KT TAPE ST. GEORGE SHOWDOWN TO FEATURE OLYMPIANS AND TOP U.S. DISTANCE RUNNERS
Small track meet with strict safety guidelines looks to set an example for future meets
ST. GEORGE, (UT) – July 9, 2020 –The organizers of the KT Tape St. George Showdown have announced the fields and the safety protocols for what will be a small track meet in St. George Utah on Saturday, July 11. The meet, directed by Artie Gulden–the head cross country coach at Utah State University and Ben Rosario–the head coach of HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite, will take place at an undisclosed location without fans and with a strict set of guidelines related to COVID-19 testing.
The meet will be streamed live on RunnerSpace.com (subscription required) beginning at 9:30am EST/ 6:30am Pacific with the Men’s 5,000 meters presented by Polar to be followed by the Women’s 5,000 meters presented by Polar at 9:50am EST/ 6:50am Pacific. Both races feature regional fields with athletes coming from just four states: Ariz., Calif., Colo., and Utah. The men’s field is headlined by 2:09 marathoners Scott Fauble and Jared Ward, as well as young professionals Matt Baxter, Dillon Maggard, Rory Linkletter and Clayton Young. Pan Am Games Silver Medalist Reid Buchanan, 3:55 miler Eric Avila and BYU star Conner Mantz are also entered. The women’s race includes 2016 South African Olympian Dom Scott-Efurd up against the fifth, sixth and eighth place finishers at February’s U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon: Laura Thweatt, Stephanie Bruce and Kellyn Taylor. Top American 5,000 meter runners Sarah Pagano and Lauren Paquette should also factor into the proceedings.
All athletes, agents, coaches and support personnel were required to take a COVID-19 test within eight days of the event. All athletes will be required to take a rapid test on-site on Friday afternoon in St. George. Per Utah State guidelines, less than 50 people total will be allowed inside the stadium. Everyone who enters will be given a temperature check on Saturday morning. All non-competitors will be required to wear a mask and remain socially distanced throughout the event.
Rosario said that safety was the number one priority.
“We recognize the gravity of COVID-19 and the devastation it has caused across the globe,” Rosario said. “Our hope is not to push our sport forward, but merely to keep it afloat during these difficult times, and we believe small, controlled events like this one can be one way to do that.”
Gulden echoed the sentiment.
“We are really excited to give these athletes an opportunity to compete again and hope the fans will enjoy it,” Gulden said. “We’ve worked hard to create a safe environment for competition and are so grateful to people like Josh Cox and Jen Rosario, and companies like KT Tape and Polar, who have stepped up and been so instrumental to this event happening.”
KT Tape and Polar joined the event as sponsors this week. Because of their support, the athletes will be vying for a $5,500 total prize purse. The winner of each race will receive $1,000 in prize money.
For more information please visit www.kttapestgeorgeshowdown.com.