It's as much as exchange program as it is track meet.
About 150 athletes from West Germany, Belgium and Switzerland will compete against a similar number from Montgomery County in a meet billed simply as Maryland vs. West Germany, at Woodward High School, at 5 p.m. today.
But more than track and field is involved.
"Actually, the track meets are almost incidental," said Mike Horsey, meet director and track coach at Georgetown Prep.
"The whole thing is set up by a travel agency," Horsey continued, "Mark Winzenried, who used to be the world record holder in the 1,000-yard indoor run, is now in the travel business, and he sets these up."
Horsey said that a group of 90 American athletes just completed a tour of England and France under the same program.
"It's just our way of reciprocating with a little bit larger group," he said.
The European contingent has been in the United States since July 1, competing in Gettysburg, Pa., and Williamsburg, Va. During their visit, the athletes have been staying in private homes to cut costs and increase their experience in the American life style.
"I've still got about 20 to house," Horsey laughed. "I'm calling all my friends, and anybody who owes me a favor.
All the kids are very enthusiastic, escpecially the ones who just came back from our tour. I think they'll all have a good time."
A party is planned for the group Thursday night. Wednesday the athletes will meet Sen. William Proxmire and tour the FBI building.
Men and women will compete in junior (19 and under) and senior (20 and over) competition.
Field events get under way at 5 p.m., with distance events starting at 5:30. A special ceremony with flags and the playing of national anthems will be held at 7 p.m. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children.