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Many of the world’s best athletes, including six Olympians and 45 world masters champions, will be among the more than 1,000 competitors to converge at the Oshkosh Sports Complex (OSC) July 9-12 for the 2009 USA Track & Field Masters Outdoor Championships.

Adult athletes, ages 30 to 95, from across the nation will test their speed, power, skill and endurance in track events from 100 to 10,000 meters and a full range of field events. The contests will be held 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. daily, and the public and media are welcome to attend.

While this is the first time the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will host the USA Track & Field Masters Outdoor Championships, the OSC was chosen as the site for the track and field events at the Badger State Games in 2008 and 2009. The OSC also is a two-time host of the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships and a four-time host of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

“We are thrilled about hosting the USA Track & Field Masters Outdoor Championships this year,” said UW Oshkosh Chancellor Richard H. Wells. “An event of this scope and caliber highlights the excellence of this facility and its statewide impact.”

The Oshkosh Sports Complex is a unique collaboration encompassing the Oshkosh Area School District, the Unified Catholic Schools, the University and the UW Oshkosh Foundation. Based on economic impact models and other projections, it is anticipated that the complex will generate at least $25 million annually for the local economy.

Recent renovations — including the addition of a nine-lane, Olympic-quality competition track; and J. J. Keller Field, a football/soccer field featuring synthetic turf and seating for 10,000 spectators — have made the OSC one of the finest sports facilities in the Midwest.

John Zupanc, UW Oshkosh’s head men’s track and field and cross country coach, is among 100 athletes from Wisconsin attending the championships. Zupanc recently was named NCAA Division III Track and Field Coach of the Year. He will compete in the 55-59 steeplechase and the 10K.

In addition, three UW Oshkosh alumni will return to their alma mater to participate in the championships: Michael Draheim ’00, of Menasha; Stan Mathes ’69 and ’73 MSE, of Fond du Lac; and Wes Shaughnessy ’02, of Madison.

“We are excited about having the nation’s finest athletes in our community,” said Al Ackerman, UW Oshkosh’s athletic director. “The Oshkosh Sports Complex is home to one of the premier tracks in the country, and I know the athletes will have a great experience.”

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