Don Paige, a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic track team, is among world-class athletes who plan to compete in the first Bud Light Invitational track and field meet Sunday at George Mason University.
The pole vault, the first of seven field events, will start at noon and the first running event -- the distance medley relay -- at 1 p.m. The George Mason 200-meter Chemturf track is one of the fastest indoor facilities in the East.
Paige, a 1980 Villanova graduate who ran the fastest time in the world in the indoor 1,000-yard run (2:04.7) and the U.S. indoor best in the 1,000 meters (2:18.88), will be challenged in the 1,000 meters by Eddie Koech (fourth in the '84 Olympics 800), Todd Colas, Butch Brown, Ray Brown, Ibrahim Okash and John Hinton.
"I chose to run this meet because I didn't want to have to travel too far the weekend before the American championships (The Athletics Congress meet Feb. 22 at New York's Madison Square Garden)," said Paige, 28, who lives in West Chester, Pa. "I was talking to (George Mason track Coach) John Cook at the Eastman Kodak meet last month and I asked him if he could get some good competition in the 1,000.
"It's a good field. Koech is second in the Grand Prix scoring in the 1,000 so far this season. He likes to run from the front. Whenever you get those foreign athletes in a race, you never know what they'll do.
"I was a sit-and-kicker in the past. This year, I sit more in the middle of the pack and kick. That's what I plan to do Sunday."
The leading entries in the 3,000 meters are Matt Centrowitz, a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team in the 5,000 meters, and Abdi Bile.
The 1,500 should be competitive, with four sub-four-minute milers -- Charles Cheriot (fifth in the '84 Olympics 5,000), Jim McKeon, Bile and Jimmy Igohe.
In the men's 500, a close race could shape up between Fred Sowerby, who at 36 was runner-up in this year's Millrose Games 600; former George Mason star Reggie Henderson, and Villanova graduate Anthony Tufariello.
The women's events look highly competitive, with Betty Jo Springs, an ex-North Carolina State star, and Jefferson High School graduate Alisa Harvey, now running for Tennessee, entered in the distance events.