswanan standout in the final hundred meters. Price’s (1:27.83) 600m competition was not as close as she bested Atlanta’s Rachael Walters (1:34.73) by seven seconds.
In the men’s 1200m, Oregon Track Club Elite’s Vince Ciattei (2:53.66) made a late race surge to defeat Abraham Alvarado (2:56.38). Atlanta’s sole point came in the women’s 1200m where Yolanda Ngarambe (3:20.97) put forth a strong solo effort after the late withdrawal of OTC Elite’s Hanna Green.
Atlanta Track Club was still in the hunt as the teams prepared for the unique relay in which each team’s male and female runners would alternate running 400m twice. Avery Bartlett and Megan Malasarte gave Atlanta an early lead over Jake Heyward and Sabrina Southerland. But the Oregon duo ran strong second legs to win the relay 3:46.22 to 3:51.29 and take the overall title.
“It felt really special to actually compete as a team, because we don’t often get to do that,” said Southerland. “I was so happy for Jake and me to be able to end the event with a win for OTC Elite, and to bring some attention to Food for Lane County and Atlanta Mission.”
“We were the only team at the track, but this didn’t feel like practice. It felt like a meet,” said Atlanta’s Ngarambe. “After working so hard this spring, it’s nice to have a chance to test our fitness and raise money for a good cause.”
The event benefitted the Atlanta Mission and Food for Lane County with a goal of raising $10,400 to be split equally between the two organizations. At the time of this release, $6,803 had been raised. Donations are open through June 30 at returnofthedual.org.
The meet took place at Landmark Christian School in Fairburn, GA - where seasonable summer conditions meant it was 90 degrees, sunny and humid with light winds at race time - and Hamlin Middle School in Springfield, OR where there were light showers, light winds and temperatures in the low 70s. It was broadcast live around the globe on Facebook and YouTube. Peak stream viewers across both platforms were over 1,000. The stream can still be watched here.
Both venues used iPhones to broadcast the event, and in order to stick with the athletes racing around the track, the videographers rode in electric vehicles. In TrackTown USA, Eugene-based Arcimoto loaned an FUV (fun utility vehicle) to the production while Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead loaned a Smart ForTwo to the team in Atlanta. The meet was produced by TrackTown Productions and anchored by Tim Hutchings in the United Kingdom.
About Atlanta Track Club
Atlanta Track Club is a nonprofit committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta. Through running and walking, Atlanta Track Club motivates, inspires and engages the community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
With more than 30,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States. In addition to the AJC Peachtree Road Race (peachtreeroadrace.org) – the largest 10K running event in the world, the Publix Atlanta Marathon, PNC Atlanta 10 Miler and Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, Atlanta Track Club directs more than 30 events per year. Through the support of its members and volunteers, Atlanta Track Club also maintains a number of community initiatives including organizing and promoting the Kilometer Kids youth running program to metro Atlanta youth, honoring high school cross country and track and field athletes through Atlanta Track Club’s All-Metro Banquets and supporting the Grady Bicycle EMT program. For more information on Atlanta Track Club, visit atlantatrackclub.org.
About TrackTown USA, Inc.:
TrackTown USA, Inc. is a non-profit organization committed to setting a standard of excellence in the sports of track and field and running by hosting premier events, creating a supportive environment for elite athletic performances, improving facilities, being a leader in sustainability and inspiring the next generation of track and field athletes and fans. The organization is responsible for organizing the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, the 2015 USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships, the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials—Track & Field, and the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials—Track & Field. For more information on TrackTown USA, visit gotracktownusa.com.