11th Annual AAU Youth Indoor Track & Field Championships

More than 700 of the nation’s top athletes are expected

HammondFebruary 8, 2006 – Next weekend Merrillville High School will be home to the largest amateur indoor track and field event in the United States. More than 700 athletes, 18 and under, from all over the nation will be staying and competing in Northwest Indiana throughout the weekend of February 17th – 19th.

The Lake County CVB and the Hammond Track Club will be hosting the 2006 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Indoor Track & Field National Championships at the Merrillville High School Field House. The track and field events include such things as racewalks, hurdles, dashes, pole vault, and shot put.

The AAU Youth Indoor Track & Field Championships started in Lake County 11 years ago with 97 athletes and grew to 976 athletes in 2002. With so many children competing, the event was split into two regions; north and south. This year there is expected to be more than 700 athletes in the northern region alone.

“The event has really prospered over the years,” said Joe Mis. “It’s wonderful that we can share this experience and teach children sportsmanship through active competition.” Mis is the Regional Sports Coordinator for AAU, is responsible for the 6 states in the Midwest district of AAU, and founded the Hammond Track Club in 1976.

The AAU Youth Indoor Track & Field Championships produces approximately 1,500 room nights throughout northwest Indiana and generates more than $180,000 in economic impact.

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